“Kristina, you need to call Mark with the EEOC back” says trusty employee.
Hmmm… I sit back in my chair for the half of a second my day will allow to reflect on what I was just told. Really? I toss that statement around in my head a few times before I’m snapped back to the reality of my super busy day. I call the number back only to find its just the general 800 number for public use. Strange. Not ten minutes later I heard the page down the hall “Kristina, EEOC on line 1 for you…” I can’t lie, for what seemed like an hour I held my breath (pffft, like I had that much free time) before I picked up the phone and jumped right in. I remember looking at the caller id and the call was blocked…strange, but not unheard of.
“This is Kristina how can I help you”
“This is Mark representing the EEOC. Did you have an employee by the name of Max Martin (name changed to protect the guilty).
“We received a complaint in reference to how his termination was handled and I have a few questions.”
…. Something isn’t right, I’m super busy, I can’t handle this right now. Mind you I’m a young 20 something at this time and inexperienced in this area.
“Okay. It may be best to contact our corporate representative.”
I call corporate and give them the heads up about what is going on. I tell them this is strange and I don’t feel like this is legit, it doesn’t match up with the little bit I do know about the EEOC procedures. Corporate gets the call and talks with them for a little while. While corporate is on the phone with me telling me about the conversation they had I get a call back from Mark. I take it and tell him that further communications will need to go through our corporate office. He’s really pressing for information and trying to intimidate me; I now have a good idea of who this might be. I get off the phone with him and he calls corporate again then calls me again… Only this time he doesn’t block his number! Bingo! My assumption was correct so I wait for him to say he is Mark from EEOC again.
“This is Mark from the EEOC, I need to get your corporate fax number”
“Hey Max Martin, I’m sure you can find our fax number on the website, is there anything else I can do for you today, Max?”
It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop from miles away. “Oh hey Ms. Kristina… I uh I was just wondering what all jobs you had open for me.”
So what’s Max’s back story? He worked for us at a metals plant and had been there for almost the 90 day probationary period. He became angry during the last shift he worked and walked off the job. (After having an argument with a family member that worked at the same job site.) Less than 24 hours after he walked off the job he regretted it of course and came by the office begging us for his position back. We had a policy that if you walked off a job or quit without notice you would not be eligible for rehire. Period. We of course referenced this policy in an attempt to diffuse the situation. Somehow in his mind he thought if he impersonated an employee of the EEOC that he would be able to intimidate us to the point that we would hire him again. This tactic failed miserably for two reasons: 1) we were certain that we were within legal compliance in our actions 2) that time he called impersonating EEOC employee Mark and forgot to block his number.