Humor in HR: “You Might Be An HR Manager If…”

by Michael Haberman on April 16, 2010 · 10 comments


“A man went to apply for a job. After filling out all of his applications, he waited anxiously for the outcome. Them employer read all his applications and said “We have an opening for people like you.” “Oh, great,” he said, “What is it?” “Its called the door!”

There are some days in HR were the only thing you can do to make the day tolerable is to laugh. I have had some funny situations occur to me that I use as stories in my speeches, my classes or in just having a beer with a friend. Some were not so funny at the time, but got funnier as time passed. A favorite involved a morbid story about a missing finger, the dark and a big brutish foreman who was afraid of looking for the finger in the dark. Another involves falling asleep in the middle of an interview… yep.. I fell asleep.

In one company were I worked  HR was often “joke central.” So not only did we have funny real stories we had jokes as well. Being able to tell a good joke was an asset in my job, especially in a mostly male manafacturing plant. I have found humor is often a great “ice breaker.”

So tell us your favorite joke or favorite funny story! We can even do a “You might be an HR Manager if…” So get those creative juices going….

(Picture credit: I got this off of Yahoo, but could not find it again to give proper attribution. My apologies to the artist.)

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 16, 2010 at 7:29 pm

A job applicant listed one of his references as deceased on his resume. Not sure how we were surpose to contact the reference. Maybe the ouija board?

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@BenjaminMcCall April 16, 2010 at 9:45 pm

2 jokes
(1) I think a good question to ask the hiring manager… "Do you press charges?"

(2) Q. If you had a gun with 2 silver bullets, a vampire, a werewolf and an HR manager, who would you shoot?
A. The HR manager twice; just to be sure.
http://ReThinkHR.org

Reply

John Jorgensen April 17, 2010 at 9:06 am

@jkjhr A couple of things bounce to the front of my mind. One was filling out an accident report for workers' comp on a guy who cut his head on the toilet paper holder in the plant washroom. Another was the cover letter received (with no resume) saying "I want your sales job. Does it come with a car? I don't have one".

One of my favorite roundtable topics at meetings have always been HR horror stories.

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Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR April 18, 2010 at 7:49 pm

I had a candidate bring his lunch to an interview started eating his whopper and asked me if I wanted one of his fries.

I had one candidate ask me to use my phone, she used it to call in sick to her current employer.

I can't make this stuff up…

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Michael D. Haberman, SPHR April 19, 2010 at 9:22 am

These are some funny stories! I was in an interview class one time and we started talking about strange interviews and two people said they had candidates who had their pet snake inside their shirt during the interview. Weird stuff.. let's hear somemore.

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JC February 25, 2016 at 2:45 pm

One new hire fell asleep while completing the new hire paperwork…then didn’t go take his drug test.

One applicant hit on me, then stalked me on facebook and LinkedIn, so much so to the point I had to get a male (rather large) coworker to tell him to stop visiting.

One applicant brought us jollof rice (African dish) unsolicited.

I told an employee once they had been reported for having alcohol on their breath and had to be taken to test, and the first thing they said afterward was they needed to use the restroom.

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Michael Haberman March 29, 2016 at 12:31 pm

Some very interesting situations JC. You could write a book!

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Stuart Ross June 6, 2016 at 2:48 pm

When I was in recruiting I came across some strange resumes. Half way through reading one resume it suddenly changed into a match.com likes and dislikes of the opposite sex…if you are going to cut and paste, be sure it’s from the correct document. Proof reading would also have come in handy there. Another resume simply read, “I have no experience.”

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Michael Haberman August 5, 2016 at 11:45 am

Interesting Stuart. Stupid mistakes can certainly be … well stupid.

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Tim June 22, 2016 at 1:52 pm

People shouldn’t rely on spell check. Recently, I had a resume for a reception position that stated “I work well with the pubic”

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