A few things I don’t miss about working! | HR Memories

The Many Loves of Dobie GillisDoes anyone besides me remember Maynard G. Krebs? From the Dobie Gillis TV program? He was a beatnik who did not want to work! The series was about high school kids but the most memorable part is that Maynard would always croak “WORK!” with fear and trepidation. (You have to click on this link – it’s very short.)

 

I can relate to him! I loved my work and loved working but there are some things that I just don’t miss. You would expect getting up early and things like that to be at the top of the list but it isn’t. Here is a short list.

Worrying about driving conditions. We get snow here. Sometimes there is enough to have delayed starts or cancellations. For the early part of my working life I lived about a half hour to 40 minutes from my workplace. I hated to drive in bad weather but I also worked for a company that didn’t close. It was a utility that never shut down.

For the past decade, I was involved in the decision-making aspect of weather-related work and that was just as bad. When you are on the decision-making end, you understand how nerve-racking it can be. You don’t want to bring all the employees in and have them stranded but you have a business to run so you couldn’t close because of a prediction. We all know how accurate weather predictions are.

Then there was the really annoying part. As soon as the weatherman said it was going to snow, I would be besieged by employees wanting to know if we would close early. It wasn’t even snowing when the questions starting coming!

I loved spring!

Firing people. My feelings on firing are straight and simple. If you can’t or won’t do the job, both you and the company are better off parting ways. I never enjoyed it even when it was well deserved. No one likes to see someone out on the street without an income.
I was also involved in downsizings. This is when good workers are let go because there isn’t enough work. It’s painful for all – employees who continue to work feel badly and employees who have lost their job are upset. Believe it or not, I have counseled many managers who were devastated when they had to do this.

Over the years I have had several former employees who were either fired for cause or downsized approach me to thank me. A door closed for them and they found a better one opening. Most people are good people and if they are not working out, they are in the wrong job.

Giving out raises. Ok, now you think I’m weird. Raise time was always the worst time of the year. No one was ever happy. One time I had an unhappy employee approach me because they thought they should have gotten more. They had the highest raise in their department but I couldn’t tell them that.

A decade ago, increase percentages could be in the double digits. Those days are long gone but many employees feel since they are still working at that level (or better), they deserve those double digits.

Employees lie about raises. Or maybe they don’t give the whole picture. You can imagine what that does in the workplace. For the life of me, I can’t figure out WHY people talk about that stuff. It only makes you feel bad and you never know the truth anyway.

Now that I’m retired, I can also say “WORK!” with an attitude, grab a Starbucks and read a book.

 

26 thoughts on “A few things I don’t miss about working! | HR Memories

  1. Retired Intervention Teacher…. I don’t miss the work, either… Miss the kids and ths colleagues who were there for the kids (not all of them were) and I miss the creative part of planning lessons and working with so many ability levels. But the work “Work” stuff like you described, It’s quite a relief not to have to deal with unpleasant issues like that.
    Loved Dobie Gillis and Maynard!

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  2. I’m currently in a very low stress working environment, but I can still say that I will enjoy retirement. I work with a woman who previously held a high-level HR positions and she tells me stories “from her past” that let me know I wouldn’t last long! I would just hate firing people or confronting “delicate” issues. I admire those that do, though, Kate! Someone must. And we don’t worry about weather, of course, but traffic patterns can create hellish commutes. I only have a couple of years left…and I will be free, too. 🙂

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  3. Kate, I also had a long commute – 55 miles one way (round trip 110 miles) for 7 years. There were times when I questioned my sanity for getting on the road rather than staying in my nice, warm, cozy home.
    At one job as a News Director, I had to let 3 people go – financial reasons. They worked hard and deserved better. Like you pointed out, folks like that do find another, better opportunity. I wound up working FOR one of them several years later. Ironic.
    Enjoy your retirement. I plan to retire in 3 1/2 years. But I suspect I will miss it – and many of my students as well.

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  4. So value your perspective…the best of HR folks are part bartender, priest and Dr. Phil…and that’s before 10AM. Speak on…I love the sideways manner that you add to my own perspective. Good stuff. Dan

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    • Thanks Dan. Many days I would be solving problems with my purse on my shoulder and my coat still on. A really good HR person represents both management and employees. I have frequently counseled employees on how to negotiate for another job or the proper way to resign so they don’t lose benefits. There is no point in keeping employees who are ready to move on and being honest and helpful really goes a long way toward your company’s reputation.

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  5. Most of what I know about HR I learned from Jenny Lawson’s book! The few people who I’ve known in real life who worked in HR were not so forthcoming as you have been here. HR is fascinating to me, really.

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  6. Love how you reveal the “rest of the story” about HR decision. Too many employees only want to see things from their perspective. I’m also with you about the driving in snow anxieties.

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  7. I agree with your comments about raises. I tell everyone if they can come up with a good reason to tell someone else how much they make or how much of a raise they got – please let me know. I cannot think of a single good reason. I also would tell people not to trust what anyone else states they receive because they know that I cannot confirm or deny – so they can say whatever they want.

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  8. Now that I work part-time and pretty much decide what days and hours I work…work is great. Even greater is that I have my own office, sort of, like the people I work with and for, and the type of I work I do suits me to a T. Of course, I had to work 45 years to get to this place, but here I am!.

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    • Working part-time is the best. Here in the US, we work too many hours. During my work years, I would appreciate just working 40 hours a week but that didn’t always happen. I was fortunate that I loved most of the jobs I did but I love part-time work best.

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  9. Teacher 33 years. No more administrators that are crazed with power and micro managing and don’t have a clue. No more parents that think their dopey criminal nasty kid is the angel of perfection. No more planning for things that will get overridden. No more alarm clock and no more Sunday night I can’t sleep into Monday morning blues. No more alarm clock( yeah twice stated). No more teacher bashing by media, pundits and politicians for schools that are failing our children. Your stinking kid refuses to be a participant in his own education so don’t blame us.

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