Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf,
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day
Nothing gold can stay

                                  Robert Frost

Do you know when my first post was...some time back in 2006. 

Yeah, almost seven years ago.

Back when I wasn't even in HR yet and I was writing witty (okay, snarky) observations about the world around me. 

Well, seven years, one change in career path and three jobs later and I'm still pretty much making snarky observations about the world around me.  Only now I'm doing it with a much more professional and diplomatic lense.

The truth is I have been struggling to find meaning in this blog.  I know I've been at a similar point  before, but then it was more about feeling like I was compromising other things to write the blog - that I wasn't focusing on what I needed to. 

I never tried to compete with others in the blogger community, particularly the HR blogger community.  There are way more comptent, well-spoken, well-informed HR folk to refer to.  This blog was a place for me to talk smack about things that bugged me, which often was HR-related.  The blog was my gold.

And I enjoyed the feedback that I sometimes received, but clearly my thoughts were for my benefit and others took it as such.

This feeling has been brewing for a bit, but today it finally hit me with absolute clarity.  I'm done with Corporate Daycare / Bent but not broken.

So, no big deal, but only a brief note to say thank you for reading and aurevoir.

Stay gold, Pony-boy.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

My life as a speed bump

I recently joked in a tweet that my job in HR is to slow down managers who are moving too fast and to push who that are moving too slowly.
Okay, I wasn’t joking, but I also do not feel that playing traffic cop is my sole role or raison d’ĂȘtre. I do spend a lot of time in this mode.
Like this week.  I was brought on-board to focus on recruiting and to improve the processes, efficiencies, and ROI on staffing.  If you’ve read some past blogs, like this one, or even this one, you will know what an ironic situation this is.
Truthfully I don’t hate recruiting – it’s just not my favourite thing to do.  But what I do like is trying to improve processes and bringing the logical into the illogical.  To-date, I’ve been successful and have been given positive feedback.  Well, they haven't let me go, so that’s another vote of confidence.
There is one VP however who threatens to derail me.  At any and every curve she is trying to avoid doing what needs to be done…like interview candidates, or verify whether the candidate is a good fit for the job.
She recently sent me her timeline and task (to be done in this particular order) for a new position she was creating:
·         Draft key tasks for job
·         Meet candidate that was recommended to her by colleague
·         Have job evaluated so we know the pay, oh and qualifications
·         Post job
·         Offer position to candidate
·         Ensure no other qualified applicants have applied
·         Have employee start
The total time frame from the first bullet to the last…7 days
Now I’m flexible and willing to switch things up if it means meeting a qualified candidate outside of a job being posted. I’m completely willing to work with the VP to get this moving asap, and I’m not about to moan about HR steps and procedures, but I do feel strongly about making the right choice in candidate and doing it right the first time. 
And not in six months.
Which is what I foresee happening when we re-post the job because we rushed it.
So this is why I dig my heals in and say shit like, “you realize that the candidate may not actually sign on the spot and will actually need time to mull over/ negotiate the offer” or “have you considered that we should do our homework and verify his references & credentials” and then the eye-roll inducing “are you comfortable that this is the right person for the job considering you’ve only talked to him for 15 minutes and have not even considered anyone else?”.
Stupid HR.  Always bogging the system down.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Life interrupted

Maybe it's a carryover from school but I've always finished reading a book that I start, no matter how much I am not enjoying it. It just seemed like a matter of principle to me.

And I would only read one book at a time and refused to start a new one until I was finished the old one (which,as I just pointed out, I would finish, no matter what).

So it's rather a mystery to me how and why I have 7 books on my night table, all at various levels of completion. One them is actually one chapter from being completed and yet there it sits.

I've typically stayed away from non-fiction, but now I'm actively seeking good reads in this genre - particularly topics that I feel might help me in HR. At the same time, I'm trying to remain loyal to the authors that I have always enjoyed.  It's as if I feel like I'm at risk of missing something

So I decided to finish all my books in progress, one at a time. Last night, I picked up the one on the top of the pile and started reading and quickly realized that I can barely remember what happened in the first few chapters.

And that pretty much sums up my life these days.

I have my fingers in everything, I start one thing, only to jump to another. I don't profess to be multi-tasking...it feels more like juggling. My focus is fragmented at best...and I find myself signing on for more and more...volunteering, projects, etc...

While it's a bit of a rush to feel more involved, there is also a nagging feeling in the back of mind that I'm dangerously close to letting something slip.

And the problem is that life is not like reading a book.  I can't just go back and re-read a few chapters or even start from the beginning again.  It's something that I need to pay attention to as it's happening.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Undivided Attention

I woke up at 4 am this morning and lay in bed trying to figure out what is wrong with me.

Now that’s a pretty big issue to tackle at that early an hour, and quite honestly the possibilities are endless. But what I was really trying to figure out is why, for the past few week’s I’ve been struggling to feel so distant, distracted and just an observer in my own life – someone just going through the motions.

There really is not anything wrong, or so I thought. Work is fine; the family is great, the weather has been awesome…what is there to be down about.

So back to this morning at 4:00 am.

I start to go through the list of possibilities – I’ve been pretty solitary the past few days, just wanting to think, to do my own thing. And Nature’s rule is that if you want to be alone, people (re: kids) will want to be with you. I’m there, but not there.

Presenteism at it’s best.

The only thing that I could think of that’s been going on is my on-going battle with my foot problems. Over the past six month’s I’ve been dealing with common foot ailments that have left me frustrated and bouncing between physio, acupuncture, and orthotics.

It will get better, but in the meantime, I’ve immersed myself in trying to find stretches, exercises, postures, treatments, anything that could help me. One positive result is that I am now much more aware of what’s going on.

And at 5:00am, I realized that this is the problem.

I am hyper-aware of what’s going on ALL the time: I’m cognizant of how I step, my pace, my stride, my footwear, my muscles at rest, my muscles when I’m stretching, how I’m sitting, how I’m standing, how the discomfort shifts from my heel to my knee to my hip, how there are seemingly unrelated tendons and nerves firing up when I over-do it

I am constantly thinking about it. Constantly. It is always there in the background of my brain.

So unless I manage to distract myself completely, I have this topic running in the back of my head. And the minute I’m not doing anything or not talking to someone, it jumps to the forefront. This means that I’m rarely giving anyone or anything my undivided attention.

I have let one issue take over the prime real estate in my brain…something that we often do with work (when we are at home) or home (when we are work). It’s like that stupid annoying news ticker on CNN (or Twitter for that matter)…constantly running messages …insisting that you pay attention to it, and not to whatever is actually happening.

It was like a slap that I needed to say “Hellooo…obsessing over here”. It was a physical and mental relief to realize that I was not shutting down, which is what it felt like, but just over-processing was enough for me to let go.

So while I'm not struggling with financial strains, a marital breakdown, kids gone wild, or a job loss...I can appreciate how having an ever present issue can absolutely wreak havoc on your peace of mind and compromise your ability to give someone your undivided attention.

With this in mind (no pun intended), it's given me a new perspective on people who seem distant or unable to focus.  They may not be the social misfits that I was ready to assume they were.