29 October 2023 |

HR Horror Stories:

By Hebba Youssef

^^ live footage of me reading these stories

A few weeks ago I asked readers to submit their horror stories and let me tell y’all there were ZERO disappointments!

Tomorrow I’m dropping a special Halloween pod where I read some of these stories. 

Below, you’ll find some of my favorite stories for you to read! 

Feeling inspired? Submit your story here and maybe we’ll turn this into a series. 

Curious about how you feel about these, so drop me a line if you have feedback! 

The Tale of the Unusual Ask:

This isn’t an HR story, but still unsettling…

 While working as an Admin Assistant, my boss called me into his office, and I came in prepared to see what this Franklin Hart type of boss wanted. 

I was expecting I would need to show him how to include an attachment in an email or just type the email for him, but instead, he asked for me to follow him to the parking lot. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when we arrived at his car, he pulled out his phone and asked me to take a few photos of him standing next to his sports car. We went back to his office where he wanted to pose for more photos. Once he posed on top of his desk, I gave him his phone back telling him that I was done. 

He proceeded to thank me and stated that he can now update all of his dating profiles. 

I felt like I was in a bad dream, and I left feeling dazed and confused. From that day on, I refused to do anything that wasn’t in my job description. 

I never reported this to HR, but I often laugh about it.

The Tale of the CEO Who Doesn’t Get It:

We had an employee requesting FMLA for the upcoming birth of a child. 

The CEO wanted to deny the request because they BELIEVED that the child was not the employee’s husband’s, and had been conceived through an extra-marital affair. 

The CEO wanted me to question the employee about the origins of the child-to-be!

The Tale of Bad Behavior:

Technology industry, sales kick off. Drinking involved (of course). 

Super aggressive, super drunk sales guy starts verbally bullying a physically smaller, less senior employee. 

After a few minutes, he stepped up close to the poor guy and took his pocket square out of his coat and BLEW HIS NOSE ON IT and then put it back and walked away! Like wtf?! Who acts like this? 

Fired that POS.

The Tale of a Termination Gone Wrong:

I once worked with an upper level manager who was truly terrible (no documentation ever, questionable relationships with employees, didn’t manage his people at all). 

I was working with him on a performance plan and later preparing to terminate said underperformer. Besides the horror of having to PUSH him in every step of the performance plan and do much of the work myself, when we finally got to the termination meeting, he ignored the script and plan completely and declined to take ownership for ANYTHING. 

He threw me under the bus as HR, implying that I was driving the decision, and then had the audacity to tell me afterward that he thought the meeting went well. 

It was a literal nightmare of a termination, and he wasn’t the only leader at that company to act that way.

I left the company soon after!

The Tale of Missing the Point:

An employee came to HR after having difficulty communicating with their manager over several months that the workload was unmanageable, and they were unclear on priorities with no response/resolution. 

An HR colleague decided the best solution was to give the employee a gratitude journal to refocus their mindset to be more positive.

Next Week:

I hope you enjoyed this very special edition of I Hate it Here. 

These stories are all true and all submitted by readers like you! 

If you have your own story to share, don’t forget to submit it

Next week we’re back with our regularly scheduled programming. I’m diving into your ATS and the role in your HR tech stack!