Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Truth About Cats And Dogs And HR People

Cats bad. Dogs tolerable if they live outside and bite burglars. HR People are mindless leeches.

I don’t get along with human resources people as a rule. Their job in any organization is to set the kind of intra-office regulations that I find meaningless.

Typical correspondence consists of the following:

HR Person: “I notice that you were on annual leave for three days two months ago. Please put in a leave form, and in future, please file a form in advance of taking annual leave, and have your manager approve it in advance.”

IP: “No.”

HR Person: “Those are the company regulations. Why can you not follow them?”

IP: “Because it’s not my fucking job to fill in forms. If you want me to be associated with one of your stupid forms, then you fill the fucking thing in, and send it to my secretary for her to sign on my behalf.”

HR Person: “That is not company policy.”

IP: “I don’t give a fuck. And because you’re irritating me, I’m not claiming any annual leave on those days at all. As far as I am concerned, I was working.”

HR Person: “How were you working?”

IP: “I spent a couple of hours each day talking to fucking clients, to make enough money for the firm so that we can employ stupid nobodies to annoy me. And I’m going to claim a day in lieu for Good Friday, when I spent an hour on the phone to a client who was too busy making money for his business to notice that it was Good Friday. Fill in the form for it and have my secretary sign it on my behalf.”

I am not suggesting that a good HR function is beyond the realm of any corporate possibility. The ideal HR person will spend all their time inducting new employees, and making existing employees feel happy about the workplace they are in. In the case of my workplace, a truly effective HR person would ensure that all new employees have signed a waiver, removing their ability to use standard legal means to complain against me for miscellaneous abuses to their fundamental human rights that working in the same building as me necessarily involves. They should be told, during the interview process: “If IP does not like you, he will use your gender, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, religious belief, and/or state of physical disability as an excuse to discriminate against you. He is not actually discriminating against you on those grounds. He just does not like you.”

Now that would be a useful induction.

An effective HR person would organise parties and booze-ups, to make people feel better about the place in which they work.

An effective HR person would also understand that the purpose of recording misdemeanours at parties and booze-ups is not to punish an employee for the bad behaviour. Discipline is not the HR person’s job. Discipline, in a highly performing work environment, is unnecessary. Punishment for bad behaviour misses the point. Due to a slight anomaly (i.e., the Employment Relations Act 2000), bad behaviour is only used as an excuse to get rid of an employee who is not performing.

Not that I am suggesting that these ideal HR people actually exist. I'm not saying, either, that they don't exist. There may be, in some dark corner of Mogadishu, an errant HR person who is not following the rules, and has somehow understood their true purpose in life: to serve the organisation and people that they work for. I just haven't met such a person.

I was reminded recently of the banality of HR people when I attended a barbecue. The barbecue was a boozy affair. A friend and I had done the honours by spit-roasting a whole lamb over a twelve-hour period, stuffed with turkeys, chickens, and tuis. For extra drama, we wired a pig’s head to the lamb’s neck. To true Roman toga effect, we carved, with the aid of a tomahawk, to raucous applause. Even a visiting vegan was entranced by the spectacle of removing the back fillet, to the extent that I was just moments away from getting him to eat some before I was distracted by more interesting company.

The company in question consisted of a pair of busty wenches who had been at another theme party, and happened upon ours. I never got their ages—twenty-two, perhaps. Not very bright. Worked in hospitality. And they were an hospitable pair.

Until, sometime later in the evening, as I was passing by the bedroom window on my way back from urinating on the lemon tree in the garden, I observed peripherally, as I tend to when I’m drunk, the two hot busty wenches were removing their garters. With their teeth. I yelled out to random party goers: “Hey! The two hot busty wenches are also hot busty lesbos! Excellent!” Two of the more adventurous males in the gathering clamoured to take a closer look. They claimed afterwards to have seen nothing at all. Subsequently, I claimed that they were a pair of myopic liars.

I do not personally recall why I had been banned from this property for more than a year, but drawing everybody’s attention to the busty wenches, at full volume, reminded the tenants of the property why I had been banned on the previous occasion.

But there was still more to come. I was mixing and mingling, and talking at people, and drinking alcohol in unsafe quantities, when I quite suddenly picked up a vibe in my near audience. This particular audience consisted of the two hot, busty wenches, one of the tenants of the property, and two guys I’d never seen before. I turned to the two guys, and said:

“So, which of you two guys is the homo?”

They stared at me blankly, but uncomfortably.

I said: “Come on. One of you guys is a homo, right?”

A number of people in the immediate, and not-so-immediate vicinity, stopped talking. A few people glared at me. I became vaguely aware that I may have said something unseemly. From behind me, a voice said:

“I take great offence at that!”

I turned around. Some miscellaneous ginga chick—a vegetarian who didn’t approve of killing animals, let alone stuffing them inside larger animals and spit-roasting them—was upset. I also witnessed that she was considerably overweight. I wondered, internally, just how somebody who doesn’t eat animal fat can become overweight to that extent. So I say: “At what?”

“Those are my friends.”

“Good for you to have two friends,” I answer with a degree of gallantry and valour that she neither appreciated nor deserved, but in any other situation might have put me into war medal contention. “Why are you offended?”

“Because I’m one, too.”

“A what?” I ask.

“A homo! And it’s not respectful to use that word.” She’s already got the kind of hectoring pitch that only chicks who are too repulsive to get any, can manage.

“No you’re not,” I respond. “Only guys can be homos. I wasn’t accusing both of them. I was only suggesting that one of the two of them is. You’re a chick. You can’t be a homo. You might be a lesbo, tho’. I’ve got nothing wrong with lesbos. I think lesbos are excellent. Especially if they’re hot part-timers.”

I flick another perve at the two hot, busty wenches to emphasise my point.

“What have you got against gay people?” she asks, not wanting to give up the fight.

I sigh, a little tired of her already. “Look, I don’t have anything against homos. God does. And they will fry in hell for their sins. Not my problem. But I don’t see what that’s got to do with you, either.”

“We’re the same!” she says, lamely.

“No you’re not. You’re a lesbo, one of those guys is a homo. Good on both of you. But you’ve got nothing in common with each other. You get licky-licky with girls, he gets it on with guys. As far as gender preferences go, you’re about as mutually exclusive as it gets. I didn’t offend you. You’re just naturally cranky. Have a piece of lamb. It will calm you down.”

Despite my appeals for peace, the overweight ginga lesbo starts getting more cranky. Pretty unreasonable behaviour on her part, all in all. But she can’t voice her frustration. I have won the argument. The two hot, busty chicks are looking at me as if they are less lesbo than I had previously alleged. I am enjoying their attention. Even the two guys, one of whom I had accused of being camp, are both on my side.

And then a bolt of understanding hit me. “Wait a moment,” I say. “Let me guess. You voted Labour at the last election, didn’t you?”

“Yes,” the cranky butch ginga answers.

“And you work for a living, don’t you?”

“Yes,” she says.

“And the kind of work you do… I’m going to go out on a limb, here… but do you, by any chance, work in human resources?”

I almost pissed myself with her final confirmation. They cannot even stop themselves from regulating how people think and talk when they're not being paid for it.

11 comments:

Seamonkey Madness said...

...and hes back ladies and gentlemen!!

Even better than your cricket party story with the albino.

=)

sagenz said...

i have no idea why you dont publish your real name. did you talk to the two hotties after

Anonymous said...

fuck talking to them, did you bone them? If not, why not?

Cactus Kate said...

Far more obnoxious than anything I can produce. Horrible even.

Well done.

Now if we could just get Hosking back into it, the circle would be complete..

Alastair said...

HR people are exactly like salespeople. They get given training which determines how they talk, react and interact, and they consequently forget how to think for themselves.

A brilliantly written piece.

Anna said...

Stumbled over this blog via the "Not PC" blog. Thank you for a good Saturday laugh.

Rob's Blockhead Blog said...

Cactus:

Are you implying I am obnoxious?

BTW - this post has spurred me to confess my own near miss with HR as a career...

Gman said...

Aha you and I are on the same wavelength.

essentially there three types of employees/consultants:

-those who make monmey for the firm

-those who either spend money for the firm in ways that won't make money or invent ways that a firm can waste money rather than invent ways of making money for the firm.

-those who invent ways to actually STOP the firm from making money, or to stop those who make money

in the public sector there are none of the first group.

here endeth the lesson

Insolent Prick said...

Alastair,

There is a fundamental difference between sales people and operational ones. Have a look at http://tigerhawk.blogspot.com/2006/04/you-cant-handle-truth.html

Flash said...

Welcome back, IP.

Would you believe that my company's internet policy prevents me from accessing your fine website? I've only just had a chance to see your post.

I went to a similar bbq once. Next time you try the trick with the stuffed lamb I recommend you try native pigeons. There isn't nearly enough meat on those tuis.

Best regards,

Flash

kisekiman said...

I said it before and I'll say it again.

Better dead than red in the head, like the dick of a dog.

BTW I find apricot and honey an excellent basting for the spit.