Some 250 UPS employees walked out for 90 minutes — in protest for the firing of fellow employee union activist Jairo Reyes. Twenty were fired immediately, with the other 230 being told that they will be terminated once their replacements have been trained, according to the New York Daily News.

It’s an interesting situation. I’ve often given the advice to deal with a bad boss by getting all your coworkers together because it’s unlikely that they’ll fire all of you. But, clearly, this advice would have been the wrong advice for the UPS workers, because UPS did fire them — even though they need to hire replacements.
To keep reading, click here: Should you stand up to your employer?

{ 4 comments }

Survey: How to communicate with Millennials at work

by Evil HR Lady on April 4, 2014

The traditional way to communicate benefits and policies to employees is to hand the new hires a stack of pamphlets, paperwork and an employee handbook. A survey released Wednesday by Guidespark, an employee communication firm, finds that’s not a good model for Millennials, who respond more positively to other forms of communication.

According to the survey, 43 percent of Millennials haven’t read most of their employee handbook. While 30 percent of other employees haven’t read most of their handbooks either, this is a significant difference. In fact, 36 percent of Millennials don’t even know where their handbooks are.
To keep reading, click here: Survey: How to communicate with Millennials at work

{ 3 comments }

A bathroom etiquette question

by Evil HR Lady on April 4, 2014

Dear Evil HR Lady,

My workplace is set up in such a manner that several employee offices and cubicles are located directly adjacent to a single stall bathroom (mine included).  I have furnished this bathroom with an air freshening spray to help cover up my own “permeations”.  It has been brought to my attention (and not missed by me at all) that an employee who unfortunately has colitis, does not use the air freshener at all when doing her business.  This has become a distraction to several people when it occurs as you can imagine scent wafts around the room.

I understand she may not realize the odor that emits from the restroom upon her leaving and also speculate that perhaps she does not like the type of air freshener that is currently in the bathroom.

In order to not single her out (she is not the only culprit) I would like to put up a polite sign in the restroom to ask that people use the spray when necessary.  Our customers also use this restroom so I would like to make the sign general and, as stated, polite enough for all.

What kind of wording would you recommend for this task?  I can’t really find any suggestions for this type of situation.

I’m going to say, right at the outset, that I’m not giving the definitive “this is what you should do!” answer, because I’m not sure. But, I will say, passive aggressive signs are not the answer–especially since customers use this bathroom.

My first vote would be to install one of those air-fresheners that goes over the door, and sprays every time the door opens or closes. (The bathroom at my church has this!) Another option would be have the boss remind all of the staff to use air freshener because of the employees that have to sit close to the bathroom.

Honestly, people are embarrassed by the odors they create, and they probably don’t realize that it’s wafting out of the bathroom area and into your cubicle. I think a one time request from the manager would probably do the trick.

As for customers? Well, you can’t tell customers things like that. Which is why I vote for the automatic air freshener. Problem solved and no hurt feelings or embarrassed people.

{ 13 comments }

With all of his good works, Bill Gates‘s recent comments about the future of employment are enough to spark fear in the hearts of anyone who depends on a salary to keep the lights on and food on the table.

The famed Microsoft co-founder was recently quoted by Business Insider as saying: “Software substitution, whether it’s for drivers or waiters or nurses…it’s progressing…. Technology over time will reduce demand for jobs, particularly at the lower end of skill sets… Twenty years from now, labor demand for lots of skill sets will be substantially lower. I don’t think people have that in their mental model.”

To keep reading, click here: Bill Gates on the Future of Employment (It’s Not Pretty)

{ 3 comments }

The secret to gaining more career bargaining power

by Evil HR Lady on March 31, 2014

If you’ve ever visited a country where bargaining is the norm, you learn very quickly that you have to be willing to walk away. If the salesman knows you really, truly want what he’s selling, the price is going to be far greater than the price if he thinks he has to win you over. In your career having that ability to walk away gives you a tremendous advantage over those who can’t. Here’s why and how to get that ability.

To keep reading, click here: The secret to gaining more career bargaining power.

{ 0 comments }

Job hunting tip: You don’t need to ask for the job

by Evil HR Lady on March 28, 2014

Finding a new job can be a painful, tedious and humiliating experience. There’s nothing like sending out hundreds of resumes and having only a few companies actually respond — and then you go through the interview and hear nothing. It’s disheartening and you can start to think, “Maybe they didn’t know I wanted the job.” In fact, I received this email from a discouraged job seeker:

I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to say “Hey HIRE ME. I’m the best for this position,” without coming off rude, cocky, and/or arrogant. But I also don’t want to look extremely desperate. I’ve tried doing it in a joking manner when they ask if there is anything question by saying “Why yes when do I start?”, but I’m not sure if it is helpful. PLEASE HELP

First, you don’t need to say, “Hire Me!” or do anything that says specifically you want this job. They already know you want this job. And you can’t say you’re the best for the position because, unless you sat in on the interviews with all the other candidates, you really have no idea. And no matter how you say you’re the best, it comes across as pompous and (shockingly) naive. Yes, naive — it tells the interviewer that you have no idea what the job market is like.

{ 8 comments }

Think before you delete that Facebook post

by Evil HR Lady on March 27, 2014

Let’s say your boss has been sexually harassing you, so you hire a lawyer and sue. It might be a good idea to clean up any positive references to your boss on your Facebook account, because then it might look like his sexual conduct wasn’t unwanted, right?

Wrong. And Heather Painter found that out the hard way, to the tune of a sanction in her lawsuit. Painter worked for a dentist who climbed on top of her and held her down. Slam dunk lawsuit, right? Well, the dentist, Aaron Atwood, says he was just tickling her and that the sexual nature of their relationship was “consensual.” (When you add in the fact that Painter also babysat for Atwood, the whole thing goes into the seriously icky category.)

To keep reading, click here: Think before you delete that Facebook post

{ 10 comments }

Should You Clean Up Your Facebook?

by Evil HR Lady on March 27, 2014

I received a pitch from RepNup, a company that helps you check your Facebook history so you can clean it up before your employer or hopeful employer looks at it. I figured, what the heck, it’s free, so I’ll take a look at what comes back in my history. I live a pretty tame life–I’m in my 40s, I’m married, have 2 kids, and am the head of the children’s organization at church. So, yeah, I wasn’t concerned about what would come back. (And, professionally I counsel people on what not to put up in social media, so you’d think I should know to be careful!)

Anyway, RepNup came back with 5 questionable posts, 1 questionable share, and 2 questionable photos. I’m laughing so hard, I have to share. I realize this is not the normal reaction when people find out that their posts are “questionable.” So, here is my “questionable” Facebook activity. Go ahead and run yourself a RepNup report and post your favorite PG or G rated posts in the comments, and I will use some of them in an upcoming article. (You can post PG13 and above posts with the appropriate edits. No bad words or sexually explicit things or I’ll delete! My mom reads this blog.)

1. Got a great Evil HR Lady email today. Someone is terribly upset because she was “forced to resign” for sending nude “modeling” photos of herself to coworkers. I mean, how unfair is that????? Glad I’m not working the front lines of HR.

I’m sure this one was tagged because of the “nude modeling photos.” No, she didn’t send me the pictures. I don’t open attachments from people I don’t know anyway.

2. Got a mani/pedi last night. Before you get too jealous, it was done at the salon of [9 year old offspring] and [4 year old offspring]. [9 year old] did quite a good job on my toes–the big ones even have stars on them. [4 year old], however, needs a bit of work. So, if you see me today, I realize that it looks like I’ve just murdered someone with my bare hands, but it’s just [4 year old's] manicure job.

Guessing the phrase “murdered someone with my bare hands” set off the filter. As it should!

3. I forgot to report on a very important event from our vacation. When [Evil Marketing Man] went to check out of the hotel in Budapest, there was a very obnoxious American (or at least American accented) family checking out. The mom was throwing a fit about every little thing and basically being the perfect example of the “ugly American.” When they finally left the front desk clerk apologized to [Evil Marketing Man] for having to hear that and removed all of our breakfast costs from the bill to compensate for having to hear the crazy American woman.

When we boarded our train back to Austria, this same family was there. [Evil Marketing Man] wouldn’t let me go up and thank the lady for the discount on our hotel bill.

I’m not 100 percent sure on what triggered this one. “Ugly American”? “throwing a fit”? By the way, Budapest was lovely and the food was delicious.

4. Frequently, I will go with [10 year old offspring] to school, and then jog/walk home, while listening to podcasts on my Kindle Fire. This morning, against parental advice, [10 year old] took two Kindles with her. She’s allowed one at school and she knows she can’t have two. Consequence: No kindles at all.

If you are counting, you’ll realize that now I’m going to be running home, carrying three rather largish electronic devices. Plus, my headphones. The podcast today was from Freakonomics and was on suicide. As I neared my house, I have to go through a short tunnel under the train tracks. The sound changed substantially and I thought, hmmm, that’s funny. Why would a tunnel affect how I hear thing when it’s coming through head phones?

And because I’m pretty bright (if you exclude this event), I realized it wouldn’t change if it were coming through headphones, which means it wasn’t coming through headphones. I checked, and my headphones were not plugged in all the way.

Which means, I’m the crazy woman, running along the river, carrying 3 kindles and blasting an English podcast on suicide.

I apologize to the expat community for how I represent you all. At least everyone I passed (or who passed me!) has a good story to share.

I suppose the mention of suicide is what caused this to be tagged. And, in case you were wondering why my Offspring wanted 2 Kindles, they are on different accounts so they have different books. This is the child that we punish by forbidding her to read. She reads a lot.

5. Watched Annie tonight with the kids. I remember thinking it was a dumb story when I watched it at a slumber party at [friend's] house long ago. It is still dumb, and I don’t get why people love it. Explain, please!

This one, I can’t quite figure out. Are slumber parties considered bad? Are my career aspirations now finished????

As for the questionable photos, one was the one used to illustrate this article: How Will You Be Remembered? It’s of a naked statue used as a headstone. My artistic friends assure me that this is just art and not a rendition of the man buried beneath. I still say, not what I want on my tombstone. I’d worry about it, but since Inc, which is fairly respectable, was okay with using it, I’m not going to clean it from my Facebook profile.

The other “suspect” photo was taken in Tel Aviv, Israel. Before going to Israel I never knew circumcision graffiti existed. Now you do too!

grafittiAnd my questionable link? An article from that sketchy publication known as The New York Times: A Line Between Sweet and Skimpy.

So, now you know my deep dark secrets.

 

{ 24 comments }

When Bad Job Applicants Can Be Your Best Hire

by Evil HR Lady on March 26, 2014

Some people dismiss certain “types”of job candidates out of hand, regardless of skills, experience or potential. If you don’t fit their idea of what an employee should be like, you’re rejected. This is, of course, illegal in the case of race, religion, disability and a few other things, but perfectly legal in many cases.

Is this wise behavior? Absolutely not. Once you start hiring people, the last thing you want is a bunch of clones. Instead, you should hire people who are not like you and won’t be your best friend. Look at how they will do in the job, and how they will help your company grow, not if they can all fit a personality profile. Yes, culture matters, but you should prioritize diversity and merit.

Fellow Inc. columnist, Steve Cody, wrote 13 Types of Job Applicants You Should Never Hire, a week or so ago. And, frankly, I disagree with him on lots of his points. In fact, I think you should look for some of these very people he dismisses out of hand. Not all of them, of course. I agree, you should avoid the Drama Queen and the Improvisation King and the Mobile-Device Maven. The last thing you need is an unprepared, phone tapping, drama generating employee creating havoc in your office.

To keep reading, click here: When Bad Job Applicants Can Be Your Best Hire

{ 3 comments }

I receive tons of email (evilhrlady@gmail.com) from people asking how to manage workplace situations. While bad employees are just as prevalent as bad bosses, these people are asking about their bosses. If you see yourself in these emails, stop it!

This employer doesn’t respect talent:

I have a puzzling situation at my job that I don’t know how to approach. Recently, I was in a role where my job re-evaluated and decided that my function and job level should be higher based on my work. With that being said I was re-leveled to one position higher into a role. If I had applied for that position I would have received a 10 percent raise. I was told since I was already in the role I didn’t qualify for the raise.  To me this doesn’t make sense. Even though my salary range increased I was shafted from missing an important raise while moving up the stagnant corporate ladder. Do I have anything I can do?

To keep reading, click here: Why Not Giving Employees a Raise Can Cost You a Fortune

{ 0 comments }