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March 18, 2008

Extreme HR: Calling in Shot and Motivation by Waterboarding

Filed under: General HR Buzz1:06 pm

Apparently faking a cough over the phone wasn’t enough for an employee wanting to get out of work. No, a Washington man apparently wanted a little more time off and had a flair for the dramatic so he had a friend shoot him in the shoulder to avoid work and a looming drug test. He told his boss he was hit in a drive by shooting. No word on whether the time off has morphed into permanent time away from the job.

While there still seems to be some disagreement among those in the military over whether waterboarding is torture, it appears that at least one supervisor thought it could be a motivational tool. A Utah company and its supervisor are being accused of using this technique of making someone feel as though he is drowning, to motivate sales staff. It is alleged that a supervisor took his team outside, held an employee down, and poured water into his mouth and nose. The employee, who claims he didn’t know what type of motivational exercise he was volunteering for, has sued claiming he is now sick and depressed. The company president suspended the supervisor for 2 weeks, indicated that the actions were against company policy, and that the employee knew what he was getting into. I couldn’t make this stuff up. Reality is indeed stranger than fiction.


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