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HR professionals see the good, the bad and the ugly of employees at all levels. The interview process is just the beginning. Once new hires are on board, the HR team remedies contentious and inappropriate office situations, smoothes relations between combative employees, and delights staff with raises and promotions. 

But between completing the diverse and essential tasks that keep talent engaged, HR managers receive some pretty outlandish — and often hilarious — requests. Some of these complaints are too good not to share. 

From a CareerBuilder survey that asked 2,667 hiring managers and human resources workers to cite some of the oddest complaints they received from employees:

  • Co-worker eats all the good cookies.
  • Co-worker is so polite, it's infuriating.
  • Co-worker’s body is magnetic and keeps deactivating my magnetic access card.
  • Employee was annoyed the company didn't provide a place for naps during break time.
  • Co-worker’s aura is wrong.
  • Co-worker has bells on her shoes and it's not the holidays.

An older CareerBuilder survey listed off-the-wall requests from employees, including demands for a tanning bed in the breakroom, “Bikini Fridays,” and family medical leave to cover jail time. 

Most employees remember a colleague or two who made life at the office challenging, but complaints about Australian humorist and Internet personality David Thorne take the cake. Thorne’s co-workers filed formal complaints for the following:

  • Thorne replaced the employee’s sandwich and Kit Kat with a pickle.
  • Thorne said that he couldn’t complete a task because it was time for his nap.
  • Thorne replaced the employee’s business cards with new ones, changing his title from “graphic designer” to “horse whisperer.”

While comical, these cases warrant action from HR. Simply dismissing complaints and requests undermines employee trust. “Don't trivialize the grievance, even if it's a noisy protest about the lack of a cappuccino machine in the lunchroom,” Joanna L Kotz writes on Microsoft Business. “You don't have to remedy every complaint, but you should be courteous.”

Sometimes seemingly superfluous complaints indicate larger problems (e.g., harassment or discrimination) that warrant legal action. “Give these silly-sounding accusations more attention than they probably deserve, to be safe,” Robin Shea writes on Employment and Labor Insider

HR technology gives managers a leg up when it comes to fielding requests and tracking reports. Software tackles simple yet time-consuming tasks like compiling reports or updating their status, so that managers can focus on what really matters: the people that keep business humming. 

Photo: Creative Commons