Awkward things HR has to ask

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HR is often the bearer of bad news and asker of awkward questions – especially as they’re frequently in charge of monitoring computer use and spam filters.

Male employees deciding to send pictures of their genitals through the company email system can be a big problem for some companies. And since HR monitors what’s caught in the spam filter, they also get to have the awkward conversation that follows.

Author of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened Jenny Lawson, who blogs as The Bloggess, spent 15 years working in HR and it took only a few years for her to be able to ask “Is this your penis?” with a straight face – although the first time she practiced a lot to make sure she wouldn’t giggle.

“Did you mail a picture of your penis?”

He raised an eyebrow. “Would it make it better if I said I was mailing pictures of someone else’s penis?”

Lawson’s experience requesting employees identify their genitals peaked when she had to ask “Are these your penises?”

Two male employees had taken a picture together, printed it on the office computer, then forgotten to pick it up. Helpfully for Lawson one of the men pointed to the left, saying “Just this one.”



  • Opinyun8ed on 2013-08-26 5:54:05 AM

    Funny, I've been in HR for a very long time and have never had to ask that question. Perhaps the problem really lies in the recruitment strategy.

  • TUXY29 on 2013-08-27 9:35:25 AM

    I find this very hard to believe you would ever have to ask this more than once. I have never had to ask this, nor have any of my coworkers. I agree with Opinyun8ed.

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