Just a few short weeks ago the SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition rolled into New Orleans; with the volunteers and vendors and attendees there were 20,000’ish folks at this HR love fest.

I enjoyed the big show; I always do. And, excepting the usual number of Debbie Downers and Negative Nancys who have since felt the need to weigh in on various SHRM hosted message boards and communities about the “cold session rooms” and “the vastness of the convention center” and “the awful box lunches” (hey – you try to feed 15,000+ people lunch), so did the vast majority of the attendees.

As is usually the case the HR themed swag was flying off the shelves in the SHRM store. Frankly, I don’t get it; I just can’t see myself walking around town wearing an “I Love HR” shirt or displaying an “I Love HR” lamp on my desk (note: this lamp is so popular, the store has it on back order. I’m not kidding). Apparently though I’m in the minority as the SHRM store has been carrying this stuff for many years now and the desires of Linda, Betty, and Bob to buy these professional-themed career-loving-masturbatory tchotkes remains high.

Now, I would certainly hope that if one is working in human resources one loves it. Or, at the very least, doesn’t hate it.  However I’ve yet to see anyone wearing an “I love Internal Audit” tshirt. I have never walked into the office of a marketing professional to come face-to-face with a stuffed teddy bear emblazoned with “I <3 Marketing.” No IT guy/gal I’ve worked with has ever twirled an “IT 4ever” keychain on their fingers as we’ve walked out to a parking lot together at the end of the work day.

It’s a nice thing, as Whitney Houston once sang, to remember that “Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all,” but is this need to continually espouse professional self-love due to the fact that we are still (STILL!) recovering from the “I Hate HR” diatribes that began well over a decade ago? Are we collectively so insecure that we’re doing the professional equivalent of reminding each other that “You is Kind. You is Smart. You is important?”

Because, once those tens of thousands of human resources practitioners walked out the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center they probably got reminded that there’s not a whole lot of lovin’ coming from people outside of our little enclave. Here are some comments from a recent article on Yahoo entitled “A Woman Who’s Spent over a Decade in HR Shares the No. 1 Sign it’s Time to Quit Your Job,” that includes insight/interview with Toni Thompson, Head of HR and Talent for The Muse.  (note: at the time I’m writing this, there were 370 comments on the article. Not a single comment was positive about human resources).

  •  HR is a dinosaur concept that needs to go away. I laugh when an HR person calls themselves a professional
  •  HR departments are a joke ow that they are filled with SJW stooges. People become HR because they fail at math and accounting.
  • When will people realize that 99.9% of HR “professionals” exhibit sociopathic behaviors mainly due to the fact that it is the easiest profession to step into and you have to lie and create fantasies in order to give the appearance you are contributing. You don’t need a high IQ, you can hide behind others and find someone to blame just so you can keep your job. Most companies are better off with HR administrators only to take care of paperwork, benefits, etc. The minute an HR wannabe shows up the dynamics change and their goal becomes how do I find controversy in order to prove I bring value. Absolutely useless profession.
  •  Most HR people are totally incompetent. They cannot think outside the box and rarely fact check anything.
  •  People in HR are imbeciles trying justify there jobs as truly the most important. News flash, not so much.
  •  NEVER let HR run your company- They are called Human Resources- NOTHING more! They will run a company into the ground if you let them- They are little more than social workers.
  • One time I told a boss something the HR lady said, my boss’s reply, “She’s Human Resources, she’s paid to lie!”
  •  HR is there only to protect upper management, not an employee. Policy interpretations will always go in favor of management, and If employees think that HR is on their side, they are in for a very rude awakening at some point.
  •  Hate it when some HR person is in on the interview process asking dumb questions. They know nothing beyond a couple of buzzwords.
  •  HR people are either sociopaths or psychopaths for the most part. No empathy. Stay away from them, don’t trust them. They are under no requirement to be confidential no matter what they say. They are there to keep management out of legal trouble, not to help employees .
  •  HR departments are the worst thing that has happened to big companies ever. There is NO PERSONAL contact most of the time. You submit an application and you may or may not get a response either way. COLD COLD COLD. I know some very good people who have not even gotten an interview or response. A damn computer decides if the person is worth pursuing. TERRIBLE. If I owned a big or medium company, HR would be gone. Assuming you wanted good people and bright employees. No one can really tell anything about someone without a face to face. PERIOD
  •  HR is a blood-sucking parasite to employees and they will do anything to anyone to make the owners or boss happy
  •  This article is useless because HR is useless.
  •  Rule No 1 don’t trust HR.

Wow. This sort of stuff makes me sad. And I know…comments on any article show the seamy underbelly of humanity, but I still think it’s worthwhile to read them and see what people are saying.

It begs the question of course…is there anything wrong with wanting to feel valued, worthy and loved? Of course not.  But you know how we’ll know when LOVE for HR is a real thing?

When our employees, leaders and applicants wear those “I Love HR” t-shirts.

Lookin’ for HR Love in All the Wrong Places
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10 thoughts on “Lookin’ for HR Love in All the Wrong Places

  • July 11, 2017 at 12:07 pm
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    How about “I respect and admire HR” or Why am I in HR” but the stuff does sell.

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  • July 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm
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    Make that last line “Ask me why …..:

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  • July 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm
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    Oh that’s what I buy it for… employees including the CEO. I didn’t realize that was for HR professionals.

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    • July 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm
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      #winning!

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  • July 11, 2017 at 1:52 pm
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    HR is the proverbial beating post because we are employee facing, just as sales is typically the beating post from customers. I don’t give these comments much attention because few are constructive. Want HR to be better? Then answer the question “how?”

    But a salient point this article makes is that HR needs to focus on employee love, not internal love and slogans printed on shirts and lamps.

    Reply
  • July 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm
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    This is the saddest thing I’ve read today.

    Also, I totally give employees the I <3 HR stuff.

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  • July 15, 2017 at 2:44 am
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    People that come amd work forHR, coming from another profession usually are overwhelmed by the challenge.

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  • August 17, 2017 at 10:12 am
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    Love the shop & especially love the lamp 🙂

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  • August 24, 2017 at 3:27 pm
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    You HR folks can think whatever you want but you can’t argue with people’s experiences with you. I just turned 50. I’ve been in the workforce since the day I turned 16. I have NEVER been called to HR for anything positive…..NEVER, not a single time. I can’t even sign this post with my real name or email address because people like you are watching. I’d be more active on LinkedIn if it weren’t for people like you…….I could go on and on and on about everything that’s wrong with your “profession”.

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    • August 31, 2017 at 7:45 pm
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      I hear you and I get it. HR has a crappy reputation and it’s often due to experiences such as yours. I’m sorry that’s the kind you’ve experienced….

      Reply

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