Sometimes, people can do stupid things, i.e. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Charlie Sheen, Donald Trump, Mel Gibson and the beat goes on and on. Sometimes folks say stupid things, Kobe Bryant, Gilbert Gottfried, and Sarah Palin and of course there are more.  Well often times supervisors and managers can say some dumb stuff.

I once had a supervisor tell me during an evaluation that he was concerned with my attendance.  As a resolution he recommended that I come work when I’m sick and if I am TRULY sick, he would send me home. Yes, you read that correctly, he suggested I come to the office sick and he would make the determination as to the severity of my condition and determine what was best.  So since I know better, I looked at that fool and asked him “Excuse me, are you a Doctor? Do you practice medicine?” Of course the answer was no, I advised him of just how dangerous and costly his comments could be. Just imagine if some were to take that advice and come to work then pass out or have a heart attack or something.

Here’s another one, while working in the public sector, an email was sent instructing all employees to use the back entrance instead of the front entrance. Never mind that the front entrance was the first entrance and it was a public building so any bum off the street could enter through the front.  The reasoning was to reduce foot traffic and I understood that but it just didn’t sit well with me. Now you may be thinking so what? But put yourself in my shoes, you are an African American from the south (Memphis) where Dr. King lost his life and someone is telling you to use the back entrance.  If you have ever been to the National Civil Rights museum, you will understand images of whites only and blacks only signs popped into my head.  In fairness, the email was sent to all employees and not just African Americans.  However this is where I worked, 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week and I can’t use the main entrance? No sir!  I continued to use the main entrance until my supervisor asked why was I not following the rules; what was bothering me?  I explained it to him. He went to HR, they made a statement, this is a non-issue, all employees can use any entrance. They did the right thing, I was proud of them and myself.

The point being, don’t be stupid, stupid actions at works can cost you time, money and embarrassment. HR Managers give your supervisors and department leaders some sensitivity and diversity training. Before sending out mass emails think about the possible effect it could have on all members of your work group.  If you are bringing in lunch, be sensitive to those who may not eat certain things for religious or health reasons.  You may not intend to offend or discrimination but the law does not care about your intentions.

So what kind of stupid things have you experienced?

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