Long reads

HR's worst timewasting queries

28 Jan 2021 By PM Editorial

We asked People Management readers to tell us about the weirdest or most pointless problems they've ever been asked to deal with – and you didn't disappoint

Some issues HR is called upon to solve are far from business critical. People Management readers share their most memorable queries...

"I had complaints that someone was eating biscuits at their desk when they knew 
the person was on a diet."

– David Miles, HR consultant

"An HR manager at a firm that held its own ‘Olympics’ said she’d mediated an issue caused by improper technique in the egg and spoon race."

– Mark Goodwin, HR software sales consultant

"A new employee raised a grievance about the office toilet paper. They said the cheap brand showed a “lack of consideration and respect”."

– Zoe Bruce, head of HR at Concorde BGW

"Two colleagues fell out because one would allow their belongings to encroach on to the other’s desk. One day they snapped and threw the offending articles out of the window."

– Amandeep Manget, senior HRBP at Breast Cancer Now

"A man was pimping out his wife using the company freephone number. There was also a member of staff who brought his pet snake to work and frightened people with it."

– Gary Cookson, director of Epic HR

"An employee was very upset when his sandwich was stolen, and I was told it would need to be investigated."

– Lyn Blewitt, principal consultant at Omega HR

"One employee raised a grievance because his favourite crisp flavour got replaced in a vending machine."

– Anon

"I had to conduct a disciplinary for gross misconduct with someone who repeatedly put drawing pins on colleagues’ chairs."

– Luke Hannon, talent acquisition specialist at Cobiro 

"A candidate once complained that the interviewer blinked too much during the interview and distracted them."

– Anon

Learning and Organisational Development Manager (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)

Learning and Organisational Development Manager (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion)

Manchester, Greater Manchester

£38,000 - £44,000 pa

General Medical Council

HR Business Partner x3

HR Business Partner x3


£45,000 per annum


Head of People and Organisational Development – South Yorkshire Police

Head of People and Organisational Development – South Yorkshire Police

Based at Nunnery Square, Sheffield; however we are looking at a more agile approach to the workplace

Salary of £72,933 - £79,878 on the scale Exec 5 plus generous employee benefits.

South Yorkshire Police

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