Thursday, March 12, 2009


Yeah, I really didn't know what else to title this, so I figure that if I just put some kind of piratey-type of growl up there, it might attract some folks.

Have you ever wondered how some people got the jobs that they have today?

I'll give you an example:

Here at my work, we have an HR person. HR = Human Resources.

Now, by my understanding, this person should posess inter-personal relationship skills. You know, be a kind of "people person".

However, this lady doesn't have anything close to resembling people skills.

Yesterday was a great case in point.

I'm the network administrator for our warehouse's computer systems. I have to get authorization for any kind of software installs that are done on the computers, as they are all tied into the corporate network, and could potentially disable the entire company network if something weren't quite right with the software.

A couple of weeks ago my safety manager asked to install some software onto her computer for some tracking reports that were given to her by a supplier. These disks aren't company approved, and so I told her that I'd have to get permission from the corporate network executives before I could make any decision on whether I could install the software or not. I also warned her that because of the time she was making the request, it was probably going to take a back burner to other projects until the start of the new fiscal calendar year. She agreed, and we parted.

However, since that time, she has made a point to send me at least one email a week asking about this software. I have kept her in the loop regarding the request, and have copied and forwarded each and every response I get from my bosses over their decisions. They are just too busy right now with other matters affecting the company to look over some software to see if they don't mind it being added to a computer. This isn't a priority for them, so they blow it off.

Apparently this means that I fall into this same category of person, and so my safety person got my HR manager involved.

Now, I'm not management. I refuse to be a manager. I prefer working my hourly rate, and I really enjoy the job I do. I make the management team look competent and efficient, and since they look good, that reflects well on me for those who know where to look. (Read my bosses!)

Anyway, I was then called into the HR office to "talk".

I was informed that since I, being a "lowly" associate, needed to follow instructions, I was to obey this manager, and install the software. No questions, no reservations, I was to do as I've been told.

I nodded, asked if there were any other instructions I needed to follow, and got the fish-eye.

Apparently sarcasm when being taken down a notch isn't a good idea.

I was informed that my tone and attitude were bordering on insubordination, and that it could cost me my job.

When threatened like this, I tend to get confrontational, so I asked if I needed to bring in my General Manager, and make this a "formal" meeting.

She proceeded to tell me that it wasn't necessary, and that this discussion would be "Between the two of us".

I nodded, left her office, and walked directly over to my General Manager's office to inform him about what had happened.

Now, I'm going to install the software.

However, I've got a serious CYA clause going on right now, because she did the silly thing of sending me my escape clause.

She wrote me an email explaining to me that I would install the software, and then inform her when the install was done. No questions.

Because of this, I can now claim that I was ordered to do this by my upper management staff, and there wasn't anything else but to follow the orders given by a duly represented manager of my corporation. All responsibility for this action are now on her shoulders, and if my bosses decide that this program ISN'T necessary and shouldn't be installed on the PC, well she's going to have to explain to them why she wouldn't wait for their decision.

All of this, and she's so proud of her schooling and certifications.

Me? My pride comes from knowing that when assigned a job that I get in, get it done, and get out as quickly as possible to allow the smallest timeframe of down-time in a production setting.

This means that even though I have to get in and stall the line, I'll get done as quickly as I can, and get the line moving again to make the smallest impact possible in the total day's work.

You can tell when I've done my job right when there aren't calls for me going on around the radio systems in the building. The only real time my name gets called out too much is when there's something outside the facility that's causing trouble with our network mainframes.

Tell me about some of your experiences.

Do you have people that completely baffle you as to how they were able to get their position?


M said...

I feel for you! But maybe because I'm in IT too which means I have an endless source of examples. Most of mine involve engineers.

I do agree with you - that the best days are the days no one is seeking you out.

Jaime said...

strange that people with no people skills end up with jobs that require them to work with people.

my last run in with HR was because my old secretary yelled at me in front of 15 people because i asked her to actually find out the answer to the question i asked. (oooh...i'm a real bitch, huh?) she ran crying to them because I'm a slave driving tyrant.

and I got yelled at by HR for being "mean" to her.

i love my job

Bee (the one who muses) said...

My office manager baffles me. She's also a nurse and she' great at that but she lacks business sense. Oh well.

gottaluvme3 said...

Here is a good example of why I don't care for the blogging world....I get more information from my husband by reading his blogs. God forbid he actually have a husband/wife conversation with me. ARRRRGGHH!! (there, that is a piratey expression too right??)

Another Suburban Mom said...

I hate HR people like that. They make pleasant HR people like me look bad. (pout)

Michael from said...

Dude, you wouldn't want to be in HR anyway. Square peg and all that stuff.