Another update from the Jungle…
Gwen, the HR manager, arrives at work in a really bad mood. She’s running twenty minutes late after sitting in traffic on the giant parking lot otherwise laughingly referred to as an interstate highway.
By the time she walks in the door at work, she’s seriously thinking of slugging the first person who gets on her nerves. She faces a gauntlet of raised eyebrows as people look at their watches. Only Ellen is stupid enough to make a sarcastic crack about Gwen’s tardiness.
Gwen dumps her purse, her carry-all, and keys on her desk and heads for the coffee pot. Her day slides downhill again. Someone set the empty coffee pot on the burner without starting a new pot brewing. As she fills the coffee maker, she decides it’s time that the owner, Tim, joins the modern era. She will buy a single cup coffee maker with the company credit card and tell Tim the purchase is for HR supplies.
Gwen mellows slightly after she has a cup of coffee. Back at her desk, she cranks up her laptop and begins reading her emails. The first one is from Laurie, whining again about needing a window view as an accommodation for her unspecified medical condition. Gwen sighs. The company works from a converted warehouse. No one has a window view, not even Tim. Gwen marks Laurie’s email for later in the day and opens the next email.
It involves the Case of the Traveling Trash Can. For weeks, every female employee has been fixated on the mystery of the moving bathroom trash can. The consensus is that the trashcan should be set close to the toilet. But someone is moving the can closer to the sink.
The trash can turmoil is beginning to put a serious dent in productivity as the women eye each other suspiciously. Last week, Gwen found Anita loitering near the bathroom, trying to spot the evildoer moving the trashcan. Gwen is exasperated with all of them and the trash can.
What are Gwen’s options?
- She can nail the trashcan to the floor with a 10-penny nail so that it never moves again.
- She can view the whole mystery as beneath the dignity of an HR manager’s job.
- She can buy a second trash can for the women’s bathroom so that only the cleanup crew is inconvenienced by having to empty an extra trash can.
In the actual situation, Gwen bought a second trash can for the bathroom. When employment laws and company policies can’t fix an HR problem, a little old-fashioned common sense will get the job done.
If your company is struggling with HR issues, Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff as the policies are implemented.
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