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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."

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  • In reply to Kirsty:

    Very cheeky, but I sympathise with her. I often think it is unfair that a single childless employee should receive worse benefits than those with families, just by virtue of their personal circumstances - I wonder if there are benefits which she can benefit from but those with families do not.
  • In reply to Lesley:

    If I read it correctly the issue is not whether she gets free air-tickets, but whether she should receive payment for her non-husband and two non-children. It is not the "family" that benefits from the payment, it is the airline. In her case (it seems) she is asking for that money for herself!

  • At the other end of the spectrum to the one I started this thread off with, I had a field-based, salaried employee call me because he hadn't been given any sites to visit until 11.30am (normally they are on site from 9am or earlier). He wanted to know if he was still going to be paid for sitting at home with nothing to do.

    Please bear in mind that this is a *salaried* employee.

    What I said was: "If you were to work fewer than your contracted weekly hours in a week, we would still pay you for a full week; if this happens in future, you're welcome to call your LM and tell him that you're doing tools maintenance or administration with your time, but you don't get overtime for sitting at home."

    What I wanted say was: "No, you moron, we don't pay you to sit on your **** and do nothing!"

    In a fun twist, he called me while I was in the middle of preparing a disciplinary report for an allegation against him of gross misconduct relating to... the false reporting of working time!
  • In reply to Robert James Munro:

    Quite to the contrary in my organization. HR is seen as the disciplinary force. If you are summoned to HR Employees usually panic. It's like they're about to be punished.
  • In reply to Kellorna D.L:

    That's a very negative and self-defeating view for the organisation (and its employees) to have, Kellorna, although it is where the old "personnel" function often used to lie.

    ....and workplace discipline is not there (or indeed permitted) to "punish". The objective of disciplinary procedures is to correct wilfully wayward behaviour. We can do this only by offering warnings that if the behaviour is not rectified then employment will be terminated, and eventually (if not) then "fairly" considering the contract breached by the employee, permitting their dismissal.

    Unless agreed contractually as a separate (civil) issue, there is nothing in statute that permits us to "punish" employees through impositions of fines, limitations of statutory rights or freedoms, diminution of status, or other "painful" outcomes, or the causing of any detriment beyond those inherent and coincidental with their (ultimate) loss of employment; for instance the ability to pay the rent or buy the new car they wanted.

    HR is most certainly not the company's "enforcer" and has no "big stick" to bash employees (including other managers) with!

  • In reply to Kellorna D.L:

    Hi Kellorna,

    Does HR = Headmaster’s Room... :)
  • In reply to Peter:

    I encountered this before in a job interview where there seemed to be an expectation that a large part of HR's job was to do "the difficult conversations" in lieu of managers. I was quite explicit that I considered this to be part of a manager's duties and, although I'd support and advise them, the task of having the actual conversation wasn't something I thought a good manager could or should delegate.

    Didn't get the job!
  • In reply to Robey:

    Seems similar to a time where I was asked in an interview how I liked dealing with confrontation. I answered that 'nobody enjoys confrontation but here's how I handle it....' and got pulled up afterwards because apparently I should have been more eager for it! I got the role and it was a very confrontational position initially because it was expected that HR had those difficult conversations. I did change the culture but it took a while!
  • In reply to Robey:

    I failed to get one of my first "proper" HR positions (I had been "doing" HR in previous management roles for some time before admitting it) because the other candidate interviewed was a woman. It was explained (very kindly) to me after the interviews that because the "HR" role would include telling people they were dismissed or redundant on behalf of the company, it was felt the "bad news" would come better from a woman!

    ....It was all right in the '80s!
  • In reply to Melanie:

    Recently I have said what I wanted to say in a different way:
    Employee on probation that started at the end of July 2018: When I was taken on my manager agreed that I could have 8 weeks off. I gave her a list and now she`s saying I can`t have next week off, I know I`ve just had three weeks off but I have an event I have to attend.

    Me: I`ve looked into this and the three weeks were approved and that`s unusual, but you have had that now and there`s been a misunderstanding because none of your other holiday requests have been agreed. You need to be at work as you are still in your probation and you need to be here to be assessed. Besides you have not worked long enough to have accrued all the holiday you are asking for. Nobody here has 8 weeks holiday anyway, so it could not have been approved.

    What I wanted to say was ' I `d like to have 8 weeks holiday even though I am not entitled to it and fig everybody else. Why don`t you have your holiday next week and DON`T COME BACK!!'
  • In reply to Caroline Veronica De Silva:

    Ah, the new recruit (who is, to be fair, otherwise excellent) who told us she would need to take every August off.

    What I said - after agreeing a shorter time off this year - was "well, let's look at that closer to the date". What I wanted to say was: "I like you, but hell no".
  • "Please don't offend my intelligence by telling me you were 'sick' on the day after a work party. I find it disrespectful to be taken for a credulous fool. Tell me the truth and apologise profusely. That's marginally better. Or, best of all, drag yourself in even if you have to lurch to the khazi every 20 minutes to throw up. Don't do the crime if you can't do the time."
  • In reply to Robey:

    Is it just me?

    What I said (via email, because he won't answer his phone) "You really need to get in touch to discuss what happened to your vehicle today."

    What I wanted to say "You swore at one road user before ploughing into another, abandoned your vehicle and fled the scene leaving behind your drug paraphernalia, your counterpart driving license and about £3000 in parts and equipment. I can't even *start* to tell you how fired you are."
  • In reply to Robey:

    Now, now, Robey: Don't be pre-emptive. He might have had a hard day, poor lamb.....

    (….and it's o.k. I can imagine what things you would want to say in reply to anyone (really) making that argument.....).
  • This is a good one for a Friday afternoon. So many examples, but here is a recent one.

    Ex employee. The problem is I can't get another job because you keep putting in the reference that I was dismissed and I had a poor sickness record.

    What I wanted to say: Are you F***** surprised with a record like yours you were lucky we kept you on for so long, I'm not surprised no one else wants to take on such a disruptive and lazy work shy individual.

    What I actually said: I'm sorry to hear that, perhaps you should consider doing some voluntary work in the meantime and enhancing your CV with some positive work experiences.