Resurrecting Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work©

Resurrecting Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work©

Resurrecting Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work©


Outrageous ConductI wrote Outrageous Conduct: Bizarre Behavior at Work in 1991 to test my creative abilities at writing something other than dry, compensation related technical articles and reports for the World at Work, BLR, and other related services. The book was an immediate hit and became a Society of Human Resource Management  (SHRM) bestseller–so much so that the folks at SHRM asked for it to be reprinted in 1994, which also sold out. Concurrently, several professors had their university bookstores contact me to purchase the book. They wanted to use it as a supplemental text to spice up their HR Management classes and create rich discussion. Several years later I wrote its sequel, Sex, Laws, and Stereotypes, which was also well received and used as a supplemental text. Today both books are out of print.



With the advent of the web, I decided it was time to review, edit, and create a new edition. This time, the stories will be resurrected in the form of blog posts for the enjoyment and education of those of you who either haven’t read them or are just entering to the field. I’ll begin with Outrageous Conduct, which contains about three dozen cases that will have you laughing, shaking your head, or leaving you bewildered, but never bored!  The first will be "The Cisco Kid, " Which will be released next week.

I can promise you that the stories are real—not some urban legends. They were told to me in confidence by HR professionals who personally worked the case. Names, industries, locations and sometimes even genders were changed to insure that no story could be tracked back to its source. I have dramatized these stories to help make the reading both compelling and breezy. No case takes more than five minutes to read. (I had one client tell me she kept the book in her car to read at long stop lights—not something I would advise, but demonstrates how quickly they can be read.)

The language is salty to reflect what really was said, particularly in blue collar environments, so I didn’t hold back in an attempt to sanitize the situation to appease the masses. For blog purposes, I tried to keep each insertion to fewer than 1000 words. Thus, in some situations, the story is broken into two parts. Each case is followed by professional commentary. The first is by a panel of HR professionals, designed to reflect the way they thought the case was handled from an employee relations viewpoint as well as the proper use of HR protocols and procedures. The second commentary is from the senior partner of a highly respected employment law firm, reflecting the legality of actions taken by the HR professional and the implications of potential damage if mishandled.

Below is the table of contents, listing the chapter and the thirty-six stories titles to give you an idea of what’s to come. They cover the waterfront of HR issues, such as employee fraud, theft, embezzlement, worker's compensation, personal hygiene, surveillance, terminations, recruitment, selection, performance appraisals, workplace consensual relationships, HRIS glitches, expectation of privacy, negligence, reasonable accommodation, absenteeism, health and safety,  and workplace violence.  I hope you both enjoy them, as well as gain professional insight if ever faced with such unusual situations.


The Cisco Kid

Life Threatening Loves

The Case of the Missing Piano Cover


Promotional Adipose

The Glitch that Lost Krista

Sticking to Her Knitting


Horsing Around

A Sticky Situation

Dogged Persistence

Her Cup Runneth Over


Quick Change

Ghost Riders

A Clean Case of Corruption


The Ideal Candidate

Throwing your Brains out with the Trash


Insuring His Guilt

Having Her Day in Court


Fairy Dust

Supplemental Pay



The Handwriting is on the Wall

Panic in the Parking Lot

A Problem of Epidemic Proportion



Where There's Sin There's Suffering

Twin Fatalities


Radiating Fear

A Brilliant Bluff

Undisputed Drama


Perverse Verse

Mining for Gold

Flagrant Fellatio


A Deadly Deal

An Elaborate Extortion

Watch for the next blog.  They'll be coming out weekly, beginning with "The Cisco Kid"



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