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Tales from the Peers

For some Halloween fun, subscribers and I are sharing some of our spooky, scary, cringe worthy, and overall creepy stories. Stay safe and stay well!

Trick or Treat Yo'self...But Not on the Clock

As HR Commander for a county sheriff's office, I handled employee relations for civilian law enforcement positions (detention officers). Sworn peace officers/LEOs had their issues "handled" by Internal Affairs (IA) and the union. Until one day, a phone call got to me quite by mistake. It was a citizen's complaint about a sheriff's deputy who was observed to be pleasuring himself, while in uniform, while in a marked county vehicle, in traffic. The complaint came in from a trucker, who apparently had a lovely vantage point of the car, the car #, and the individual sitting there, evidence in hand, so to speak.

Thankfully, this was before the prevalence of dashcams or mobile phone videography.

I took the statement of the individual, gathered as much information as possible, and forwarded it to IA. To this day, I don't know why my new-to-HR-26-year-old-self was invited along for the interview with the employee, but there I was, in a room full of uniformed Sheriff's Deputies, asking an armed man, "Were you masturbating while driving your vehicle on public roadways?" He acknowledged he DID have his "sidearm" out, but denied it was for masturbatory purposes. Rather, it was due to his need to address a personal issue that he was on his way to his doctor to assess. He said he never would've unzipped and unfurled if he hadn't been in a full stop due to traffic. He then gave a rather bizarre story about an STD and the fact it may or may not have been work-related.

He did receive a disciplinary memo for the incident and some sort of last-chance-agreement. The same deputy was let go a year later, for unrelated performance issues (no pun intended).

Bunny Tales

I will never forget the time I dressed as a cute little bunny to work on Halloween and then had to unexpectedly do some serious HR coaching that day with the employee crying her eyes out. Imagine trying to pull that off with rabbit ears and a pink nose and whiskers. That's the last time I ever showed to work in a Halloween costume. Not to mention I found out a couple years later that the entire place assumed I was dressed as a playboy bunny and was talking about me the entire day!

His Name isn’t Bernie

I worked in property management at the time. A maintenance tech went to an apartment to do a repair. He knocked on the door and when no one answered, let himself in. He went into the bedroom, saw someone in the bed and continued to do the repair! He left without speaking to the person. Sadly, it turned out the resident was dead in the bed and wasn't found (again) for several days, until he began to smell.

I had to write the tech up for not following policy as they were not to do a repair while the resident is home but not aware you are there. We only found out the employee had been in the room when we tied the repair time to time of death, once that was determined). When asked how the repair was complete when the resident was there, tech stated that he saw the resident in the bed and thought he was asleep.

Dressed to the Nines in IT

I once had an IT candidate show up for an interview wearing fishnet hose, short skirt, lace blouse, vest gaping open at the buttons, and very loud makeup. The interview did not go well - not because of the candidate's appearance but because she said things like "I never turn off a computer because that just makes it slower" and "I can't wait to get back in an AS400 environment when we were all servers" and other comments that showed the background wasn't what we needed.

The follow up thank you email had a wallpaper of the Little Mermaid and played the song "Lady". Although she dressed like she was going bar hopping, I mostly cared that she had little knowledge of our systems and equipment. If it was a candidate who was dressed professionally and had great experience and interviewed well, I would have offered the job.

Someone Dodged a Bullet

I worked in a hospital HR department and offered a linen/laundry attendant candidate a job and he declined. The supervisors were a little relieved as something seemed "off" about him. They were proven right when he showed up one late night at the emergency room demanding to see HR because we wanted to take the job after all.

When it was explained that it was after hours and HR wasn't available, he became more agitated. When security tried to get him to leave he pulled a gun and shot himself in the neck. He blew out a whole large window in the ER, too. A panic button was installed in the HR office (basement of hospital) the very next day.

Speaking of Bullets…

It was a Thursday afternoon when I left my workplace. I’d worked at the distribution center in an HR role for about two years. This day didn’t seem different than any other. The distribution center was a fast paced, high turnover place with multiple shifts and different departments. The only days that stood out were the days we brought on more than 50 employees on a given shift. By the end of the day, we’d usually lose at least 25%. With those numbers, terminations, regrettably, were common. The number of what might be considered “disgruntled” ex-employees was probably considered high to others.

I got in my car and headed up the street I normally took to go home. All of the sudden, my passenger’s side front window completely shatters which completely startled and jolted me! But I wanted to get home so I didn’t even think about it much and did not even pull over. This was probably a good move on my part.

I took the car in for repairs the next morning and I was told a bullet is what took the window out! I was once again shocked and jolted! I asked how they knew and they explained it in a way that seemed both likely and technically over my head.

To this day, I can’t be 100% sure of what happened and never found out who could have done it. Per the police, there were no incidents like this in the area reported in years before or years since.

Since that day, I learned various different ways to get home.

What are some of your spooky, scary, cringe worthy, or overall creepy stories?

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I recently went and had everyone update their emergency contact. We had three Spanish speaking employees recently come on board and there was a language barrier but one was able to translate. I'm not sure if something was lost in this translation, but each of them put a different pastor as their emergency contact.

I'm not sure what kind of emergency they're expecting. they also all lived together so I was surprised they all had a different pastor to put down. Or maybe pastor means something different?

In any case, I hope there's never an emergency where I'd need to call a pastor first.

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