The “Non-Confidential” HR Intern.


Interns are boon and bane. At best, they bring fresh ideas and don’t mind picking up boring routine work (it’s new to them!) no one else wants to do. At worst, they think they are God’s gift to the world, and that the company owes it to them to provide a meaningful internship experience. Except sometimes, they are so dumb you start to wonder if the next generation is genetically defective.

I had a real dud once who did not seem to understand the concept of confidentiality. And he was attached to, of all departments, HR.

Random caller: Hi, may I speak to Cheryl Smith from Finance please?
Intern: Let me see if I can transfer you to her. (After an unsuccessful call transfer) – Sorry, she’s not at her desk now. Can I take a message?
Random caller: I really need to reach her urgently. Can you give me her number?
Intern: (Searches through the employee directory) – Sure, her mobile number is xxxx-xxxx.

I mean, seriously? Freely giving out an employee’s personal mobile phone number?

But you haven’t heard the worst yet. So it turned out he fancied a colleague in office, and went through the HR database to find out when her birthday was. He then sent a bouquet of flowers to her, and was stupid enough to let slip that he got her birthday information from our company system!

Thankfully these were the days before PDPA and GDPR came into existence, but it’s extremely galling that some of our seemingly “bright and young future talents” have the brains of a turkey.

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