Things you want to say to employees but can't because you're professional...

Partly as a bit of fun, but mostly as an opportunity to vent...

Employee: "So what's my motivation for getting up at 5am to be on site for 7am?"

What I wanted to say: "Keeping your f-ing job? The fact that we pay you a salary far in excess of what your meagre skillset, dubious intelligence and questionable competence deserves?"

What I actually said: "Your professional pride in the delivery of an excellent service that our clients appreciate."

  • I would love a pound for everytime I've heard of someone saying "I'll take this to HR"

    HR doesn't exist to represent you, it exists to represent the Company!

    (Professional or otherwise, I've actually said it on many occasions)
  • In reply to Robert James Munro:

    "Personally I think everything you say is right but my job (which on balance I'd like to keep) is where necessary to try to defend the indefensible and therefore I'm going to try my best to dispute it with you."
    "I just hope you are perceptive enough to understand this and don't despise me personally for what I'm going to do."
  • In reply to David:

    Not quite, David.

    I'm not sure I've ever been guilty of defending the indefensible. My point is the misconception that employees see HR as their advocate in defending them against the Company - even if the actions taken by the Company are fair, equitable, and lawful.
  • In reply to Robert James Munro:

    Sorry, Robert, I was responding more to the general question rather than your specific point.

    But if you've never had to try and defend that which was indefensible, think you've been very blessed!
  • In reply to David:

    Yes, David. This. So much this.
  • Them, in a performance review meeting: "I've made an improvement, but I know I'm still 40% behind target of everyone else. But I made a good improvement, I don't understand why I'm on a PIP?! I'm doing good"

    In my head: "Because you a FORTY PERCENT behind average for your team, how can you not see that?! Stop chatting and do your job! Geez"

    What I actually said "You've made a really good start and shown us that you can do your job, but you just need to push a bit more so you can get in line with the average of your team, the targets are there to help you get to that"
  • In a performance improvement meeting, where an employee has got his third "Development Needed" rating in a row on a leadership development programme, yet thinks he is misunderstood and his manager's have been unjustified in their ratings.

    What I wanted to say "This is the third manager in a row to raise concerns about your ability to work with others and your failure to meet the objectives they've set for you. Do you not think you might actually be the problem here, not them?! Wake up and leave, already! "

    What I actually said.. "I understand you feel a bit upset about this, but I think you do need to take responsibility and look forward at how you are going to meet the requirements of your performance improvement plan. You have three months to turn this around, or we will be seriously considering whether your future remains on the scheme."
  • In reply to Lesley:


    Apart from perhaps 'Wake up and leave, already!' I see nothing materially wrong with what you wanted to say.
  • In reply to Robert James Munro:

    yeah, true. I think I did say much of what was in my wanted list too. It was probably the tone of how I wanted to say it that was not so professional. Trying to resist the urge to shake the chap!!
  • I love this thread!

    Too many to choose from but..

    Employee: "I think it's disappointing that the company expects us to stay 15 minutes later than our finish time."

    What I wanted to say: "Sorry you're disappointed that we've tried to do something nice and offer a FREE, VOLUNTARY massage during work time and you feel that making back 15 minutes is unreasonable if you were to have one. Feel free to ignore any future benefits and now that we think about it, you're actually in a deficit from all of the personal development sessions that we've invested in. How would you like to make back that time?"

    A Senior Manager got there before me and said words to that effect (much more diplomatically of course).
  • Manager had submitted a proposal to senior management to spend a large sum of money and had his proposal knocked back 3 times. Was told to ask me to help him with the structure of his proposal, and proof read it, and help him come up with more than one option for consideration.

    Employee - Thank you for all your help and I am grateful. But it has shown me that I can't write a proposal, I have no ideas of my own, how could you come up with 3 additional options that I hadn't even thought of, I can't write proper sentences with grammar, spelling and punctuation, and I've had it.

    Me: (thinking - you're not wrong mate - hallelujah) but actually said "is there any more help I can give you"

    Employee - Nothing at all, I'm going to jack it in

    Me: (oh yes please, yes please) actually " that's a big decision to make, why not think about it over the weekend and then discuss with XXX (line manager). You would be sorely missed (oh no he won't)

    He thought about it over the weekend, discussed with manager, and has resigned. Oh frabtuous joy!
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    6 Jul, 2018 18:19

    In reply to Robert James Munro:

    Most of the comments on this thread so far refer to perceptions of 'performance'. In these cases, HR would not obstruct what managers feel is in the best interests of their teams or the business as a whole. But we know from these forums that sometimes those who work in HR are put in questionable (i.e. unethical) situations. That's when decisions need to be made.

  • Things I have wanted to say:

    'Please leave. Leave now.' and 'If you don't like it so much, why are you here'?

    Also: 'If you could earn so much more at XXXLtd, why don't you go there'?

    Like David, I have been required to be the acceptable face of a hard to accept decision. One example from way back in my career: we wrote to all staff to say we wanted to withdraw the system of automatic annual pay increments but guaranteed that if they agreed to this they would get a pay rise next year of no less that the RPI. And the next year we couldn't afford the pay increase. And it was me who had to tell them. There was a lesson to all concerned on using the words "we guarantee".

  • In reply to Elizabeth Divver:

    'Trust me, I'm in HR"
  • In reply to Ray:

    I’m from HR; I’m here to help you.