Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Human Resources

Okay – apologies first. I am going to say some not so kind things about Human Resources, and I have a virtual friend who is part of this HR racket. Sorry in advance.

Okay, I will admit it. I hate human resources. I really do. And I want to tell you my experience with HR and why you should hate HR, too. Okay, hate is too strong of a word on Ash Wednesday. That's why you should be miffed with HR too.

Every once in a while, I need to interact with HR. Re-sign up for health insurance (yes, I suspect they really want to drop people, and that's why one has to re-sign up every year), change W-4 dependents, whatever.

First, if you have a question – who do you call? Well, we have a fairly extensive intranet, and so you can hop on it, and look for anyone by name. I know my HR person's name, and so I type it in and, I don't get any name or number. When you query me, "Leesa Lovelace" (not my real name, my porn name), you get my phone number. When you call our operator, you get my number but not my HR person's number. Nice.

So then I query the department. So I type in Human Resources, and I get this reply:

Chief Human Resource Officer
Employee Assistance Program
Employee Relations
HR Management Systems
HR Records Management
International Services: Immigration & Visa
International Services: Non-Resident Alien
Occupational Health Services
Organizational Effectiveness
Records Management
Recruitment Services


All departments have the same number. Nice. Not a phone tree either. A real person answers every phone call, and then connects you to someone else.

Here is my experience thus far with calling HR. Remember, I know the name my HR person (some people don't) – and so when I call 555-1000, I ask for the person by name. And then I get disconnected. I call again. Busy. Call again several times, and finally get the HR main number to ring. And ring and ring and ring. No answer.

I call an hour later, and get the main number to answer. Nameless, faceless person – who never identifies herself. She transfers me again, and I get someone else. They tell me to call back to 555-1000.

And when I eventually get through, the person on the other end always has to look something up and call me back. And they never do.

Actually, there is someone from HR in our building, but since they are "Recruitment Services", they cannot help me. Ever. HR people where I work are very nice but not helpful. Which is probably predictable, because their workloads are light. Barriers that they put up make sure that very few requests for information, action, whatever ever get through.

Occasionally I have to complete paperwork, and I have learned that anything that goes through inter-office mail to HR is lost. Everything. The HR person in my office will not take anything from us that are not "Recruitment Services"-related. So I hand carry things to HR. Thanks, Human Resources.

Oh, well, I better get back to work. You see, I don't work in HR.


Shannon said...

I hate when you have the same number for everything! I hate when you have to be called back and I hate dealing with health Insurance issues!! Whewwww now I feel better! =p

Miranda said...

Its like calling the Canadian government, they're all the same #, and automated answering machines...please give us your social insurance #....please give us your date of address....blah blah blah...then you finally get a person and they ask you the same shit, only to tell you oh...let me transfer another person that asks yet again the same shit...its a viscious circle. Lol...ok Im glad I got that off my chest.

Grant said...

At my last job, HR, IT, and Accounting always hung together (the people with sensitive personal information, sensitive financial information, and sensitive tech information). The rules were a) they lived to inspire low-level fear in others, b) they loved sending out rules that didn't apply to them (like not using company property for personal use), and c) that their professional restrictions to not gossip about other's company secrets didn't apply at the lunch table.

Once the IT department created an automated report. Whenever you used the Internet (even if it was for business purposes - they forgot to filter that) it would generate a report that went to your supervisors and their superiors that said what sites you visited, how much time you spent there, and how much money was wasted based upon the company's (on paper) costs for accessing the Internet and the cost of the time spent multiplied by your salary. That made a lot of people mad, especially me when I was told to research something and then they presented me with this report saying I wasted an hour of the company's time, so the report was finally scrapped, but nobody got in trouble or lost their jobs because of rule d) IT, HR, and Accounting are above the law. Only the people that actually contribute to making the company's product are expendable.

Joe said... does everyone feel about HR?

Sadly, I think that a lot of HR departments do, indeed, suck. I've always found that the more removed they are from the people they support they worse they are. The best HR departments are easily accessable by phone or in person and they make sure that they truly know the people they support.

Bruce said...

My former boss conspired once with the HR dept at my last job to run me out of my job. I caught wind of it beforehand, though, and headed it off at the pass. For some reason, the woman that was the HR division head didn't like me(no idea why; I hardly knew her), and she was more than willing to go along with the plan. So yeah, I hate HR, too.

Um...why? said...

Once we as employees, sometimes part owners in our companies, probably consumers of the goods produced by these companies, and the best spokespeople the company can have became known as "Resources", we should have known we were in trouble. And why "Human" resources? Not Employee resources or Associate resources...but just merely human resources. That way, the assigning of a number and the treatment similar to cattle is acceptable.

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

How strange that all departments have one number. Maybe that is why HR dept are not helpful - too much coming in on one line.

Daniel B. said...

Hard to tell sometimes... Or rather, never can tell.

Leesa said...

shannon: you change your pic more than I change my panties. Well, not quite that often. And Eliot does look like your brother!

miranda: I have not called the Canadian Gov't. I bet it's like calling the American Gov't.

grant: well said. I never thought about the three being so similar.

joe: sorry for the post. Today's is lighter. And better.

bruce: I forgot to mention the power HR holds.

david m: I think there is a book in your response. Really.

Dr. ~Deb: I think HR designed it that way.

daniel b: are you just shopping for traffic, sweetie? You could use that phrase for most posts.

Goddess said...

Hey, what a minute! I am Human Resources! (even though I am not currently working in Human Resources because of my special assignment-but I have been working Human Resources for 8 out of the last 9 years!) And, ok, I can see why a lot of people hate us, because, well, I have seen how my co-workers treat customers, how the put off taking care of problems and issues, because, hey, it doesnt effect them!
That pisses me off to the extreme. I ask them, "Why did you get into HR if you didnt want to help people?" Seems pretty basic to me! I have been known to spend hours on ONE persons problem, just to ensure that they didnt get lost in the paper stacks, and that their issue got resolved. Heck, I got guys that are in Iraq right now emailing me to fix their issues instead of going to THEIR HR person, because they know if they email me, I will get it done, whereas they could look that other person straight in the eyes and get nothing back but blank stares.