Five Routine Minutes: A Visit To Human ResourcesPosted: June 13, 2012
A police officer that I supervise came to tell me that she and her husband were expecting their first child. I’m thrilled for them.
She was not sure how to start notifying our administrative staff and asked me to help. I was happy to do it. We went to Human Resources section and found the person that I knew would do the best job for her.
She announced her pregnancy to the Human Resources Specialist…and there was much rejoicing.
Because our job is very physical, those who are temporarily unable to do the job for medical reasons are assigned to “light duty”.
Light duty means being tied to a desk, a difficult thing for someone who is used to working in the field with a lot of autonomy. When you’re on light duty you’re subject to being pulled into all sorts of drudgery. It helps if you can get yourself assigned to a familiar place.
My officer had asked me to help her stay assigned to our unit while on light duty. Near the end of the conversation in HR, the subject of her light duty assignment came up. I spoke up.
Medical form and job assignment formalities were handled and the meeting was clearly coming to an end. I stood to leave and ended up between the HR Specialist and the officer. This became part of things going awry.
You see, I was grateful to the HR Specialist for handling the matter so well. I wanted to thank her for doing so. At the same time, she wanted to congratulate the officer on the her big news. We both started speaking at about the same time.
The result was awkward.
Things worked out such that it sounded like I thanked her for the congratulations. I didn’t deserve congratulations! This was terrible. I could not just let it stand. I had to do put things right.
I started talking. I don’t know why I insist on doing that sometimes.
I wasn’t making it better. I had a solution. I told them that I’d go wait in the lobby while they spoke.