A Sobbing Woman and a Naked Engineer Walk into HR

It had been a strangely calm week in the human resources department.

There had be no crises to handle or fires to put out. So, Ms. HR came into the office humming, enjoying the beautiful morning, and anticipating another calm day.


No. Calm never lasts long in the human resources department.

Today it didn’t last long enough for her to finish her first cup of coffee. She opened her email and found that the dam had broken and a flood of problems were gushing forth.

Somebody had eaten the bookkeeper’s lunch.

The office was both too hot and too cold.

She needed to counsel the receptionist on professional dress.

A knock on her open door made her look up and into the angry faces of two women! “We were walking down the hall when Jake stopped us and made lewd comments. We tried to get past him, but he grabbed me. There were other people there. They saw him and told him to leave us alone. You need to do something about him!”


Ms. HR could have guessed which man did it even if they hadn't told her – Jake! He was already on probation for comments he made to the accountant.


She called security to escort Jake to her office  – after he was dressed. Once there, she went over the company’s zero-tolerance policy and put his termination letter in front of him.

“Jake, when I put you on probation, I told you that there would not be another chance. Another incident would be cause for immediate termination. Now you’ve harassed two more women.”

Jake looked shocked.


I just told you.

It never happened!

I'm certain it did happen – with two different women and there were witnesses.

I don’t feel like you believe me.

No, I don’t. Besides that, I just found you in your office, naked!

I was not! I had on my boxers.

That’s naked enough. We’re finished here.

I don’t think you're on my side!

Tom will escort you to your locker and out of the building.

You know what? I don’t feel welcomed here!


Tom took Jake’s arm to escort him out, but Jake turned back.                      

Wait! Will there be any severance?

With Jake gone, she started on the paperwork, but was interrupted again. This time it was Paula, the new assistant to the Executive Vice President, who stood at her door – sobbing, wet-faced, make-up running.


Bill again! His third assistant this year!

Ms. HR sighed and handed the woman a box of tissues, recalling, wistfully, that there had been one whole week without a need for tissues.

“Paula, you're not fired. I'll find another position for you. (And another, hopefully thicker-skinned, assistant for Bill.)

But first, a job for Paula. She had some ideas.


Paula gasped. No!


“Why can't you. They’re both very nice bosses.”

“I know. But I can't work with them.”

“Why not?”

“I just can't.”

“That’s silly. Tell me why.”


Finally alone in her office,

Ms. HR started laughing. She kept laughing all night. The paperwork would be a nightmare, but what other job would give her such great stories!

May 15, 2018