I was filling a Company Auditor role a couple of years back - lovely company, team of 6, but in a pretty tight space.

I went through the process and identified a candidate that ticked all of their boxes. They duly hired, but it was not until the 'follow up' stage of the process thet my Nightmare began....

It was a Monday morning - week 2, around 10.30am - when I picked up the phone to the Manager...

'Good Morning Sally,' I begun, ' Just checking up on how John is getting along?'

'Ummm, Ahhh...' And various other sounds as Sally made her way to a more privete location...

"Yes Craig I was going to call you, there is a small problem with John'...

Here it comes.......

'I don't really know how to raise this, but John...'  Yes. Go on... 'You see John has a flatchulence problem..'

'A flatchulence problem?...'

'Yes, a flatchulence problem.... It's not so much the sound, they're pretty quiet actually - it's the smell...'

'I can imagine..' I replied, trying hard not to laugh and at the same time wondering what in hell's name they want me to do about it.. 'Have you raised this... ummm... flatchulence problem with John?'

'No, Craig.. We were hoping you could, as he is still under guarantee..'  My jaw silently drops to the ground. 'It seems to be worse when he has been out the night before, and to be honest it's really affecting the rest of the staff...'

'I can imagine...' I repeated, my mind focused on her previous point about me raising the issue with John. 'Ummm, are you sure it wouldn't be best coming from you?  If I do it, he will know that you have spoken to me about it and may increase his embarassment?...'

There no come back to that one - Phew, responsibility successfully delegated!

'No Craig, I'd prefer it if you could come down here this afternoon and speak with John about it.  After all, you are his agent...'

Long story short, I went down to the office and spoke with John.  I suggested he stay off the beers and kebabs and maybe chew on some charcoal tablets....

John (not his real name) is still with the business 3 years later.  They have thankfully moved to a larger office - in fact, John now has his own office, and I am led to believe it has fantastic ventilation and air conditioning.... Nightmare over, sanity restored...


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This is a first for me!  Never heard of this - ummmm, ahh - "problem" coming up before!  I'm with you, I would have laughed - possibly very loud!  No,no, not at a client who is so very serious about this - I would have held my laughter until after I got off the telephone. Then...

Craig, I love your stories and blogs!

At least yours had a happy ending. This year I placed an experienced, successful home health salesperson in Florida for a great privately owned business. I got the "uhh...umm...well we seem to have a problem with your candidate" during his orientation. The guy took a 2 hour lunch instead of the 1/2 hour allotted so that everyone could actually go home early. My Candidate was overheard sharing with other orientees that he likes to lounge at the resort pools to score rich women. Needless to say, this guy continued with lame excuses and poor performance for the next month and I encouraged my client to put the screws to him while I found a replacement.

Great story. I got a call from one of CPA firms for a staffer. When I asked why the last one left the managing partner said, "he earned the nickname "the phantom pharter". "every time he walked in someone's office he lingered long after he left.". "after several of our clients mentioned it we decided that he needed to take the "eau de enchilada" someplace else.

I asked if they told him why he was being terminated and if he seemed embarrassed. Nope he said he was aware he did it but it made him feel better. How would you like to give that reference?

Wow, I don't know what's more hilarious, Craig's original story or the fact that several others have had to deal with nearly the same situation!

I have a client who says that he can try to find a secretary for three hours and everybody is missing in action all he has to do is release a little flatulence and five of them appear immediately.

Sharing a small office with you Craig, I have filled this blog away so that if the need ever arises I can simply attach it to my resignation letter which will simply cite "unworkable conditions"

Oh my! This is an awesome post! Made me laugh out loud this morning. Thanks Craig. I've never had a candidate with a flatchulence problem. It's funny how the client had you come down there to talk to him about it too!...How did you tell him without laughing or with a straight face?

Winner winner Chicken Dinner.

haha... this is so hilarious...  but it just dawned on me that we recruiters are expected to perform like a god!

@ Bill Schultz Thanks for that! @Cathy Trinh when  I spoke with the candidate I actually made a bit of a joke about it - it was the only thing I could think to do.... @Ellen Cheong Thanks for the comment and you're right we are expected to act like gods, and mothers and doctors!!!

This was a first for me also. Shows we earn our fees.  We never know what will be next. 

@Shari - It's possibly what I love most about my job - the unpredictability of it all.....

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