What I like about work.

The obvious answer is money, but that’s not an answer at all is it? Money is, after all, just ones and zeros in a database, and too many zeroes at that. Money is a different question, and one for which I have as much hope of comprehending as a barnacle has of questioning which pronouns the captain of the container ship it’s affixed itself too goes by.

Incidentally, I could have lifted the last bit from an appraisal at work – more specifically a 360 appraisal, or other such ineffective modern workplace addendum. “360”, what a threat that is: it’s basically saying, “there is nowhere to hide, the walls have eyes and ears”. 

And who can we thank for this modern torture – HR – human resource, that’s who. If you were to look back at the history of the 20th century you’d be able to pinpoint the decline of a proper work/life balance: a nurturing management layer and fraternity, to the point where HR departments began to infiltrate.

There are people that suggest, unkindly, that HR departments are where managers send useless staff members to move them out the way. If that’s the case then I dread to imagine what the HR department would dream up if it was staffed by capable evil, rather than incompetents.

HR is a department I try to have little to do with. Much like I try to avoid anyone in a position of administrative power. Who do I fear more, the judge and jury, or the firing squad? Both, frankly. And in the world of work, HR is the firing squad.

Imagine a local pub you frequented that was also frequented by the local firing squad. Would you want to get to know them, or befriend them over a pint? You could, but wouldn’t that make your final moments worse when they are looking at you down the barrel of a rifle?

Safest to give them a wide berth and occasionally throw a non-committal smile in their direction. 

I don’t wish to denigrate an entire profession, but if either of my children brought home a future partner and told me they were studying to become an HR specialist, I’d have concerns.

How I’d put these concerns to the partner, I’ve no idea… should I instigate a formal process, or would an instant message work? If I just spoke to them “off-the-record” would it remain so? I tend not to read HR policies, so I concede that my strategy of avoiding contact with HR is a liability in certain instances.

What do I like about work? Not HR – the function at least, the people… individually speaking, can be great on the proviso that you don’t work with them.

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