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Looking back at HR stories in 2018 – The “you won’t believe it” moments

You truly won’t believe some of the stories we hear whilst working in HR. And 2018 has been no exception. To give you an idea of what we mean, we have pulled together some of our favourite “you won’t believe it” moments from HR this year.

Bad Santa

We all have our off days and can sometimes behave out of character. But what if an employee’s sole responsibility is to represent a very specific, magical character?

The children and parents of St. Ives, Cambridgeshire were left in shock last week when an entertainer playing Santa Claus lost his cool during an emergency fire alarm evacuation. Ripping off his beard and costume, the disgruntled St Nick was seen shouting and swearing at the crowd whilst angrily ordering them to get out.

A quick-thinking parent told her children that it wasn’t the real Santa and that he was an imposter who will certainly be going on the naughty list!

A robot’s revenge

Robot’s may be the way of the future with their highly efficient processes. But what happens when one of them accidentally causes hazardous hysteria in your warehouse?

Amazon found out this year when two dozen of its warehouse workers were hospitalised after an automated machine punctured a cannister of bear repellent. The bear spray is said to contain chilli like chemicals and can cause symptoms such as burning eyes, a sore throat and difficulty breathing.

Can you discipline a robot? You can try but we think your time would be better spent securing the health and safety of your human employees.

I’m an employee… get me out of here!

Challenging your employees can help them to grow in their role and perform to the best of their ability. But there are certain challenges that are best left outside of the workplace.

Earlier this year in what could be best described as an episode of “I’m an employee… get me out of here!” a Chinese home décor company was seen to be subjecting employees to shocking penalties in a bid to address poor performance. Punishments included eating cockroaches and drinking urine!

The activity went viral and the badly-behaved managers have since been arrested. It is true that poor performance must be addressed but unskilled managers also need guidance and support.

A fondant farewell

When an employee decides it’s time for them to move on, it’s not uncommon for others to organise a send-off to bid them farewell. A card, leaving do and even cake can be typical customs.

What is not expected however is for the baked goods at a leaving do to be used as sweet revenge!

A bitter employee in Michigan, USA, was found to have put laxatives in some brownies baked for a departing colleague. Thankfully no one had eaten them, and the police were called in after a tip off from another staff member.