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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 Amanda:

    There is always a way.... :-)

    You could try putting a little crack in his "I'm irreplaceable" world-view.

    Ask him politely and casually if he could help you in creating an Job Description and Person Spec' for his role, as part of a general review of these that you're carrying out, since your recent discussion has highlighted the need to have something ready.... Just in case he ever becomes unavailable, say due to illness or an argument with a passing bus....

    A perfectly innocent and entirely reasonable request (even if he refuses), but one which should cause him a few nagging doubts about why you might need a replacement, in the sleepless hours.... :-)

  • In reply to Amanda:

    Loving the not sharing biscuits. It reminds me of someone who majorly annoyed me at work years ago, by attempting to take credit for my work because they had "edited" it for me (added a title page with a spelling error). It backfired as everyone knew I'd done the work. The person tried to make amends by buying me a huge tin of very fancy biscuits. Which I ate. Solo.

    In the meantime my best friend (outside the company and sector) who had listened to me sound off about it all, sent me a personalised mug in the post. It said "I'll eat your biscuits, but I won't forget." I was quite proud of myself that I managed not to take the mug into work...
  • In reply to Elizabeth:

    Out loud: "We'll be sorry to lose you."

    Inside: "Not *you* specifically, obviously. Can't wait to see the back of you. But I'm busy enough as it is without adding yet another vacancy to my 'do-do' list"."
  • Thank you I have enjoyed reading these! My favourite phrase out loud is 'everything is a choice' - takes the wind out of their sails.
  • Steve Bridger

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    11 Jul, 2019 15:00

    In reply to Robey:

    Are you happy you started this thread, ? If only you’d known ;)
  • It's great we're getting all these prompts each time someone comments.

    I thought of another one. This one came up a couple of times where employees were genuinely hurt when I told them the lunch break they take is unpaid and is worked on top of their contractual hours.

    Employee: "But I have never worked anywhere where it was unpaid...I guess I was lucky but I always had a paid break"

    Me on the inside: "Oh honey.... you've been here 10 years and that's why you got so used to the luxuries of the overpaid role you're in you forgot what it's like out there in the real world. Also it is now evident that you've been doing 1 hour less work that you're contractually paid to do every day for the last 10 years".

    Me in reality: "It is usually the case that any breaks, including lunch breaks are unpaid. Perhaps you might want to see a copy of the contract, and adjust your working hours to incorporate a break moving forward".
  • In reply to Steve Bridger:

    At least I'm (in)famous for something.
  • I had an employee complain to me last week that there was a problem with his tax and we were deducting too much. His tax had gone up from £35 to £70. That would be because we had just moved him from weekly to fortnightly pay.

    What I said was 'yes, £35 x 2 is £70 and you are now paid every 2 weeks rather than weekly'.

    What I wanted to say....we you can probably guess!
  • I actually told someone recently in a meeting that I don't have a time machine. This guy kept complaining about something that happened in the past, before my time. When I ask him what resolution he wanted, he just kept repeating what happened. Not my finest moment, but I really was at the end of my tether having asked him about 10 times what we could do to resolve the matter, other than the long list of things that have already been done!!

    On a daily basis I want to say "you are f****** kidding me" - but I dont :)
  • I can't believe I have another one!

    Employee: "You're infringing my human rights! You're resorting to double-speak to try and cover up what you're doing! I don't know how you sleep at night! It's outrageous! It's illegal! I'm not doing it! You can't make me!"
    (can you hear the toys being thrown out of the pram???)

    Me (out loud): "I'm sorry you feel that way, but we are asking every employee to provide a head and shoulders photo for use as an internal ID picture, otherwise we will ask you to have one taken at work. This is compliant with data protection regulations because we are careful to balance individual privacy with the needs of the business. We have over 150 employees so no, I don't agree that 'everyone should just know who you are'."

    Me (internally): believe me, everyone probably does 'know who you are', because you throw tantrums like this.
  • In reply to Lesley:

    I've said the same (more than once!). I've also mentioned many times that I don't have a crystal ball either.
  • In reply to Laura Ann:

    I too have told someone that surprisingly enough our HR qualification doesn't teach us psychic powers and that I am not a mind reader.

    My most recent case of what I want to say vs what I do actually say, has been over the last week. We've had an employee come to us with a print out of an "offer" he's received from a competitor for a substantial amount more than we are paying him asking us to match it if we want him to stay.

    What we wanted to say was - Well for one thing that letter has clearly be doctored, that company does not send out offers looking like that. But please do accept it, and find out that you're not as hard up here as you think you are.

    What was actually said was - It will be a shame to loose you, but unfortunately we're not able to match this or review your salary at the current time due to your ongoing probationary period in your new promotion.

    Said employee is now currently sulking and has yet to tell us if he is accepting this offer or staying put. We're leaving them to it.
  • In reply to Laura Ann:

    This would be mine
  • So many to choose from but my favourite was:

    Employee: I've heard that I can opt out of paying income tax and I want to do that as I don't like paying tax.

    What we wanted to say: Seriously?!? Is this a genuine question?!?

    What we actually said: Thank you for your email. Income tax is compulsory and we are unable to opt you out.
  • "When I tell you that "X" is not "Y", based on years of training, practice, review, assessment, and 'hands on' work with their complexities, please don't tell me they're categorically the same, based on the half-day's introductory course you took.

    I'm open to new thinking and ideas, but that doesn't necessarily make me wrong; or stupid."