A Farewell Tour for an HR Pro

If you didn’t see it, one of the all-time greats of the NBA, Kobe Bryant, recently announced he was going to retire. Kobe is a personal favorite of mine, because, besides Jordan, he might be the most competitive player I’ve ever seen play.  If you played against Kobe, he hated you. If you played with Kobe, he put up with you! I love me some Black Mamba!

So, Kobe is now on his city by city farewell tour.  This happens in sports all the time for the great ones.  We got to see it last year with Yankee great Derek Jeter.  It’s always the same thing. Each city/team tries to outdo each other with giving gifts and paying tribute to the all-time great player.  Everyone plays nice. Hugs (I like that part). Gifts. Don’t guard me too close so I can make a few plays for the fans to remember me by! You know the drill!

When a HR Manager decides to retire, we never get a farewell tour.  I think we should!  Here’s what an average HR Manager Farewell Tour would look like:

Week #1 – Your benefits vendor invites you out to Applebee’s for a free lunch. Go ahead get the appetizer, the sirloin, and the strawberry lemonade! Heck, throw in a brownie bite. Yeah, in might go over your $25 limit, but this is your tour, no one is going to care you took $28, not $25!

Week #2 – Your HRMS vendor wants to drop off a little something to congratulate you. Looks like a bottle of wine!  (Pro tip: I would ask if it’s alcohol on the front side, then meet them in the parking lot!)

Week #3 – Your EAP vendor dropped off bagels from Panera, with three kinds of cream cheese! Way over $25, but you’re really sharing with the group, so you can divide that out. Pretty safe! (Pro Tip: On your farewell tour, make sure to bring in a toaster into the office, if you don’t already have one – some will always drop off bagels!)

Week #4 – CareerBuilder just wants to send you a little something to say thanks! Also, who’s taking over for you?  CB swag is always great. Pick through the box for the good stuff first, then throw the rest in the break room. It will be gone in no time! (Pro tip: if you spend a bunch with your job board vendor – like $25K+ – you can turn this into a lunch!)

Week #5 – Your ATS vendor called to wish you luck. You just happen to drop the ‘hint’ you can’t wait to go to more movies! It’s a passion of yours! You love going to the theater, but it’s so darn expensive! Theater gift card will be coming soon in the mail!

Week #6 – It’s the employee cake and ice cream social event.  You have to throw this one in, even though, you’ll be the one ordering your own cake and ice cream! It’s your party, make sure you get the cake you want, and not that cheap crap you order for all the other employees who retire!

Week #7 – Save this one for last! It’s time to call on your staffing vendor! Staffing vendors are an easy steak dinner and drinks kind of night. You do this last because you don’t want to come back to the office and look anyone in the eye after this night. Staffing folks can party, and still believe that if they get you drunk you’ll tell them all your secrets. The secret is, we don’t have any!

The bigger the organization the longer you can stretch out this tour since you probably have more vendors. It’s your tour, do with it what you will. Just remember, you earned it!


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