Humor Archives - upstartHR

Posts tagged "Humor"

Top 10 Conversations with Employees (Seriously)

crazy employeesFun, happy, and crazy employees make this job awesome

I absolutely love this profession, but we have some interesting challenges in front of us. On one hand, HR really wants to be strategic. On the other, we deal with unbelievable people issues. The variety really keeps us on our toes! The notes below are based on comments I have had with employees and managers over the years, and I’m willing to bet you have had some of these, too. Feel free to add your own to the list below!

  1. I know you don’t like that brand of clothing that one of your employees wears, but we can’t create a policy banning it. Might I suggest something radical? How about taking with the individual directly?
  2. Yes, we have limits on what we can offer to candidates. That’s why we call it a compensation range, not just a compensation suggestion.
  3. No, you can’t fire her for poor performance solely because she’s not working as much as your other staff. She’s taking intermittent FMLA leave, remember?
  4. No, I can’t find someone with all of those qualifications you listed. The job requisition asks for a combined total of 72 years of experience.
  5. Sorry, tuition reimbursement doesn’t cover your travel to a quilting conference. No, I won’t request a waiver of the rules just for your “special” case.
  6. Certainly! We’d love to consider you for a promotion just as soon as you can start coming to work on time and sober for more than a two day stretch. No, I don’t think that’s asking too much.
  7. What do you mean you didn’t know about the seven emails I sent, the poster in the break room, the flyer I put on your desk, the letter I mailed to your home, or the all hands conference call where I explained the open enrollment deadline?
  8. I know you think you’re right, but cc’ing every management level up to the CEO on notes in your email battle with another individual is a bit much. Yes, it makes you look a bit crazy.
  9. I appreciate the retirement plan fund suggestions, but your brother’s company stock isn’t available through our company plan. Yes, I already checked.
  10. I know you think your employees are engaged, but your manager survey scores indicate otherwise. Why haven’t they said anything? Probably because of this “blows up angrily at any comment or question” item that I keep seeing on all of your survey results.

Bonus (vendor style): Yes, I’m well aware of the mistake, Mr. Insurance Provider. We provided the complete and accurate documentation in time and via your requested method. Apparently the mistake was choosing you as a provider since despite all that you managed to lose my employee’s application for coverage and are now denying them coverage.

So, which ones have you said lately to your employees? What would you add to the list? 

I Sent You a Meaningless Email–Um, I Mean eCard

I sent you an eCard.

Screenshot 2014-12-18 13.21.20No, really. I care so much that I took the two minutes to fill out an online form and email (spam) dozens of people all at the same time with a message that is so vague and so general that I could have sent it to people that I don’t even know with virtually the same results.

Now wait for the music and art to load. Want a hint? There will be an inoffensive instrumental track, saying, and picture with my name stuck on the bottom. Yes, I know I’m the most thoughtful person ever.

Now read the one-line template message that I thought was so meaningful that I took you away from your work, family, or other obligations just to get you to look at this eCard.


Editor’s note: This is obviously a joke, but please keep this in mind when you are communicating with employees. The same rules apply. If you’re taking them away from work, make it worthwhile. I have received dozens of these “eCards” in the past few weeks, and not one of them was as meaningful as a single handwritten note or personal message. If you are sending a message, try to be as targeted as you can. Enjoy your day!


Newsflash: HR Creates a Policy

Breaking news

Anywhere, USA – This morning we got word that someone in HR created a policy. We’re not sure what the policy was as of the time of this report; however, we were assured by our sources that it was “highly necessary” for the business to continue functioning.Policy

Our resident HR expert, Stu Pidhead, had this to say, “I have been a long-time believer in policies. Without them our employees would run rampant, exercise their own judgment, and be able to do pretty much whatever they want. How can we expect to run a business when employees have autonomy for how the work gets done or choices when it comes to rewards and recognition? No, no, and no. We have to restrict those things for the good of our employees and the world. They just don’t know better, and we have to educate them.”
Keep reading…

The Ultimate Holiday Party Flow Chart

I don’t know about you, but I have seen, read, and heard more about holiday parties this year than ever before. Honestly it’s more exhausting reading this stuff than actually planning, hosting, and cleaning up after one of the things.

  • Should we have one?
  • Should we not?
  • What should we call it?
  • Who should we invite?
  • Should it be mandatory?
  • Should we serve alcohol?
  • And every other variation of this question has been published, posted, tweeted, and shared. Seriously? We need that much discussion on this?

The solution you’ve been waiting for

Keep reading…

Eleven Signs You Need to Get Out of HR

With over 800 posts in the archives, I know some of you have missed some good stuff over the years. I’m going to test out publishing some of these regularly to breathe some new life into the content and give you guys a chance to check them out. Enjoy!

We’ve all seen them. They drag their crusty, misshapen forms around, spreading despair and agony in their wake. No, I’m not talking about trolls, I’m talking about HR people! We’ve all worked with them before, but some might look at you and think that you fit the bill. Here are a handful of signs you might be turning into one of them!

  1. You secretly cheer when it’s time to put an employee on a performance improvement plan
  2. You have immense pride in the fact that your department has resisted that newfangled “Human Resources” title and still proclaims itself “Personnel”
  3. You love creating new policies
  4. When an interviewee asks you why you like working there, you give them a blank stare
  5. In order to save money on healthcare benefits you tell your employees to Google their symptoms
    Keep reading…

#HRevolution HR Improv Session Videos

HR Improv was a session at HRevolution where participants had to present on a slideshow that they had never seen before and somehow tie it back to employee relations, recruiting, etc.

Please forgive the shaky portion of the videos. I grabbed the camera halfway through the session when I realized how hilarious this was going to be. I didn’t have a tripod, so I did the best I could with what I had.

Sean Conrad

Sean Conrad of Halogen Software was one of our volunteers. The random presentation we drew for Sean wasa slideshow invitation to vacation in Nnoordwijk, Holland, and he had to try and relate that to the recruiting and talent management process. The first few minutes of his session were cut off, but this was the winner of the contest, so I wanted to get him a little love anyway!
Keep reading…

Note to self: Don’t insult a hand-to-hand combat instructor

Warning: This post is supposed to be humorous. If you are not experienced with humor, you might not get it. If that is the case, here’s the IRS website. Feel free to read some of that really exciting stuff over there. Why humor? Because we’re HR professionals, darn it. If we don’t get some measure of humor our souls wither and die.

Today I’ll tell the story of when I accidentally insulted someone during new hire orientation.

And not just any someone.

This guy’s dream (as he’d already told me several times) was to own his own firearms and hand-to-hand combat training business, so he was a pretty tough dude.

So, I’d been recruiting this guy for a few weeks, but we hadn’t been able to talk very much since he was overseas at the time. He was taking a remote position with us, and the group he was working with was actually in town on the day he started, so he came to the home office for his new hire orientation. Simple enough, right?

Well, we are sitting in the orientation session and I pause to talk about the different pieces of the company and what all we do. I mentioned a recent proposal we had submitted to do some work for the government, and his temper went from zero to sixty in a heartbeat. He was on his feet, pacing back and forth, and growling about how dumb the decision was. I’ve never actually seen someone “gnashing their teeth,” but I’m willing to bet that was about as close as you can get.

They make you take psychology classes in college when you get an HR degree. You also take things like communications, public speaking, etc. Basically, you should know how to talk to someone. Heh. At the time that was the furthest thing from my mind.

This guy is a trained killer, and I just made him angry. If he smashes the computer and chairs, I’m the next biggest thing in the room for him to take his frustrations out on. Unless he used the computer and chairs to smash me. That seems pretty efficient, and I haven’t seen anything inefficient about the guy since I met him. Crap.I’d rather go out in a blaze of glory. Beaten to death with a faux leather office chair was not in my top five ways to die. 

Agh. Why didn’t I sit closer to the door? I could at least get it halfway open before he snaps my neck like a twig. I wonder if I could distract him. Too bad I don’t have a red cape to wave in his face or something. Or a bazooka. That would probably be intimidating, except for the fact that I have no idea how to use one. Sigh. College was such a poor way to spend my time. 

At this point he’s started to calm down a little after circling the room a few times. I’d like to say it was at that point that I took control of the situation and moved on with the orientation.

But I didn’t.

Wow. His hands look really big. I wonder if he could wrap them all the way around my neck. I wonder where he’d hide the body. It’s a small room. But he’s probably inventive. He could stuff me in the ceiling tiles and be out of the building before anyone realized I was missing. Why didn’t I take the extra optional life insurance package? Darn. Wait a minute, what if I play dead? Will he still attack? Oh, wait, that’s for bears, not people. Stupid Discovery Channel. Why don’t you tell us how to survive people? I have yet to see a bear from three feet away, but I’ve been that close to plenty of crazy people… Wait a minute, he’s looking at me again.

By this point he was sitting in his chair, staring at me as if I was the one who had nearly just blew his top. I stumbled and stuttered through the rest of the slides, made an excuse to leave the room, and breathed deeply of the fresh air that filled my lungs.

I had survived.

I’d like to say there’s a grandiose lesson here, but I can’t think of one. Just make sure you sit near the door if you are ever alone in a room with a former special-forces-trained-killer and there’s a chance you could make them angry at you.

Anyone else have a crazy new hire orientation story?

Sign up for updates and get two free eBooks instantly

Get Free Resources to Improve Your HR Practices
  • Over 200 pages of free guides and tools
  • PHR/SPHR certification tips and strategies
  • Best practices for better HR service delivery
  • Resources for solo HR practitioners
  • And more!
Subscribe now to get exclusive access to encouraging, positive HR content
Spam is for grilled cheese, not email. Your email address will remain private.