Great Moments In HR History: The Cost Accountant

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My plan is to spend the week talking about the craziest moments in my HR career. The moments where my character was tested, my values were challenged, or I broke my eye sockets when I tried to roll my eyes too hard.

Back in the day, I worked in manufacturing plants and hired my fair share of cost accountants. If you take an accountant and make him a little less interesting, you’ve got a cost accountant. And at one of my least favorite jobs, we couldn’t keep cost accountants. The CFO was a dick. His second-in-command was a bigger dick. And the pay was low and the work was thankless.

So I worked with several third-party recruiters and offered large bonuses — and it finally paid off. I got an awesome resume. I phone screened the guy. He was talented, smart, and understood that the job would suck. He was up for the challenge and I remember silently weeping with gratitude.

The guy comes in for an interview and he is a little person. By little, I mean that he is a dwarf. If you don’t know anything about a manufacturing environment, you should know that people are jerks. Immediately, I was concerned. But I figure, hey, I’m not going to assume that this guy is anything but bad ass. He has been little person for his entire life. I am sure he can handle whatever shitty comments are made in his presence.

Well.

Here’s how it went down.

A team of managers interviewed him. He spoke with the second-in-command of the finance team. And then I got called into a meeting and my ass was handed to me.

I was so young. I asked, “Are you joking?”

I couldn’t tell.

But no — the interview team was not joking. They were offended. The CFO said, “We can’t have a guy like that on the plant floor. We’d lose all credibility.”

And I said, “As if you have any.”

I thought the second-in-command was going to rip out my throat.

He yelled, “Just get the hell out of here.”

And I thought I was going to get fired. I was sure of it.

And nobody talked about it ever again. Including me. We just kept on interviewing.

Boo. I suck.

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