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Corporate Etiquette 113 . . .

Posted by 2 Dollar Productions Wednesday, January 14, 2009

{The workplace is a jungle filled with jackals, wineheads and bosses with mouths like a crocodile. There are also decent people, but I'm starting to question the percentages. This is the 13th in a series of corporate encounters which offer no easy resolutions.}

I was sitting on my couch this past Saturday, idly nursing a beer, reading a magazine and watching an NFL football play-off game, when my phone rang and jarred me from my comfortable stupor.

Flashed across the television screen read: Jane Doe (not her real name) - the head of the Human Resources department at my office. This nifty phone perk of Time Warner Cable brought me to a near panic because I couldn't fathom why I would be receiving a call from Jane on a Saturday afternoon.

This occurrence was a first after nearly 3 years of employment with the firm.

Like most companies these days, everyone has a vague unease about their own job security and we had been re-orging within my particular department the previous week, so my thoughts flashed warning lights as the phone continued to ring. I was finished - fired - and my boss hadn't even displayed the balls to do it himself.

Then again, maybe it was the college intern who seemed to find my humor questionable. Maybe she finally turned me into HR - the blabbermouth.

I grabbed the phone.

"Hi BDS, it's Jane from work."

I knew it. My television had already told me so.

Jane suddenly launched into a story about her son and her husband who were trying to get in shape in the New Year, and how they wanted to order protein powder, needed advice, etc. She knew I kept powder at the office, and used to be a trainer, so I found myself giving out websites to buy supplements, general tips and other nonsense for the next 15 minutes while my heart returned to a normal beating pattern.

Then, it was over.

After I drained my beer, it was time for a little anger. That conversation couldn't have waited until Monday? Also, the only reason Jane had my home number - which very few people have in or outside of work - was due to her role as HR director and she had abused her power over protein powder?

Too many questions with no good answers, I suppose.

Besides, even if I felt the need to complain to HR, it's difficult to air a grievance about the HR director to the HR director - there's an inherent conflict of interest. It must feel good to be above the law.



  1. Heff Says:
  2. A little off topic, but what's the protein gram per serving count of that powder you posted ? I'm in the market for a stronger product.

  3. Her taking your number from your HR file is a little sketchy. If you had previously offered up your number to her for personal reasons, then it's okay. Also okay, if she was to come up to you while at work and say "Hey, you work out, right? My boys are in need of some phys. ed. guidance. Got any suggestions?"

  4. JLee Says:
  5. That's quite an abuse to take advantage of knowing your phone number, but at least she can't prank call you with your Time Warner setup. ha
    Things are weird at my company too, especially when I'm training other people to essentially do my job. I'm not too worried, but I am for a couple others in my department. Scary.

  6. Heff - No worries. I don't know about that brand as I use Champion Nutrition (chocolate flavor) and two scoops equals about 40 grams of protein. I like that flavor the best of any that I've tried.

    WhatIgot - Definitely a bit sketchy as that is where she pulled it since I never gave it to her. And yes, I agree about the question being just fine as long as it is during work, which is why I can't figure out why the need was so pressing that she couldn't have waited until Monday. Bizarre.

    Jlee - Yep. No prank calling for me, but it just makes you lazier about picking up the phone since you don't even have to leave the couch. Ha. And yes, it is a scary place out there, so let's hope it turns out well for us all & things get back on track sooner rather than later.

  7. Heff Says:
  8. Thanks for the info. I'm currently using some krap from Wal-Mart. The name escapes me, but it's 56g per 2 scoops. Just trying to make sure I wasn't getting screwed on protein count.

  9. Boxer Says:
  10. Not cool. Not cool. Not cool. Some of the worst "boundry-challenged" people I've met have been in HR.

    Give her a protein powder that has a load of fat in it.

  11. Heff - That's pretty good bang for your buck. I used to use Optimum Nutrition Whey that I liked, and it was like 44 grams per two scoops. I've generally found the cheapest rates on and rather than GNC or some physical store (even with the added shipping costs). But Wal-mart might still beat them all.

    Boxer - Not cool indeed . . . The irony of HR people not knowing boundaries like that is somewhat staggering and I should have given a recommendation of something like Muscle Milk which is more geared at weight gain. Ha.

  12. Wendy Says:
  13. That's just weird. And way too forward. She couldn't wait until she saw you at work? Someone in HR should know better. If I were you, I'd be suspicious of her motives. What if she starts sexually harassing you? Like you said, who would you go to about it? But, more importantly, does she know about the Wonder Bread?

  14. Heff Says:
  15. I've been to and, in all honesty, I HAVE bought some "Animal Pak" vitamins there. Pretty amazing that Wal-Mart is kicking their ass on protein powder. I paid 13 bucks for a B-I-G jug of the stuff, and we all know how Heff loves to get a good buy on big jugs...

  16. Miss Ash Says:
  17. Creepy......

    At least you have the display to show you who is calling...perhaps next weekend she will need to know which vitamins are best for her "husband"

  18. Wendy - Exactly on all fronts. She could have waited to ask me at work, there is nobody higher than her in HR at my company, harrassment would NOT be pleasant, and let's hope she doesn't know about the Wonderbread. Some things should be kept a secret among male fashion models & friendly bloggers.

    Heff - I know, but I shouldn't be surprised by anything concerning low prices at Wal-Mart as those bastards are nearly impossible to beat. And yes, a man who enjoys a fair price on big jugs is a man not to be trifled with. Ha.

    Miss Ash - Creepy indeed. It was also total bullshit, and next time, when her name flashes across my TV screen - I'm not picking up. Ha. She can guess on which vitamins work best . . .

  19. Mr. DNA Says:
  20. But everyone is missing the point.

    The real question is; Is she hot?

  21. slopmaster Says:
  22. I heard you can only have a certain amount of protein per day anyway, you just crap out the excess Heff.

    HR in general is a department that shouldn't exist anyway, this is one more reason why.

  23. Romany Angel Says:
  24. I'm fascinated that her name came up on your tv screen. What were you thinking picking up B? I would have said I was out of town and out of range for phone calls. Bad news or good could have waited til Monday.

  25. Mr. DNA - A fair point, however, if that were the case, then my tone of outrage wouldn't have been there . . . Ha.

    Slopmaster - Yeah, there's some point where you piss it out, but I can't recall what that point is or if there were ever enough conclusive studies to say where it stands. And HR is generally only good for a few things like health forms, payroll, etc.

    Romany Angel - I should have taken your advice. I guess I was so shocked that I wasn't thinking properly & some part of my brain had to know the reason for the call. Ha. Regardless, it definitely could have waited until Monday. Monday is a far better day for pure nonsense than a Saturday. Always.

  26. vivavavoom Says:
  27. amazing how everyone is jumpy in this economy now. even if you have no reason to really by. my father in law just got laid off yesterday so it finally hit very close to home and my husband's dept was cut from 6 people to 3 but he was one of the lucky ones who they wanted to have stay but because the station was so volatile he went out and found another job while they were deciding and got hired somewhere he saved someone's job I guess by taking the other job.
    I can say i am glad I am self employed because of not having to worry about being fired but I am worried because the more the stupid recession is on the news the less clients come in the door.

    I had the HR person at my husbands job call me years ago for nutritonal advice but I didn't work for the company directly....and she did call my office #, not our home yes, I think she should have waited til when you were in the office.

  28. Mr DNA, obviously she's not hot. If she was, he wouldn't be complaining about it. Right? Of course I am.

  29. Vivavavoom - That's good news on your husband as it sounds like a good move for him and at least one other person. It is an ugly trend these days to worry, but this thing seems to have finally touched virtually every industry and I hope you keep getting people in the door for yourself as I was self employed for nearly 5 years, and know how it goes. Finally, they should ALWAYS wait until you're in the office for advice. Ha.

    Native Minnow - That was generally my response. Unfortunately - she was not. Ha.

  30. She doesn't care about her husband and her son getting into shape and working out. She wants to work you out ;-)

  31. TrinabeingTrina - Ha. Regardless, she could have cornered me in the office, in the flesh so to speak if that were the case too. :) Just leave me alone on the weekend.

  32. SymplyAmused Says:
  33. I think it's an abuse of obtaining your personal information but then again, perhaps since is was personal questions (off-work topic) she felt it more appropriate to call you at home??

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