Keep it to yourself!

Out on my very first harassment allegation investigation, I arrived at a location where I had never met anyone before.  The male operations manager had called me in to handle a complaint.  After several minutes of side-stepping and beating around the bush, I thought I had determined the gist of what he was saying and declared “Oh, he’s mooning his coworkers.”  The operations manager corrected me and said “Um no, other side.” 

“No problem,” I thought, “I’m a young HR professional.  I can handle this.”  I would need to interview the complainant, witnesses, and alleged harasser to get to the bottom of this situation.  The complainant maintained that, yes, this man was acting wildly inappropriate.  Witnesses said that they didn’t know what was going on.  And the alleged harasser claimed to be innocent.  Another “he said, she said” situation.  That is, until the end of our interview.  The alleged harasser arose from his seat, performed a Michael Jackson style grab on himself, and asked me if I’d like to see too!  It may have not been the most professional response, but I simply told him “You are SO fired!”  If that employee had just known when to keep his mouth shut and his hands to his sides he may still be working there!


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