September 2, 2014
We know—there are no dumb questions. Well, actually there are—and some of them are asked by CEOs. We're sure none of these were asked by Bill Gates or Michael Eisner, but whoever asked them is in trouble. Still, we enjoyed imagining how we might answer.
- Can I issue a policy that no women should be hired for this position? How about waiting until next week? The legal defense funds are a little low now.
- How much money do I make? Too much.
- Can we cancel the sick people from our insurance? OK, but we'll have to start with you.
- Can you lower my salary while I'm going through my divorce proceedings? I don't want to have my child-support payments based on this high salary. If it would help, we could stop paying you at all.
- Why does HR need a budget? Well, we're really getting too busy to keep having those bake sales.
- Can you train the managers to like their people? Just as soon as we've trained them to like you.
- Can you find my wife a babysitter? Sure. How much do you pay someone to watch her?
- Why does everyone complain that they don't get to spend enough time with their families? Because it's hard to help the kids with their homework between 1:00 and 4:00 a.m.
- (Holding a W-2 form) What's this? That's the little certificate showing that the IRS is a majority shareholder in your income.
- Why do we have to control excessive absenteeism? Let's discuss it when I'm back in the office next month.
Workforce, June 1998, Vol. 77, No. 6, p. 96.