Last lot I worked for migrated from personnel to HR and eventually we were ‘assets’. Yeah, right.
Uber will find immortality as the definitive b-school case study of a fish that rots from the head down. They cut the Randroid head off far too late.
I’m with a small company. Our entire HR department is a single person. She’s the owner’s wife… sigh
… and flammable.
When I started working, the name of the HR department seemed disturbingly impersonal. It reinforced the message that workers were interchangeable, disposable commodities for the company to use. Since companies are increasing their use of automation and AI, we might see more non-human resources managing the human ones - like this scene from Elysium:
Once upon a time I was an employee. Then I became a member of staff. Then I was part of the personnel, helped from time to time by the Personnel Dept. Then I became a human resource - just one of a number of categories of resources deployed by my employer, but at least there was a dept dedicated to it. Then I became one of their greatest assets, along with all the other people in the firm. And we all know what assets are for, don’t we - to be sweated, traded, exploited, assigned a notional monetary value on a balance sheet, and so on. People managers were asset managers apparently.
Late-stage capitalism much?
Unfortunately, I get the feeling TPTB won’t be satisfied until we’re all unemployment statistics.
Yep - but we’ll probably have to go through a phase of being ‘work units’ before we get to that.
The first thing you ought to do when you hire an HR chief is check for prejudice
Unfortunately, most HR chiefs are hired for their loyalty - Protect the company, not the employees.
This is absolutely true. They are usually certified in areas like Doubling Down, Circling the Wagons, and Killing the Messenger.
Yep. HR is the worst and the worst people in HR are directors and above.
Semi long story -
I was working for this group about 15 years ago and one of the guys didn’t show up one day. Then the next. No call, no email. Nothing. Which was odd because he was a very conscientious person.
Our boss called his wife and asked about his whereabouts - she said she didn’t know and was worried. Yikes.
So the next day, my boss goes to see the director of employee relations in HR and asks what the best course of action was at this point.
Answer - “I don’t know, just fire him.”
As a follow up, he did eventually come home. I guess he kind of lost it as they were having money problems and his wife was about to pop out kid number 5 so he ran off to clear his head.
Anyway - fuck HR.
HR is never your friend.
HR is where the actual business end of internal evil is handled.
When discussing the point person for smiling while carefully putting the interests of the company ahead of those of the human resources the description “Incredibly talented, creative, and hard working” can be both entirely true and deeply damning.
I work with a lot of junior employees. The lesson I give to them first and foremost: “The Company Is Not Your Friend”
HR has policies designed to protect you? No. It has policies designed to protect The Company.
They will investigate stuff because they will be held liable if they don’t (at least appear to) do so. They will fire a harasser only if the cost of keeping them is more than they are worth. And by the same token, if someone wants to hose you, they can, and HR will do whatever is most convenient for the company, depending directly on your value to the company.
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