In honor of Halloween, I thought I might keep things on the lighter side and walk down “memory lane” a bit, recalling notable “characters” from my years in the working world — or at least situations in which our “best and brightest” thinking didn’t exactly shine through. Have you known characters or situations like these? Please share your stories … and we’ll enjoy a (kind-hearted) laugh or two together (all in good fun, of course)!
. . . Mr. Plant, I Presume: the sales executive who spotted his boss airport and, because he owed him some data that he didn’t have, decided to “hide” … behind a potted plant (yes, this is almost too cliched to be true — but it is)
. . . Just Doing My Nails: the HR person who was so relaxed, she regularly did her nails in team meetings — complete with bag of manicure supplies spread on the table, cotton balls between each finger, etc., etc., etc.
. . . No Role Plays For Me, Thanks: the quiet, shy CFO who, when attending management training, was so upset by the prospect of having to participate in a “role play” that he declared “this training is over” and literally climbed over the conference room table to get out the door and escape
. . . Who Does He Work For Again: the sales executive whose retirement was delayed for several months because no one could decide who should sign the paperwork — because no one would admit to being his supervisor (yep, you guessed it — the same person who tried to hide behind the potted plant)
. . . Isn’t It February Yet: the manager of the then-failing branch who spent three weeks decorating the office … for Valentine’s Day
. . . No Communications, Please — We’re In Marketing: the Marketing VP who wouldn’t allow her people to talk with us (the HR team — we were located on the same floor, next to one another) without her permission, even regarding work-related items.
. . . It’s A Dangerous World Out There: the inside legal counsel who offered me his gun to carry with me when he found that I was traveling to New York (unfortunately, he was serious)
. . . Nicknames For Everyone: the same legal counsel who decided I needed a nickname “because all Italian people have nicknames” — and who then proceeded to nickname me “Mick” after Mickey Mantle , who I resemble in no way, shape, or form.
. . . Thanks For The Party, I Think: the senior manager who decided to give a laid-off employee a going-away social of frozen yogurt and fruit, and in giving the toast, explained that we were letting the person go because “we can get his function done cheaper and better by an outside firm” — with the person standing right there, holding his frozen yogurt
. . . Funny That You Mention That: the candidate who decided to open the final interview for a credit reporting supervisor position in a credit reporting agency by noting, “It’s so funny that I’m here today … I have the worst credit ever!” Somehow, we chose not to hire her.