I can’t believe he said that


So our company has a service recognition event today. My boss, the IT director, is called upon first to present the award for one of his staff. He spends several moments talking about the growth of the services that she has been responsible for handling, and relating that success directly to her efforts. Run time: perhaps 3 minutes

The next recipient is commended by his boss for meeting profitability targets in a trying environment. Short, but absolutely on target. Run time: 30 seconds, tops.

The third recipient is commended for her excellence in dealing with pricing issues with our customers. The term ‘thankless task’ is repeated at least four times, but it is sincere and she is obviously well respected by her peers. Run time: perhaps 2 minutes.

The final recipient is an executive secretary. She is being recognized for ten years of service to the company. Her boss introduces her with the following line, “She’s been here for ten years, which is longer than my second wife”. Run time: 10 seconds.

Half the room laughed, and half of us stood there in stunned silence. I’m no prude, but this strikes me as being one of the most crass comments I’ve ever heard under these circumstances. The HR director felt called upon to speak on her behalf in an attempt to add some sincerity to the proceedings at this point. Unfortunately, no recovery was really possible.


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