Danny & Family

Just Some Random Stories About Me and My Family

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Saturday Morning Post - Vol. 3 - A Work Story

One of the aspects of my job includes investigating major policy violations committed by employees of our company. When managers first become aware of these policy violations, they are required to report them to me, and then I do my thing. The conclusion of my investigation will include a directive of what action will be taken with the employee. So with that background for the benefit of those reading, and as promised in my kickoff post of this Saturday Morning Series, here's a story of a stupid thing done by an employee:

A manager of one of our facilities called me one fine Monday morning this past spring to report that he found an empty beer can in an office on a file cabinet. This manager was opening up that facility this particular morning after it had been closed for business the day before. This manager knew one of his subordinate supervisors was responsible for closing up the facility the day before that. By the time the manager had called me, he had already reviewed the security surveillance video. He described to me that there were two employees in the facility after the close of business, and that one was the supervisor responsible for closing up.

None of the video that the manager viewed showed either employee drinking anything. The video the manager viewed spanned the time frame from when customers and other employees left to when the motion-triggered cameras stopped filming (as there would be nothing to film if there are no employees left in the building). There was, however, one piece of video that appeared to show the supervisor holding something in his hand and bringing it up towards his head, but it took a lot of imagination to conclude that he was throwing back a brew. The lack of video evidence tells me a couple of things - they weren't drinking, or they drank somewhere out of the sight of the cameras.

In discussing the situation with the manager, we acknowledged that the video evidence was weak, so I had the manager interview his supervisor and report back to me afterwards. I told him to ask his supervisor if he knew about the beer can, and whether he or anyone else had been drinking on the premises. When he did, I fully expected to hear that the supervisor denied all knowledge of the beer can, or of at least knowing how it was found on a file cabinet in an office within the facility. Just when I thought I had heard it all . . .

The supervisor told his manager that the beer can was his, and that he intended to throw it away. The supervisor explained that he didn't drink it at our facility, but that he drank it at his other job, and didn't want to throw it away there. The manager and I discussed this shocking revelation further. He knew that his supervisor had a second job, which he worked on weeknights after completing his day job at our company.

So if there's an ounce of truth (or 12 oz's) to the supervisor's story, he would have worked at our facility on Friday, worked his 2nd job on Friday night - at which time he consumed at least this one beer, and then worked the closing shift for our company on Saturday. His explanation begs some questions: why didn't he throw the can of beer away after leaving his 2nd job on Friday night? Why didn't he throw it away at home? Why bring it to his day job, where he holds a position in management? Even if he brought it to our facility, there's a dumpster outside of the building. Why bring it inside and put it on top of the file cabinet? Was it there all day during business for customers and other employees to see?

Due to the lack of evidence in this case, we did not take any action against the supervisor. However, his credibility with his manager, regional manager, and yours truly - has tanked. I can advise management on what discipline to carryout on employees, I can help management craft a development plan to help their subordinates improve in their performance, but I can't fix stupid.

See you next Saturday morning.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Saturday Morning Post - Vol. 2 - Year One

This morning I've decided to review the movie Year One. Year One opened in theaters yesterday, and if you are a fan of Jack Black, or like watching silly comedies, you will probably enjoy the movie - but not that much. My wife and I went on a rare date together, and saw the movie at our local theater. We like Jack Black, and had also seen Nacho Libre on opening night a couple of years ago.

Year One is funny at times, silly at times, dumb at times; not as funny as Nacho was, but basically met my expectation. From just watching the trailers online over the past month or so, I figured I was watching all of the funniest scenes that the movie would offer. But now having seen the it, there were a couple more funny scenes. Keep in mind, what's funny for me is probably not funny for you. Even my wife and I don't agree on that. She's drawn more to this type of a silly comedy than I am.

The audience in our theater seemed to enjoy the movie. There were times when the laughter was hearty and widespread, but not as much as I recall with Nacho. Overall, I would recommend it - if you like movies such as Monty Python's Life of Brian, or Mel Brooks' History of the World Part 1. But if you prefer cutting edge topical humor - you will not find any in Year One. If you are offended by any humor directed at the bible, or if it's important to you to have historically accurate facts, then this movie is not for you.

I'm not an expert on the bible, but I'm pretty sure the stories of Adam and Eve, Cane and Able, and Abraham nearly sacrificing his son Issac - didn't all take place at the same time, let alone during the time when the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah where thriving cities. All of this comes into play in the movie, as Jack Black (a hunter) and Michael Cera (a gatherer) in a pre-historic tribe, leave their tribe on a journey.

I'm not going to tell the whole story, but in short the pair travel, share several experiences, and there's a happy ending for both.

See you next Saturday morning.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Saturday Morning Post - Series Kickoff

I'm going to make another attempt to post on a regular basis. My numerous and faithful readers might have noticed a lengthy absence from my own posts and from the comments I leave on their blogs. True, until about two weeks ago, I hadn't posted anything since Dec. '08. I've only been reading blogs on and off since then, and commenting very infrequently. You see, it all comes down to time. Specifically the lack of time I have to spend blogging due to the other things in my life that have a higher priority. I've realized that have to do something for me: something that I enjoy doing. So I'm going to post on my blog on a regular basis.

I'm an early riser on weekdays due to work, and even on Sunday morning due to church. The one day a week that I "get" to sleep in is Saturday. Without setting my alarm clock, my body clock still wakes me up around the time my alarm would, but I usually go back to sleep with no problem. However, I find it hard to stay asleep past 6:00 a.m., even if I've gone to bed later than normal the night before. So for me, Saturday mornings have been a quiet time that I can do whatever I want, which has usually been something on my computer. Many times that's been work, i.e., doing work for my job that I've brought home, but there have been times when I've done fun things on the computer - like blogging, updating Facebook, visiting various web pages, etc.

So today I kickoff an effort to write a post every Saturday morning during my quite time alone, before my wife, kids, and our puppy wakes up; before I start doing the many chores I do on weekends, and before I do the work that I brought home. The subjects will vary, but will be similar to previous posts. I know those subjects are very interesting to my numerous and faithful readers. Please note my poor attempt at humor. a co-worker gave me an idea for a post subject: talk about some of the stupid situations I deal with at work. Now I've mentioned my work on previous posts, but I don't think I've shared specific stories about real situations.

For those who don't know or have forgotten, I am a human resources manager for a medium-size company. My job is employee relations, and I spend much of my time advising management at all levels of the company on how to deal with their employees when they have problems with either performance, conduct/behavior, or policy/procedures. I'm also the HR contact person for all employees when they are having problems with their co-workers or supervisors. I also conduct internal investigations when serious allegations are made, such as racial discrimination, or sexual harassment. I spend a great deal of time documenting many conversations, which is why I frequently bring work home.

I can easily share with you many stories of the STUPID things employee have done that management has to report to me, for which I advise them of appropriate action. Just when I thought I heard it all . . . . can be the beginning of many of my stories. So next Saturday I'll share one of those, and rotate those type of stories with other things in my life - like the new puppy we got a few months back. Please check back.

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