November 30, 2015
Oh, those CEOs—can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em. That might be your conclusion, anyway, after reading the dumbest things CEOs have asked of HR. We tried to ignore the popular holdovers from last year: There are still a lot of CEOs wondering how much money they make, and an alarming number who are all too eager to fire the ill, the potentially ill, the unattractive or the legally protected. But that left us with plenty of dumb questions to choose from. Although a diplomatic few protested that there are no dumb questions, one reader said simply, "Pick a day—get a dumb question." Here are our favorites—plus some responses we’d have been hard-pressed to keep to ourselves had we been asked:
- All of our employees are happy here, aren’t they? I am!
- Am I paying you enough for what you do?
- Wanna go play video games?
- Do I have to put my sick leave down on the time sheet?
- Do we really have to pay overtime if a person says he will work for free?
- Do you think women find it offensive when I laugh at their suggestions?
- Is the Internet open 24 hours a day?
- What color are my eyes?
- Why do I need to talk to employees? Can’t you handle that?
- Why don’t you tell your husband to quit his job to take care of errands for you?
Actually, I’ve been meaning to speak to you about that ...
I guess not. We don’t mark down the times you make us sick.
I guess it depends on whether we really have to respond if the government charges us with labor law violations.
I don’t know. Do you find it offensive when they laugh at your suggestions?
Yes, but you’ll need the special after-hours password.
They’re about to be black and blue.
Sure, if I can tell them what I really think.
Workforce, June 1999, Vol. 78, No. 6, p. 40.