Unexpected HR Requests: Your stories

Working in HR can be simultaneously rewarding and exhausting. Bound by confidentiality and a sense of duty, many of us are left without anyone to share our stories or worries with.  Well, here's a chance to get it all of your chest and hear stories from other HR professionals too.

You're invited to share the wackiest, funniest or most unexpected  things that have been requested of you in your role, anonymity of employees compulsory of course. Please comment below or if you feel more comfortable leave an anonymous story in the Google sheet link here : 


I'm sure we all have a tale or two to share, but here are a couple of examples collected so far.

"One employee was insistent that he'd like to have organize visits to senior manager’s homes to get to know them better.  That was not really something I could organise I told him, so I suggested  maybe chatting to them in the office kitchen instead..."

"In a meeting, I had with one enthusiastic young exec, they offered their skills to host an internal 'comedy roast' where everybody had the opportunity to 'tear into' one another and 'clear the air'. I advised that probably wasn't going to be incorporated into my next HR strategy..."

Get sharing! 

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  • We had an employee that was given compassionate leave as a family member had died. In her return to work chat, it turned out it was actually her parrot that had died. She had 3 days off!

    • That's hilarious :) 

  • Having a conversation about this with a friend of mine who did some summer work at a camp america site....on one particular day she was feeling very grumpy and didn't get involved in all the 'team' activities. Next minute she was in front of HR and being disciplined FOR NOT HIGH FIVING BUGS BUNNY....

  • Many years ago 'a friend of mine' went to Amsterdam gigging for a weekend. He basically went AWOL and didn't contact work for a week. Then he rocked up on the following Monday. Summoned to a HR meeting to explain the AWOL my friend explained that they has been offered a few more gigs that week in Amsterdam and hadn't got the number for work to call and try and extend his holiday. Mobile phones were in existence and the HR officer asked why 4 messages with the number to contact the office hadn't been accessed/returned and why his parents didn't know anything about the trip (his next of kin number) as work had contacted them as they were concerned about his safety.....queu excuses of mobile phone batteries dying and no charges etc etc....weak excuses.

    HR gave a a final written warning for this but allowed my friend to keep his job - which is continued to work for the company for another 7 years :)

  • I was once told in a 360 appraisal by a colleage who sat near me that my loud sighing was very off putting! another colleage was told in his 360 that he smelt of cigarettes.  Feel some re-training coming on....................

  • Stolen from a colleague.  One employee was told during his appraisal "you're doing well but you should try to use some initiative rather than waiting to be told what to do".  To which he responded "nobody's ever asked me to do that".

  • I had one employee ask if he could use his expenses daily allowance amount for a cat sitter. Completely serious.

    • Did you tell him that sounded purrfect Lauren or that you were not feline the need to grant his request?

  • Love it Mike I have long thought that in my twilight years I may write a book or a novel on the Secret Diary of an HR practitioner. 

    My wackiest stories are not so much requests just what people in general get up to in their working lives and think for some reason that's OK. But that is what I love about HR you think you have seen it all and then something comes along where you think OK that is a new one on me!  I will have a think about this one!!

    • Looking forward to hearing the stories Sarah :)

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