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DH stuffed up at work


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#1 harper_

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:19 AM

My Dh & I work for the same company - a large Oil & gas company. On friday they had a social event, basically drink & nibbles with a presentation from staff that had just returned from a conference in the US. The main speaker was a young woman and was humourous and entertaining, there was a bit of banter & a few jokes going on. So it was quite light-hearted. She came across as quite confident and engaging, but spoke very quickly and was sometimes hard to understand and as she was taking questions, my DH stuck his hand up and asked if she picked up a crack habit in the US (because of her fast talking) everyone laughed, but it was obvious that she didn't find it very funny and left straight after the presentation finished. My DH was mortified that he had obviously upset her and sought out the organiser of the social event to apologise. DH apologied profusely and asked her to pass on his apologies, but she wasn't very impressed. Anyway we left. The next day DH talked about and mentioned how bad he felt etc and acknowledged it was a stupid, thoughtless joke etc But anyway he gets to work on Monday and apparently senior members of staff including the woman he apologised to, were looking for him after the presentation and asking other members of staff what his name was and what department he worked for etc so it sounds like there is going to be some fallout from this. Just curious to what people think potentially could happen. Is this a sackable offence?

#2 pratique

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:27 AM

Awkward for all.

It was inappropriate and hurtful. It is a good thing he apologised afterwards. That might help his case somewhat.

Work would have probably paid alot for this speaker and his comments made the company look unprofessional. I would imagine he will get a slap on the wrist and made to officially apologise.

Good luck




#3 harper_

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

QUOTE (**myboys** @ 26/02/2013, 12:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Awkward for all.

It was inappropriate and hurtful. It is a good thing he apologised afterwards. That might help his case somewhat.

Work would have probably paid alot for this speaker and his comments made the company look unprofessional. I would imagine he will get a slap on the wrist and made to officially apologise.

Good luck


No the speaker was a member of staff. He didn't know them though.

#4 soontobegran

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:28 AM

Very awkward and sounds like the stuff that happens after a few drinks have loosened the lips sad.gif
It is a terribly inappropriate thing to say and I understand why the speaker would be offended and wanting follow up.

I am not in the business world but surely there would have to be some type of warning system before being sacked but if I was your DH I would go in with his tail between his legs and ask what he can do to make it better.
I have a good and sometimes slightly sick sense of humour but I think I'd be wanting a very public apology for this.

Hopefully all will be well.

#5 Goggie

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:29 AM

Stupid comment he made. But unlikely to be a termination type offence, unless he has a history or other warnings for inappropriate behaviour.
He will likely get a 'you should have known better' talk, a discussion on appropriate company behavior and values and potentially if they are wanting to set an example, a verbal or written warning. If this was in my company I would recommend a firm discussion about appropriateness of 'jokes'.

I'm sure he will be ok, I wouldn't stress too much about it. He should be apologetic to all involved though.

#6 tibs

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:31 AM

At my work there *may* be discipinary action for that depending on the personalities of the directors involved.  But that would just involve some kind of counselling session on appropriate behaviour/harrassment etc not sacking original.gif

#7 PrincessPeach

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:34 AM

I don't think it would be a termination offence, although he may be issued with a warning.

However given he did actually apologise to the event organiser that should be taken into consideration.

I do however understand where his comment came from, presenters that speak fast & are hard to understand are not ideal.

#8 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:35 AM

I can't imagine he'd be sacked.  But I would imagine that he might be called in for a few choice words, given a warning about conducting himself appropriately & possibly some further training in suitable workplace behavior (even if it was at a social function, it was a WORK social function)

#9 mpjp

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:36 AM

It's good that your DH realised he stuffed up.

I'm in HR and often feel sorry for people in this situation - its like some people 'forget' that they are at work when there are drinkies and banter and they start to think they're amongst friends - and so behave accordingly. It doesnt matter how casual a workplace is I've seen people get into trouble timee and time again with this.


My advice to your DH would be to march straight into the office of the most appropriate senior person (his boss, her boss, even HR if he's not sure) and explain the situation and ask if he could please offer a most sincere apology. Being on the front foot in these things ALWAYS ends much better than just sitting there waiting for their first move.

If he is going to face disciplinary aciton then I woulddnt imagine it would be anything more than a warning if it is exactly as you describe (and one of the important bits here is a) were the drinks supplied by work and b) was he drunk?).

#10 Flaxen

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:38 AM

I believe a warning might be put forward to him, but im confident its not a sackable offence.
Read through his employment contract, the company's Code of Conduct with the applicable consequences will be outlined there.

Usually several warnings must be laid first prior, unless the situation is much more serious, such as theft, which still requires a police report to fire them.

#11 harper_

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:39 AM

QUOTE (meplainjanebrain @ 26/02/2013, 12:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
(and one of the important bits here is a) were the drinks supplied by work and b) was he drunk?).


Alcoholic drinks were not provided, you had to buy these. And he wasn't drunk, but merry.

#12 dolcengabbana

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:44 AM

I think it would be unlikely to have employment terminated on this alone. However, it would depend if there had been any previous warnings or incidents in his work history with the company.

I would write a letter of appology to the person involved and it be sincere and professional and give it in person if possible if they are willing to see him. I would be prepared for a warning regardless.

#13 Fluster

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:50 AM

I work in events and easily offended speakers are the bane of my life  ph34r.gif

#14 Guest_Sunnycat_*

Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:54 AM

Its a pretty mean thing to say at someone who is just trying to do her job. I don't think he'd get fired from it though.


#15 protart roflcoptor

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:11 PM

QUOTE (harper_ @ 26/02/2013, 11:39 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alcoholic drinks were not provided, you had to buy these. And he wasn't drunk, but merry.


What's the difference between drunk and merry. Alcohol obviously impaired his judgement. Which, as he realised this and has apologised, could perhaps go to excusing this as not usual behaviour.


QUOTE (Fluster @ 26/02/2013, 11:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I work in events and easily offended speakers are the bane of my life  ph34r.gif


I do not blame the speaker for being offended. The remark was in very poor taste and offensive. Why should she have to put up with being addressed like that in front of everyone?



#16 Bluenomi

Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:23 PM

It will depend on how much of a big deal the woman makes and how much the company make a big deal about bullying and harrasment. He might get a slap on the wrist, he might get a formal warning or he may get fired.

#17 snortle

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:22 PM

QUOTE (harper_ @ 26/02/2013, 12:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Alcoholic drinks were not provided, you had to buy these. And he wasn't drunk, but merry.


I actually think that makes it worse  ph34r.gif
At least if he was drunk there would be a reason to be nasty to someone he doesn't even know.

#18 mpjp

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:39 PM

QUOTE (snortle @ 26/02/2013, 02:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I actually think that makes it worse  ph34r.gif
At least if he was drunk there would be a reason to be nasty to someone he doesn't even know.



The drunkedness thing will be a positive or a negative.  In the company I work for we have clear codes of conduct, alcohol policies and a disciplinary policy which states that this would be a disciplinary matter.

I'd be surprised if it lead to his terminatiion though. I've been involved in one summary dismissal (instant) involving alcohol but it was arguably far more serious than what happened here.

Again I'd make the first move and ask if I (your dh) could write an apology letter. I'd also outline any other steps I was going to take to rectify the situation - i.e. not consume alcohol at work functions, attend EAP Counselling etc.

#19 pratique

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:43 PM


QUOTE (Fluster @ 26/02/2013, 12:50 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I work in events and easily offended speakers are the bane of my life  ph34r.gif


But she wasn't an official speaker. She was a colleague who was presenting a work trip to the USA.


#20 epl0822

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:52 PM

That poor woman, to be embarrassed like that when she was on stage in front of all of her colleagues. He wouldn't get fired for this but a lot of the senior managers are going to remember his name and he'll be known as the guy with the foot in his mouth. That's probably worse than any kind of formal warning he might receive.

#21 opethmum

Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:53 PM

It would not hurt your DH if he had a member of his professional union present as an independent witness just in case things get a little heavy in the interview and to provide some advice if needed. Yes it may be over the top but having an independent witness there to verify anything that was said in case the speaker does not feel that action was appropriate.
You do not have to be a member to receive advice.

Good luck and I hope that your DH apology is heard and that he can move on from this regrettable incident.


#22 kitkatswing

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

I dont think its a sackable offense.But I agree with the others, its definitly a warning type of offense.

What he said was wrong, but it was good that he realised it and tried to apologise. Unfortunatly it may have been too little too late..

#23 Reshad

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:07 PM

I thought it was funny .... everyone is so PC these days. Maybe a short term CLM but hardly a DCM.

PC - politically correct
CLM - career limiting move
DCM - don't come monday.

#24 Fluster

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

QUOTE (protart roflcoptor @ 26/02/2013, 12:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I do not blame the speaker for being offended. The remark was in very poor taste and offensive. Why should she have to put up with being addressed like that in front of everyone?


It absolutely was offensive, but unless there is a pattern of behaviour from the OP's husband - or indeed the company as a whole - I can't see the cause for drama. The OP's husband said something incredibly stupid, but he apologised.  The reality of life is that lots of people speak first and think later.

#25 elmo_mum

Posted 26 February 2013 - 02:09 PM

i think that the comment made was stupid
with or without alcohol, it was a rude comment to make, especially in public and the fact that he did not know her

she has every reason to be offended.

i doubt he will be terminated over the comment.... although he no doubt with receive a written warning, and may also have to apologise to her







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