17 Oct 2023

HR Horror Stories- The Dark Side of HR

Enter the spooky world of HR, where strange things happen. In the HR department, where rules are supposed to help, there are stories that scare HR professionals. These spooky tales will make you wonder what might be hiding behind a normal email or a closed office door. Get ready for five scary stories that explore the mysterious and creepy side of HR, where everyday things turn into something eerie.

  1. The Secret Double Life: A Web of Deceit Unveiled

In Human Resources, a startling revelation came to light when an administrative employee submitted an audacious request to enhance her own salary. However, what seemed like a bold move was merely the tip of the iceberg. It was discovered that she had forged her manager’s signature, all while operating a covert side business utilising company resource, including a company PC and printer. A comprehensive investigation laid bare her intricate web of deception, exposing her dual existence within the workplace. Statistics reveal that such instances of unethical behaviour can impact business integrity, with approximately 36% of employees reporting that they have observed unethical behaviour in their workplace[i].


  1. The Mirage of Expertise: The Illusion of Credentials

In a poignant lesson about the lengths people go to deceive, a senior employee’s tangled web of lies was unraveled by HR diligence. This senior professional’s façade crumbled when he struggled to furnish his university degree for a mandatory work visa application. His excuses echoed like a broken record, unravelling his fabricated resume. Startlingly, statistics show that this situation is not unique, with studies suggesting that approximately 85% of hiring managers have caught applicants lying on their resumes[ii].


  1. Love and Threats: A Disturbing Call from the Shadows

A chilling phone call thrust HR into a world of unwelcome chaos. A frantic boyfriend accused another employee of issuing alarming threats against his girlfriend. The nature of these threats escalated to physical harm, prompting HR to involve relevant authorities and closely monitor the situation via security cameras for a month. Such alarming incidents are not isolated, as studies demonstrate that nearly 7% of workplaces have experienced threats or violent incidents[iii].


  1. When Nature Invades: From Snakes to Bears

In an unusual turn of events, HR found itself playing the role of an unconventional wildlife handler. First, a giant Burmese python took up residence in an employee break area, prompting HR to put up warnings and ensure employee safety. Next, a black bear made a tree in the parking lot its temporary home, necessitating a buddy policy to mitigate the potential danger. Bizarre as these encounters may seem, statistics indicate that wildlife incidents at workplaces occur more often than anticipated, with over 5,000 instances reported in recent years[iv].


  1. The Fury Unleashed: An Unforgettable Chair-Throwing Incident

A day that began like any other took a nightmarish turn when an employee’s frustration culminated in a chair-throwing spectacle within the cafeteria. HR swiftly intervened, bringing the employee in for a conference room discussion. The tension in the room was palpable, leading HR to be on the brink of dialling for emergency intervention. Instances of workplace violence, though relatively rare, leave a lasting impact on organizations and individuals, with approximately 11% of HR professionals having dealt with physical violence in the workplace[v].

To sum these stories up… In the haunting corridors of Human Resources, real-life tales of intrigue, deception, and alarming incidents beckon. These stories, interwoven with chilling statistics, serve as stark reminders that the realm of HR extends beyond the mundane and into the realm of the unsettling and the extraordinary. The tales of secret double lives, falsified credentials, menacing threats, unexpected wildlife encounters, and explosive emotional outbursts show that HR is a hub for both the expected and the unexpected, reflecting the intricacies of the human experience itself.


Statistics sources:

[i] National Business Ethics Survey (NBES) 2020 by the Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI)

[ii] HireRight Employment Screening Benchmark Report 2020

[iii] U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

[iv] Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA)

[v] Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) “2019 Harassment in the Workplace” survey