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People Divulge Their 'HR Nightmare' Stories

People Divulge Their 'HR Nightmare' Stories

Human Resources employees deal with a lot of bullsh*t. Between interviewing newcomers, upholding employee policies, and doing all of that paperwork, HR has it tough. Sometimes can be exceptionally bad, and these guys on Reddit experience it firsthand.

u/Kristoff___ asked: Human resources employees. What are your best "HR nightmare" stories?

That's one way to avoid work.


I am on the HR team that supports a wide variety of US cities for our company, including our colorful Florida locations. This is the best story I heard.

We had some woman trying to avoid doing work by sitting out in her car in the parking lot. While she was hiding out there, she needed to use the restroom. Well, instead of going back inside (or doing literally anything else) she decides to pee out her car window. Even though I am also a woman, I was impressed and disgusted by the physics behind this feat. She had stuck her bare ass outside the window and just went for it. Unbeknownst to her, her male co-worker had arrived at work late due to an appointment. He drove past to find a parking spot as this was happening, and got full view. He then reported the incident to us.

One of our HR people had to investigate this, and sure enough, parking lot cameras could corroborate his story. Our HR person confronted the woman. Her response: "Well how did he know it was me?? It could have been anyone." We thought, ok fair enough. The cameras aren't CSI grade zoom, so we only saw the ass part. It was harder to completely identify the face. So we went back to the male peer and asked how he knew it was her. His response? "Oh it was definitely her. The face tattoos are pretty recognizable."

We definitely don't get paid enough for this.



I had one employee submit a form to increase her own salary, she also forged her manager's signature.

Like, for real?


You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.




My friend was doing hiring for a staffing agency during college. A guy who we went to high school came in looking for a job. He told the candidate that he had two jobs. One paid 10 an hour and the other paid 11. The only thing was that the 11 an hour job requires a drug test. And if you fail the drug test you can't get either.

He said that he wanted the 11 an hour job. Now we knew him well enough to know that he liked smoking. So my friend reiterated the drug test fail rule. Dude said he was good on Friday to take the test Monday.

Come Monday he took the drug test. Pissed hot for weed, cocaine, amphetamines, and some other sh*t that gets out of your system in ~48hrs.


Big yikes.

Not an HR employee, but a manager who was handed an HR nightmare to help 'resolve'. Someone will get a kick out of this.

Background: I was working as a Teller Manager in a small regional bank. My branch had six small colleges within a 30 minute drive. The company liked to hire college students to work as tellers, because they usually didn't want to work full time (no benefits, therefore cheaper to employ), and with their somewhat random availability, it was easy to schedule even the unpopular shifts. All of the tellers in my branch are college students.

I get a call from the regional HR Manager, he is transferring a teller to my location from another branch (across town) who has been nothing but a headache. I am to document every single thing that this teller does wrong, no matter how minor the infraction. Apparently she had ticked off all of her coworkers there by filing HR complaints against all of them. I'll call her TT (Transferred Teller) from here on.

I was able to get more detail out of one her managers. TT was a student at one of the local colleges, but her only hobbies were riding her horse and going to her church. The only things she ever wanted to talk about were her horse, her beliefs, and trying to convert coworkers to her religion. Talk about anything else and she'd find a way to connect the topic to violating her beliefs. Criticize her, or talk about something that she wouldn't do, and she'd file a harassment complaint.

TT was transferred to my branch., and on her first day, she went off on another teller for talking about a date said teller's boyfriend had taken her on.

The next day, she filed her first HR complaint, sexual harassment, against one of my staff for talking about using a certain famous dating app. Speaking to TT while taking the complaint, discovered she's very socially conservative.

The employee handbook said, in summary, on the topic of sexual harassment, what counts depended on what offended the most easily offended person present, so watch your mouth and where you talked. I pulled each teller into a one-on-one meeting, walked them through the sections of the handbook on harassment, and warned them to be careful of what they discussed where. I did not call out TT, but everyone guessed who we were talking about. Word about her had made it's way around the grapevine.

Over the course of the next couple weeks she filed a new complaint roughly every other day. All of the complaints were for coworkers talking about, or doing, normal things for 18 - 22 year-olds, such as: a coworker went to a party and had a one-night stand; saw a coworker hug her boyfriend when he brought her lunch; a coworker wore a blouse that showed a bit of cleavage; a coworker refused to get up early on Sunday to come to church with her.

Morale was low, everyone is stressed coming in every day, most of the staff are refusing to talk to TT. I'm grumbling to HR Manager, who just answers everything with 'document her infractions'. So I'm writing up every minor mistake, categorizing them, and for each category I think I have enough, composing a formal write-up and submitting it to HR for approval. I wish I could remember how many I wrote.

Was sure we'd be stuck with TT for months before I had enough Tardies or Drawer Errors for HR to be willing to fire her. But after about a month, she made the error we needed. There's a religious group that's well known in our state, and the group's HQ is in our city. The group's religious leader occasionally would come into my branch, for some reason he liked dropping off deposits and transfers himself. It didn't take much to get him preaching on a topic. Everyone would just smile and nod along while finishing his transaction. But, TT couldn't do that. Apparently her church takes some issues with what his church teaches.

He came in to run a transaction. She called him next out of line. While running his transaction, she recognized the name of the church. They started talking, then arguing, then she was yelling at him. Unfortunately, I was in the back, so I missed this. Fortunately, I was in the bank, so it went on long enough that her customer took offense. She was dragged into the back to separate them. He filed a complaint, which I wrote up as an official customer complaint. Those get reviewed by a VP and the Operations Director, but I also CC'd HR Manager. Religious harassment of a commercial customer with a few million on deposit was sufficient for HR to terminate her the next day.



There was a dude in our other facility that was going around and wiping their a** and shoving the poop back up into the toilet paper dispenser so that when the next person goes to reach...


It's a trap!


Once-upon-a-time I was an HR Manager. This is my worst story:

Once I had a dude who looked great on paper for a mid-level role at the large non-profit I worked for (we were a homeless & addiction rehab shelter). Easily the type of resume for our operations dept which made us all think "oooh this guy looks good; he could be management material someday with these type of credentials." I phone interviewed him and thought "oh yeah, the team's gonna love him." We set up an in-person interview.

I wasn't able to sit in on the in-person interview, so the director of that dept and his best / longest-standing employee did it. Apparently when the guy first showed up and was asked if he'd like anything to drink, he asked for "a bourbon on the rocks...kidding!" and everything went downhill from there.

According to the dept director and the other employee, the interview went IMMEDIATELY TERRIBLE and the guy kept floating things like "...but I bet you're not going to hire me because of _____." They felt like every answer from the guy and every question was meant to be some sort of verbal trap he was laying, so they cut it pretty short.

Later, the guy called me back directly (he had my office # because I had used it to phone interview him) and left a VM. He started by saying essentially "thank you for the opportunity, but I really didn't appreciate how you guys clearly didn't want to hire me because I'm a male / I'm too old / I'm a father / I have a chronic medical issue / I was an alcoholic 10+ years ago / I was once homeless / etc etc." All of these are verbal traps, and I am 100% sure he was trying to trap us so he could disparage the organization and sue us. I can say DEFINITIVELY that none of these were true, we weren't thinking of any of these things, and we were damn-near ready to hire him before the interview had he done as well as he did on paper and in the phone interview. The only reason we didn't hire him was because he was clearly a malicious psychopath, and it was pretty clear he wanted the organization's money but had no intention of doing any real work (besides ~ an hour of interviewing) to get it.

I had to bring the issue up with our CEO and CFO, and we drafted a very clear statement in return, which I left by voicemail and email. "Dear Mr. ____, thank you for the opportunity to interview you. In response to your prior communication, we feel it very important to clarify that we have not yet decided on a final candidate for this role, and as we discussed in both your phone interview and your in-person interview, the only consideration we will make when deciding on a final candidate is whether one's professional qualifications match the needs of this role. Thank you for your time. We will keep you informed on our final decision. Sincerely..."

F--- that guy.


No demonstration needed.

Came in to work early for a morning shift (work in an industrial lab). Heard noises from the back corner of the office portion of the building but can't make out what they are because of distortion.

Head that way to see what was going on as I was the only one there (so I thought) at 3 am. See my lab manager f*cking the district manager (her boss) while the HR Rep for the district is sitting there...enjoying the view.

I NOPED and went to the lab and tried to forget what happened.


To be fair, relationships between direct reporters needs to be brought to HR's attention. I just didn't realize a demonstration was also required.


That's a lot of bullsh*t.

  1. I had a bookkeeper that paid himself two checks every week. We did not catch it for a year.
  2. Another bookkeeper quit and files for unemployment. He then claimed a claim with EEOC that he had a disability and we failed to make accommodations for him. The disability was alcoholism, and the accommodations were leaving early to attend AA meetings. Seriously, we had to hire a lawyer to fight that.
  3. A guy I hired hurt himself on the first hour of the first day of work, he claimed he fell and hit his head on the wall. He was out for weeks on workman's comp for the concussion. Then when he came back on light duty, he could only do desk work but managed to fall again in the bathroom and hit his head again. It took me 9-months to get rid of him. It turns out this was not his first rodeo, when I called his former employer the lady I spoke to made an offhand comment about workplace accidents and head injuries and the importance of cameras in the workplace
  4. While doing a remodel of a museum, one of my employees helped himself to a gun that was on display. It was very ugly and embarrassing for everyone. My company was kicked off the job and banned from ever working for them again. I fired the guy and he filed a discrimination claim with EEOC because I did not fire the whole crew, just him.
  5. I got more..


That's bad management.


I had a friend working a GM when HR thought it was a good idea to test everyone on the skill set needed for their department regardless of how long they were in their position. Long careers, 15, 20, 25 years were ruined because even though they worked there for a long time with a long string of great performance reviews, they didn't pass the test that measured what HR thought was required for the department.

Say your a materials expert working in a design department. You may know barely enough in the CAD system to draw a cylinder. On the other hand, given a cylinder, you can whip out all the properties that cylinder would have if it were made from aluminum, cold rolled steel, fiber glass etc. You'd be out of your job because HR said you had to have a certain level of CAD expertise even if it wasn't relevant to your role in the design process.


That's just awful.

My friend who worked in HR told me about her old job where the boss had drilled a hole from his office through to the ladies changing rooms. They found out because someone saw the light through the hole as he took the cover off for a peek.

He denied everything and they had to take a DNA sample from the carpet under the hole which confirmed it was him.