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« SOX Lite | Main | Under the Knife »

HR Has a Dilemma

HR has a dilemma.

When there is a dispute between two employees, standard HR protocol is to take the side of the employee with the higher title.

In this case, that would be Mulhausen.

However, Mulhausen has accused me of insubordination because I disobeyed a direct order to cancel my vasectomy because it's a sin against God.

He contends that he is writing me up because of insubordination, not because I sinned against God, and therefore it's a legitimate complaint.

I content that he is a fucking lunatic.

Triplet, the VP of HR, cannot support either contention.

However, according to protocol, she has to side with Mulhausen, regardless of lunacy.

To further complicate things, the corporation fully supports an employee who chooses to get a vasectomy. The medical cost of having children far outweighs the cost of a vasectomy. From a business perspective, a vasectomy is a very good thing.

If Triplet could somehow eliminate linking the accusation of insubordination to my vasectomy, she'd have a win. So with Mulhausen in the room, she fished for other acts of insubordination.

"Has Jason ever disobeyed any other direct requests from you?" she asked Mulhausen.

"Yes, many times," Mulhausen said.

Triplet smiled, as if she'd found what she was looking for. "And what has he refused to do?"

"He always curses in my office, but will never put a dollar in my swear jar," Mulhausen said.

Triplet lost her smile.

"He never contributes to my swear jar either," I said.

"That's because if a person doesn't swear in his office he demands a dollar," Mulhausen snapped. "That's ridiculous. Who ever heard of that?"

"Has he refused to do anything else," Triplet asked with a sigh.

I chimed in at this point: "Technically, he can't ask me to do anything anyway, according to the department policy on communication protocol. So technically, he can't accuse me of insubordination because he can't technically ask me to do anything."

"What communication protocol?" Triplet asked.

"If Mulhausen wants me to do something, he has to go through Smithee, my direct boss. But Mulhausen didn't ask Smithee to tell me not to get a vasectomy because it's a sin against God, he told me directly. That is a breech in protocol. This policy makes it impossible for me to be insubordinate to Mulhausen because the only person who can tell me what to do is Smithee."

Triplet closed her notebook and stood up. "Okay, that works for me."

Mulhausen was not happy about the outcome, but policy is policy (even though I'm the one who came up with the policy...).

Reader Comments (6)

Another win for Smithee (and his creator!!!=) That was absofuckinglutely ricockulous!!!! (And hilarious!)

Isn't there some sort of HR policy against propagating religious order in the workplace?

October 22, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTech Babe

Yes, but they tie it to something else and get away with it. Like when I got called to HR for changing my room number from 637 to 666. They called it "Defacing company property" even though they just feared the wrath of God coming down on the building because I had posted the number of the beast.

October 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJason X

Ah, still classic.

October 23, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterZorro

So you've been keeping up this Smithee character since Dec07? Brilliant! You sir, are a champion among men.

October 25, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwarplayer

Yeah, you'd have to understand exactly where I work to understand why that would work. It's mainly because it's a very large corporation and most people in management here are idiots.

October 25, 2008 | Registered CommenterJason X

This Smithee thing reminds me of a quote from the movie Tropic Thunder: I'm a dude playing a dude disguised as another dude.

September 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterM

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