I don’t know of one HR Pro I’ve ever met who didn’t say, behind closed doors, “My employees are Crazy!” It’s like school teachers when they go into that mysterious “Teachers Lounge”, once the door is closed and they are all in there with the other teachers – didn’t you want to know what the heck they talked about!?!? I can tell you – before I was in HR – I was a teacher. Guess what? Teachers talk about the exact same things that HR Pros talk about – how crazy the kids/employees are that we have to deal with all day! No difference – just physical age (certainly not mental age!).
So, I wanted to come up some of the reasons we think our employees are crazy – to hep out those crazy employees who want to come off less crazy at their next interview. It can happen! I don’t think employees are crazy, all the time, just at certain times – the problem is, HR Pros have to deal with all the employees so there is a good chance a crazy one is going to come across your desk at least once a day – thus the reason HR Pros think all of their employees are Crazy. We deal with crazy every day!
Here’s why HR Pros think Employees are Crazy:
1. Your Boss tells us about all of your weird anxieties.
2. Your co-workers, that hate you, tell us about all of your weird anxieties.
3. We know your medical history – mental and physical – sorry, it’s part of the gig.
4. We find out every time you cry or lose it at work – every time – almost part of the gig.
5. Your crazy-ass emails find their way to our inbox – thank your “work” friends for that.
6. We spend too much time talking about you in succession planning meetings, uncovering all that is wrong with you.
7. You rate yourself as “Great” on your self-assessments, and we know you are barely “Average”.
8. I know more about your divorce then your divorce attorney.
9. Your stories about your kids haunt me at night.
10. I know everyone you’ve slept with in the office – or tried to sleep with – or want to sleep with.
It’s a function of the job – we see and hear the worst and the best of all of our employees. Just like the school teacher who spends more time on a daily basis with your kids than you do as a parent, that teacher is probably going to know some things about them that you are unwilling to accept. HR Pros know some things about our employees – many of which they aren’t willing to accept – that’s human nature. I’m only saying this so that you understand why we think you’re crazy – you are – you just can’t accept that you are!
Interesting, but I doubt that much of it is true, depending on the workplace.
Additionally… Aren’t they then- by nature of the article’s admission- lying, untrustworthy, two-faced blackguards that cannot be trusted? I think this article is in poor taste and diminishes the HR Pros that truly work to make a difference in the workplace. To say that HR Pros make a mockery of the workforce is irresponsible. Life happens and true HR Pros take their roles very seriously. Any cross-section of a populous has issues. Articles like this with a flippant attitude towards the segment of EEs that they represent make for nothing more than sewer trash. Oh yes- I feel very strongly about the lack of professionalism that you tout as the HR Pro’s normative. Maybe when a few firms are sued successfully because of the “over-sharing” that these so-called “pros” engage in under the umbrella of confidentiality, the less sharing will be done. It’s also human nature for HR to tell others personal business outside of the sanctity of “behind closed doors”. This article decimates the open door policy and confidentiality axiom of HR. Ridiculous! …I digress
Haha… That’s rich! And I know plenty of HR Pros that are freaks! Psychologically and sexually! They think we can’t figure out WTF they engage in- both in and out of work- so we just play it off but often talk about their escapades as well. MF PLEEAASSSEEEE!
Funny, yeah. Let me add, as someone who has an anxiety disorder (and works very hard to conceal it, and is a very good worker) – I was surprised to find this wasn’t a humor piece? I did not need to envision my HR person as someone who would snigger at my personal problems (which I’ve never discussed with my boss or my HR reps) behind my back.
I mean I understand that you’re probably specifically mocking staff members who have loud phone conversations in their cube about their divorce proceedings and other wacky topics – but there are people who have legitimate problems, who need compassion from HR, who aren’t a pain in the arse. Would be nice to see some kind of caveat for people who are just trying to get by. I think your attempt at being snarky and cool about a slice of the working population got a little out of hand here.
Now this was funny and true. I can say this as an HR Pro and former teacher.
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Great article, Tim. Who needs reality TV when you have employees?
This was a great read…as i went down the list i kept seeing images of employees who fit the bill.
“I know more about your divorce then your divorce attorney”
This made me laugh out loud… thank you for this!
And perhaps most interesting to me is that we are not CIA, CSI, MI9 – and do not need nor want to know most of this stuff. ~Karla
Love this article! So true. In addition we also know all the weird and awful things about the company’s leaders which is why we tend to be cynical about how well a company is really doing.