Anyone who has worked long enough has either seen or heard their fair share of workplace horror stories. With today being Halloween, I decided to interview some coworkers for some of their best (or worst) scary tales from the workplace past and present. Read on, if you DARE!
The Secret Agent
Just prior to an interview for full-time employment, we discovered that the candidate had been using a false last name. The lies didn’t stop there either. This person also lied about their experience on their resume from top-to-bottom. Mind you, this discovery occurred 1 hour before the scheduled interview, so the Recruiters were forced to go through the process of meeting with this person despite knowing full well that they would not be hiring them.
I was once sent on a business trip to Calgary back when I was in retail merchandising. Passports in hand, myself and a colleague flew from Boston to Houston to Calgary. Upon landing and going through customs, Canadian authorities informed us that we did not have working papers and our business trip would not be taking place. We were put in a hotel and forced to be back to the airport by 9:00AM the following morning, or a warrant would go out for our arrest. Needless to say I am no longer with that company.
A company that we know told us this story of one of their former employees. This gentleman decided that rent in the area was too high and that moving into the office was a reasonable thing to do. He hid his belongings in boxes in various storage areas. He spent his nights sleeping on the bathroom floor until he was eventually discovered and let go for abusing company property. It must have been pretty awkward retrieving all of those boxes.
We once had an employee who would lay out her outfits in advance for each day of the week. She had an outfit for Monday through Friday planned and neatly laid out in a spare bedroom. One day this person did not show up for work and didn’t call in. When she was contacted she explained that she must have forgotten to put an outfit out for that day and didn’t realize she was supposed to be at work. #Fashion
The Taxman Cometh
When dealing with payroll for thousands of employees, a lot of issues can arise. Usually none are this strange. I took a call from a gentleman who was very upset. His complaint? That he did not sign off on taxes being taken out of his pay check and I didn’t have the authority to do so. After a few minutes of being berated I calmly explained that the Federal Government, not me, was taxing his pay. He didn’t take it well.
My first “real job” was as a Warehouse Supervisor in my home town. One of our new hires was a 22 year old warehouse worker. In his first 2 weeks he was late 7 times, and I had to fire him due to policy. A couple of hours later the guy’s mother came into my office screaming. This went on for about 10 minutes as I tried to explain the situation. Her anger turned to tears before she eventually settled down and left the premises.
A few years ago I got a call at my desk. The gentleman on the other line was extremely upset. He started the conversation with the upfront question of “was I the person who hit his car that morning?” Of course not being in any kind of motor vehicle incident I kindly informed him that he had the wrong number. Well, his anger intensified and he adamantly stated it was ME who hit his car, that I left my work number on his windshield and he demanded to be compensated. Still keeping my calm, I reiterated that he had the wrong person. He replied by calling me a few choice words I cannot repeat. In the workplace, one thing I learned very early on that name calling or offensive language is not to be tolerated in the office so I terminated the call.
Slightly shaken and more so confused on how this person got my work number, I saw a few coworkers chuckling behind a close cubicle, obviously listening to the conversation I just had. Yes, it was a prank. It was one of those generic pre-recorded prank calls. They got me. It was just a few comrades having a little fun on a Friday afternoon!
What workplace Horror Stories do you have to share this Halloween? Comment below or Tweet us @TheDavisCos!