War Stories | Are You Flexible?

are you flexible?

After training, the HR Director of the plant asked me if she could survey her daughter, Karen, who was “almost 16.”

I asked, “What is almost 16?” She answered “11.” Since 11 isn’t “almost 16” to most people, I gave her the usual precautions: the spread of a person’s wiring (Like, Want or Need) does not fully solidify until after puberty and I questioned if, at age 11, her daughter would understand the context of the assessment. The HR Director mom told me that she understood and I thought the question was resolved.

When I arrived the following week to conduct day two of training, the HR Director told me that she had decided to go ahead with the survey of Karen anyway. To “test” the results, she administered the survey in a hard copy format. When completed, mom saw a word selection that didn’t make sense to her and decided to ask her daughter about it and had the following exchange.

“Karen, on both of the surveys you selected ‘flexible’ as a word that describes you. Why would you say that? You have to do everything in a particular order, on your time and according to your schedule. When anything happens that takes you out of your routine – that is very upsetting to you. How can you say that you are ‘flexible?’”

Karen responded, “but Mom, I am flexible. I can do the splits.”

Mom threw out the completed surveys and decided to wait five years to try it again.


Do you have a unique or interesting war story of something that happened in the workplace? 

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