by Gina Tonic
I was having a lovely week. A number of assignees, line managers and HRBPs were still away on summer holidays and my inbox was starting to look a little more respectable. I had even proactively made a start on the team’s feedback in time for their PDPs.
All change in a phone call
However, this feeling of smugness was soon to be short-lived. I received a call from our serviced apartment provider informing me one of our assignees had left one of their serviced apartments in a state. There was a long awkward silence. In my mind, I was thinking ok, not all assignees are house proud – how bad could it be? Never ask yourself that question by the way…… I now realise that, like many other unusual assignee related issues that cross my desk, it was going to be worse that my imagination could predict.
She then took the courage to inform me it seemed like someone had a party in the apartment…… a very ‘intimate’ party! Oh no, now my imagination was beginning to go into overdrive. Apparently, the cleaner had found many used condoms spread out throughout the apartment, stains on some of the dark furnishing and all the glass items in the apartment were smashed on the floor. The provider needed to hire a cleaner to conduct a deep clean so the deposit (that the company had paid) would be lost. In addition, the company needed to settle the external cleaning bill.
Must be a simple explanation.
In my utter horror, I apologized and said I would revert back to her as soon as possible. I don’t know what made me decide to call the assignee to understand the situation more and maybe get clarification. Perhaps it’s the optimist in me that always thinks there must be a far simpler explanation and it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with one of our assignees.
The assignee answered the phone – which at least saved me the embarrassment of leaving a voicemail on such a sensitive subject! I explained to the assignee the serviced apartment was left in a state (without elaborating more) and wondered if she could maybe provide an explanation. The assignee responded to say she had left the serviced apartment 2 weeks ago, as she had to go on a business trip, but her boyfriend had been staying there! I have to admit that at that point I was incredibly glad that I wasn’t on a video call as I would have struggled to hide my wide-eyed look! She then asked how had the apartment been left? I couldn’t answer her with a lie so told her that I would find out more detail and revert back to her as soon as possible.
Not the only one with a poor poker face
I hung up the phone, grabbed a coffee and took a deep breath before heading off to speak to the HRBP as to how best to deal with this. After more wide-eyed responses (it isn’t just me that has a poor poker face) it was decided to speak to the business directly as to whether they would cover the cost of the extra deep clean.
Luckily, for me and the HRBP, the business decided to take this forward internally and asked us to settle the bill for the deep clean for now.
I never found out whether the assignee was told that her boyfriend was having an ‘intimate’ party but am relieved to have the issue off my desk!