I Already Failed my Post-Pandemic Promise to Myself!

I know the Pandemic is not over. I’m traveling again, almost like it’s back to normal. 3 cities last week, 6 airports, 4 different hotels. Felt like Fall 2019! Well, almost.

You see, going through the Pandemic, I found myself very fortunate. Personally and professionally, I’ve come out on the backside of the Pandemic feeling extremely fortunate and grateful of where I find myself. So, I promised myself I wouldn’t get frustrated or have travel stress. Prior to the Pandemic when I traveled, you would run into mean people, bad employees, weather issues, poor service, long lines, etc.

All of it caused stress and frustration, and quite frankly made travel kind of pain in the ass.

But, I’ve got a new outlook on life. Traffic jam? No problem, I’ve got so many podcasts I want to catch up on, plus, it gives me extra time to catch up with people on a live call! Delayed flight? Oh, I really needed to get some writing done, this is perfect! Long line at the rental car desk? No big deal, look at the one employee working her butt off, I need to make sure to tell her how grateful I am at her showing up today and making sure I got on my way!

Sounds very life coachy of me, right!?

It all lasted about one flight!

Turns out, I can tell myself that none of this will stress me, but then I ran into people! You know just normal people who are trying to also get out on long awaited vacations and meetups with family they haven’t seen in so long. I mean really stupid, dumb people who have forgotten completely how to travel. Like, OMG, look, that’s an aeroplane! Let me stand right in the middle of this walk way with a suitcase that’s two big blocking everyone from moving on to their flight!

My scientific assessment of the situation is Covid-19 made people dumber when traveling. Like we took 12-18 months off of traveling and I completely forgot what to do. Wait, I can’t have a can of gasoline in my carryon luggage!? Why not!? This is America! And my rental car in Jacksonville might not have gasoline!

It’s not just air travel. Have you noticed how people drive right now? I mean pre-pandemic is what bad, but now almost everyone seems to be a complete imbecile when it comes to operating a vehicle. It’s almost like states just gave out driver’s licenses during the pandemic by mail! Like just send us a check and a picture and we’ll send you back a valid driver’s license! I’m sure you know how to drive, we believe you, it’s a Pandemic, why would you lie!

What was my tipping point?

I’m a Delta guy. I’ve almost already hit Diamond status this year and it’s the end of June. The one thing I hate about every airline is how they jam you on the plane knowing it’s not going to take off, but they want their on-time departure. I’ve learned to live with this, again, more time for me to catch up on stuff. But this week, Delta did this to me for an hour and half. Why? Because they knew they couldn’t get someone to fuel the plane, but let’s just all sit here and wait. One fueler for the entire Detroit airport on a Saturday morning. I get it, no staff, we’re doing the best we can. I truly appreciate that dude, but this was the end of a long week of travel and little issues like this one.

I failed myself, but I vow to keep trying. The premise stays the same, I live a blessed life, I’m the one making these choices to travel knowing the world is far from back to normal. I promise I’ll keep trying.

In the mean time, people please stop trying to be stupid! Get your sh*t together. Understand there are other people around you again. You’re not stuck in your house by yourself. Pick up your pace a bit. Did I mention stop being stupid?

Yeah, this won’t last long…

I’m not a Dr. but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express!

On Friday, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion article regarding incoming First Lady Dr. Jill Biden, using the pre-nominal “Dr.” when she has a doctorate in education, Ed.D, versus a medical doctorate, Ph.D. There is no doubt that Jill Biden did the work and received the degree, from a real, actual university.

The question really comes down to, is there really a difference in calling someone “Dr.”? 

I’m a brain surgeon, call me Dr. I’m a clinical psychologist, call me Dr. I’m a Pharmacist, call me Dr. I’m a Physical Therapist, call me Dr. I’m a Professor of Sport History, call me Dr. I’m a Vaccine Scientist, call me Dr. I teach English 101 at a local community college, call me Dr.

For each of those titles, currently, to obtain that title you have to have a doctorate degree. Well, actually, you don’t have to have a doctorate to teach at a university or community college. To become a medical doctor, Pharmacist, Physical Therapist, today, you must get your doctorate in the U.S. Regardless, many people get a doctorate but do jobs that don’t necessarily need a doctorate to do that job.

As a recruiting professional, I have an opinion. 

I believe we call people Dr. when in normal society those people are called “doctors”. When I go see a Physician, most people, who don’t know them personally, will call them “doctor”. If in a normal work setting, someone doesn’t call you “doctor”, but you call yourself doctor, that comes off really bad.

The worse is when you expect someone else to call you “doctor” but the average person in the world would never expect to call you “doctor”. Then you come across as pompous. “Tim, it’s nice to meet you!” Yes, that’s Dr. Tim, thank you. “No, that’s Dr. Asshole, goodbye!”

This is just good situational awareness if you are on the job market. We deal with many candidates who have their doctorate in various sciences. It’s very rare in a professional work setting they would ever use “Dr.”, and if they corrected a hiring manager during an interview, let’s face it, that wouldn’t end well.

Does any of this really matter? 

Before someone loses their head and puts in a 700-word comment about how I’m a misogynist against Dr. Jill Biden, check yourself. I could care less about what Jill Biden wants to be called. If she wants to call herself Queen, good for her! Dr. Queen, even better!

The reality is, most likely, this Op-Ed wouldn’t have been written if Jill Biden was voted in as President, and her first husband, Joe, has his doctorate in education, and called himself Dr. Joe Biden. So, that’s a problem. It doesn’t make the Op-Ed opinion wrong, just questionable.

If she’s comfortable with calling herself Dr., that’s all that really matters. I have a feeling that if I got an Ed.D or any other kind of doctorate degree, I would force people to call me Dr.! “Hey, Mr. Teddy Starbucks barista, that’s “Dr. Timmy”! Get it right!” I would also expect that people would say bad things behind my back if it wasn’t normal for someone with my degree to be called “Dr.”

What do the “real” doctors think? 

I got feedback from three friends who all have a doctorate degree. All three felt like this was basically bad form on the part of the writer of the Opt-Ed. He comes across as a sexiest, old, out of touch elitest.

There is, though, a background within the doctoral community of hazing between those with doctorates about who has the “better” degree and from the “better” school. Also, MD’s, medical doctors, most likely look down on all other doctorates who don’t save lives.

As my one friend put it, I will definitely give it to my fellow doctorate friends who have an Ed.D versus a Ph.D, or went to a B-level school versus an A-list school. But, let’s not kid ourselves, I could have not gone to my Ph.D class on management, or done poorly, and no one is losing their life!

The fact is, all doctorate recipients did the work. Professionally, they will take being called “Dr.” in that professional setting. Professors might not ask to be called “Dr.” but if a student calls them by “Dr.” it fits the professional setting. If Jill Biden is working on Educational Policy and Strategy, if completely fits her being called Dr. Biden, that is her professional role.

If I’m going out for dinner with Jill and Joe, in a personal setting, of course, it would seem weird for her to want me to call her Dr. Jill Biden at the dinner table, if we were just having a social dinner. But, that’s not what this is about. This is about someone you thinks he knows more than everyone else, and he’s going to mansplain it to us all, especially, a woman.

If Jill wants to be called Dr. Jill Biden, call her that. If you don’t like it, then don’t put yourself in a position to have to use her name. I’m sure she would appreciate that.

Can we stop using the phrase “Top Talent”!?

Rant warning! Proceed with caution! 
First off the vast majority of us wouldn’t know top talent for a specific position if it came up and slapped us in the face. What we know are people/candidates that are actually open to listening to what we have open right now.
“Pipelining top talent” makes you sound like a psychopath! You truly have no idea who is the most talented person in your market for a certain position. Absolutely no idea! And every technology that says they can tell you who is the most talented is lying to you, they can just tell you who is probably more talented amongst a group of known candidates.
But somehow you believe you not only have one “top talented” person but now you have a complete pipeline of top talent? Shut up! You look like an idiot! What you have is a list of people who might work for your position, but you truly have no idea if they’re ax murders or super talented in the skill set they’re telling you they have.
Hopefully, you get lucky and make a good hire that will produce good work. Every once in a while we hit the jackpot and find a person who truly seems better than the rest we have on the team. But we only hire “top talent” is the biggest lie we currently tell ourselves in talent acquisition!
We don’t actually go out and hire “top” talent. We go out and look for people who can do the job we have open at the time we have it open, who are also open to our average pay, average benefits, average leadership, average culture, and location. Let’s not kid ourselves, about 80% of us are average, so are slightly better, some are slightly worse.
“Top Talent”… Give me a freaking break!
“Hire Sally she’s Top Talent!” “Hire Jimmy he’s Top Talent!” Do you know who’s not top talent? The person using the phrase “Top Talent”!?
I love it when I see an agency have some stupid 4 part process or plan or dumb little 4 P’s of how we hire the Top Talent in the industry. Psychopaths! They aren’t doing anything but posting jobs and hitting their databases to find out who might actually be open to taking the interview. Top Talent? How about “might show up for the interview” talent!
“No, Tim! We use the 4 P’s, it’s a proven process to uncover top talent!” What are the 4 P’s? It doesn’t matter! Because it’s all B.S., made up to make you believe there’s some secret sauce. The secret sauce is they picked up the phone and called people instead of waiting around for someone who’s out of work to find your opening and apply.
“You can use our A.I. driven technology that uncovers and delivers right to your inbox the “Top Talent” your company is searching for!”  It reaches out to everyone, finds out who is interested, finds out who meets your qualifications, and sends them to you. Top Talent? Or warm body talent? They both mean the same thing.
Okay – I’m done. Not really, but I have some “top talent” I need to go searching for…

The Email Every Employee Wishes They Sent After Leaving!

Please raise your hand if you have ever drafted an email that you desperately wanted to fire off to your entire organization, or leadership, only to delete it, so to not ruin your career? I know most of you have because sometimes, in HR, we get to deal with those poor souls who didn’t have the willpower to push ‘Delete’ and instead pushed ‘Send’.

In the HR business, we call those employees ‘Former Employees’!  I’ve coined a name for those emails I like to call them ‘The Lotto Email’!  It’s the email you would feel comfortable sending the moment you return from picking up that overly sized Powerball check you just won.  You now have I-Don’t-Give-A-Sh*t money and you’re completely unfiltered.

I don’t hold out hope I will ever win the lottery but I imagine the email might look something like this:

Dear Fellow Employees,

I’m Rich Beeatch! (click here for context)

That being said I’d like to say a few things before not packing up any of this crap in my office and leaving forever.  To make this easier for you to cut and paste and send around later, I’ll bullet point this out into chunks – USA Today style – because I know most of you are slow and lose attention quickly:

– Mr. CEO – I know you think it’s probably adorable how you make comments about every woman in the office’s ass behind closed doors, but it’s not, it’s creepy. Just like you.

– Mr. CFO – You’re an accountant, calm the f@#K down, you’re not that important. Just tell us how much money we have and go back to being boring.

– Mrs. HR – Nobody likes you. This is just confirmation. BTW, everyone lies on your engagement surveys because all the managers use them as weapons, so it’s easier to lie and make you feel like what you do actually matters. It doesn’t.

– Mrs. COO – The CEO constantly talks about your ass. Hope that makes your meetings going forward more comfortable.

– Mary – I’ve always wanted to tell you that you are drop dead gorgeous, but your low self-esteem keeps you married to a complete asshole! I’m better than that. I won’t be that asshole. Here’s our chance, walk out of here with me Jerry Maguire style and let’s do this. Otherwise, I’m probably 5 drinks and 2 hours away from making some really bad decisions at a strip club.

– Ted – You’re a douche bag, everyone hates you.

There’s a bunch of other stuff I could to say – but really the only thing I really want to say is: I’m Rich Beeatch!

See you in the parking lot, Mary.

Former Employee

Obviously, this wouldn’t be ‘my’ letter because I’m the President of my company!  My letter would be a lot of thanking everyone for everything and I’ll see you around if you’re ever in the South of France on a large yacht. Plus a bunch of positive stuff and how valuable each and every employee was to me personally.

Follow by – “I’m Rich Beeatch!”

Let’s face it, we love pretty people!

So, you’ve probably heard by now that some companies in Silicon Valley decided to hire models to attend their annual holiday parties and act as friends of executives. The purpose was not to show the executives had pretty friends, but to add some ‘prettiness’ to the party:

Along with a seemingly endless string of harassment and discrimination scandals, Silicon Valley’s homogeneity has a more trivial side effect: boring holiday parties. A fete meant to retain all your talented engineers is almost certain to wind up with a rather same-y crowd, made up mostly of guys. At this year’s holiday parties, however, there’ll be a surprising influx of attractive women, and a few pretty men, mingling with the engineers. They’re being paid to.

Local modelling agencies, which work with Facebook- and Google-size companies as well as much smaller businesses and the occasional wealthy individual, say a record number of tech companies are quietly paying $50 to $200 an hour for each model hired solely to chat up attendees. For a typical party, scheduled for the weekend of Dec. 8, Cre8 Agency LLC is sending 25 women and 5 men, all good-looking, to hang out with “pretty much all men” who work for a large gaming company in San Francisco, says Cre8 President Farnaz Kermaani. The company, which she wouldn’t name, has handpicked the models based on photos, made them sign nondisclosure agreements, and given them names of employees to pretend they’re friends with, in case anyone asks why he’s never seen them around the foosball table.

So, my HR brothers and sisters lost their minds over this on the social webs!

There were many comments all going down the path of: “Gross”, “Pathetic”, “Trumps America”, etc.

I have a different take. This is Recruitment Marketing in the real world. Most of us don’t live in Disneyland, and the real world of hiring is a bit different for the majority.

Here’s the deal. Tech hires are mostly men. White men, brown men, black men, really, really pale white men, but mostly men.

If you have a holiday party at a Tech company and it’s all dudes, well, that’s not very exciting. In fact, it’s pretty sad for all the dudes standing around looking at each other. If you were part of that party, as a dude, you probably wouldn’t tell your friends to come work with you.

Now, if you go to a party and there’s a bunch of hot women, hey, this place is pretty great! I’ve got a chance. Now, if you knew all that ‘talent’ was paid for, now it becomes depressing again. But, if you thought, these are just ‘friends’ of some of the other employees who got invited and they just love to hang with techy dudes, now it feels a bit better, again.

These models aren’t hookers. They’re at your company party to make the ‘atmosphere’ better. Basically, these models, are like the free laundry service and ping pong table you provide. It makes the environment better. You like where you work more. You don’t tell your employees, “Hey, we offer dog walking services for free because it really has been shown to help retain you.” Everyone kind of gets that.

This is no different. Having good-looking people at your employee events, makes it seem like this place is cooler than it probably really is. By the way, these pretty people, are in on the game! They are making money using their god given assets. Just as the techy people are using their big brains.

We love to hate. The reality is, America is addicted to pretty. We made the Kardashians millionaires for absolutely no reason except for their looks. We want to be pretty. We want to hang with pretty. We are a nation that values pretty over almost everything else.

Is that right? No! Is that part of the game we are in right now? Yes.

Pro Tip: I get around hiring pretty models (male and female) at my holiday party by just hiring pretty employees to begin with! Stay thirsty my friends.

 

Wait, what!? You want me to actually work…

I took this job because you guys have a rocking careers website…

I took this job because of your awesome culture…

I took this job because your employees wear whatever they want…

I took this job because you serve unlimited gourmet coffee, all day…

I took this job because you give unlimited time off…

I took this job because you offered me more than anyone else…

I took this job because you have the coolest office with a ping pong table…

I took this job because you take your staff to Vegas each year…

I took this job because I don’t have to pay anything for my benefits…

I took this job because you buy beer and pizza on Thursday’s after work…

I took this job because you allow me to bring my dog with me…

I took this job because so I could work from home in my pajamas…

I took this job because of the free dry cleaning service…

I took this job because everyone is on the same level…

I took this job because, oh wait, you have to do work here…

GenX Rant: You’re not lonely, you’re just an idiot…

So, the Washington Post ran an article this week where the former Surgeon General states that the U.S. has a “loneliness epidemic” it’s currently facing. A what?!

From the article:

“Vivek H. Murthy, who became the U.S. surgeon general in late 2014 after a lengthy confirmation battle over his remarks about guns being a health-care issue, added emotional well-being and loneliness to his list of big public health worries.

Now he’s writing about the impact the workplace has on those issues, taking his concerns to employers and speaking out about how the “loneliness epidemic” plays out on the job. In a new cover story in the Harvard Business Review, Murthy treats loneliness like a public health crisis, and the workplace as one of the primary places where it can get better — or worse. “Our social connections are in fact largely influenced by the institutions and settings where we spend the majority of our time,” Murthy said in an interview with The Washington Post. “That includes the workplace.”

Have we lost our f#*king minds!?

So, Timmy doesn’t make friends at work, goes home and spends eight straight hours on social media, or binge watches 8 episodes of Breaking Bad and feels like no one is his friend. That not an epidemic. Tim is an idiot!

I wasn’t a lonely kid, and I didn’t grow up being a lonely adult. Why? My parents would physically lock me out of the house from like after school to whenever the street lights came on. I was no ‘allowed’ in the house. They forced me to got out and make friends. It’s a learned skill, making friends. They said only one thing, “Go make friends.”

No instructions. No scheduled playgroups. Get your lazy ass outside and make friends. It’s not hard, just don’t be an idiot to the other kids who are were also forced outside. A ‘friend’ is not a social connection. It’s someone you physically talk to, touch, you know what each other’s likes and hates. You know their dreams and fears.

So, here we are in 2017, we can’t find enough talent, we’re struggling to help our leaders manage the performance of our workforce, and now we have to teach adults how to make friends? You have to be freaking kidding me!

A decade ago Gallup found out the ‘trick’ too happy employees is they have a ‘best friend’ at work. Little did we know, then, but apparently we do today, HR would become best friend matchmaker for friendship illiterate millennials who couldn’t look up from their phones for fifteen seconds to say an actual “hello” to Timmy as he walked by.

I give up. We’re all morons. Society is lost. China, please come takeover already…

Everyone has their own rules. These are mine. The Sackett Rules!

I’m heading back from South Africa today, so I’m re-posting a blog post I wrote six years ago. The day I wrote it I was at SHRM with Matt Stollak and Matt Charney, who gave me the motivation for this! It’s fun looking back on some old posts and reminding myself of some of these.

I think we all have rules, our own set of rules, but rarely do we let others know, which is why it’s so hard dealing with people. If we just knew everyone’s rules, we would probably all get along just fine!

Here are my rules:

The Sackett Rules

1. Don’t call in sick on Mondays or Fridays – no one believes you. (My staff knows this one well)

2. Everyone has a price, it’s a recruiters job to figure that out.  Never take “I’m not interested” as a reason. You just haven’t found out the price where they would be interested. (I don’t want to shovel cow manure, but if you pay me enough, well, heck, where’s the shovel?)

3. It only costs a little more to go, first class.  (My Grandpa use to say this, then my Mom, now me. It’s about doing things right.)

4. People won’t remember what you said, but they’ll remember how you made them feel. (That’s why I bring great snacks to meetings, and try and have a funny story!)

5. Always be nice to Moms with young kids. (Their day is always much harder than mine.)

6. There’s always a reason to kick an old man down the steps, just don’t do it. (via Chris Rock – this just makes me laugh)

7. Don’t cross the streams. (from Ghostbusters: I use this one with my youngest son, it makes him laugh, and he’s never seen the original movie)

8. No touching of the hair or face. (Ron Burgundy in Anchorman: my wife will laugh at this. I don’t like people touching my almost gone hair and I had Lasik surgery years ago and don’t like anyone touching my face, and I don’t like bees!)

9. Don’t be a victim. (Yeah, you pretty much control what happens to you, I have very little patience for people who play the victim.)

10. If you are scrubbing the kitchen floor in your boxer shorts, don’t do it with the shades to the sliding glass door open, while your neighbors behind you are having your other neighbors over for drinks on the back deck. (enough said I believe)

What are your rules, that you wish everyone would know? Hit me in the comments!

If you want Genius, You Can’t manage to Ordinary

Most leaders I know want brilliant, creative, genius outcomes from their employees. Awesome! I love high expectations.

Genius, though, is a fickle thing. 99.99% of us will never reach the genius stage in anything we do in life. If you’re lucky enough to work with, be friends with, or manage a genius personality, you know these cats aren’t normal.

Some folks can reach a genius level in one aspect of their life. This lady is a genius at selling software, no one is better. This dude is a genius at creating and improving processes like no one else.

Leaders usually try to manage the genius like every other ordinary employee.

Therein lies the problem. The genius isn’t ordinary, they’re extraordinary. We have a hard time wrapping our small leadership brains around this idea of treating one person differently than the rest is the right thing to do. We were ‘trained’ to treat everyone equally.

Some times the right leadership decision to set precedent. To treat someone differently than the rest because that’s what needs to be done to reap what the genius has to give you. It’s not that the genius necessarily wants or asks to be treated differently. It’s the fact that if you want genius you can’t manage them like their ordinary, otherwise, you’ll probably just get ordinary.

 

The day Political Correctness Jumped the Shark

You know what “Jump the Shark” means, right? It’s basically saying that something has lost its relevance and is past its time. In today’s always on social media train, things can jump the shark very quickly. Something that is hot today, is totally forgotten about within hours.

Obviously, there are certain things that will never jump the shark. Racism can not jump the shark. There will never be a day when racism is irrelevant. Political correctness and companies trying to be politically correct, though, can jump the shark!

Robert E. Lee.

That infamous Confederate General with all the statues and car named after him on Dukes of Hazard has been really popular in the news lately. After the tragedy at Charlottesville, VA recently, folks around the U.S. have come to the conclusion maybe it’s time we stop celebrating people who fought for slavery and take down those monuments that are awful reminders of things we should not be honoring or celebrating.

ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports, has a really great announcer that happens to be named Robert Lee. Not Robert E. Lee. Just Robert Lee. In fact, ESPN’s Robert Lee is an Asian-American, not even a white dude, like the original Robert E. Lee.

ESPN’s Robert Lee was supposed to call a football game on ESPN being hosted by the University of Virgina. The same place where white supremacists marched and killed a person recently. When all the brilliant folks at ESPN put their heads together, they thought it best not to put “Robert Lee” on the telecast of the University of Virginia game.

Why?

Well, that’s a great question! ESPN believes folks will be offended by a person named Robert Lee calling a football game on TV in which the University of Virgina is playing in Charlottesville. The Asian guy, Robert Lee. Not the dead Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which appears ESPN leaders don’t believe those watching the game could tell the difference, between an alive Asian-American and a dead Confederate White General.

Political Correctness has jumped the shark. ESPN is everything that is wrong with Corporate America.  We’ve gotten to the point where we’ve tried to dumb down everything to a level that it no longer makes sense to anyone.

Of course, Robert E. Lee is not something we need to celebrate in our country. But, does that mean that a guy named Robert Lee can’t call a football game?! ESPN, how dumb do you think America is? Wait, don’t answer that, I think we get the picture.