Where I used to be…

Two things happened this week that reassured me I am on the right path. Over a year ago I welcomed an identity crisis that was a harder fight than I thought it would be. I had become so engrained in my job that innocent bystanders couldn’t tell where I ended and the job began and vice versa. I was oblivious to this for a long time, but all last year it became more and more apparent to me that it was, no matter how hard I denied it, my life. I wasn’t sure if it was a bad thing or not because I thought it meant I had a good work ethic and that as long as I was providing my family should just deal with it. So I had a long journey (maybe I’m still on it) to find myself again since I let my work become my identity. Anyway long story short I like my job now, I’m working on loving it, but let’s just say I’m dipping my toe in the water before I jump in.

So what are the two things that happened? Earlier this week my husband and I were spending time together and he made the unprompted comment to me that he could tell a difference in my patience from this time last year. I was so happy to hear someone say that, especially my husband, that I wasn’t really sure what to say. I’m pretty sure my eyes lit up and then I just made noises as I tried to form a sentence. I was seriously happy that someone noticed, because I was started to doubt that I had made any progress at all. The second thing happened tonight. Two different neighbors sought me out for conversation tonight. Let me just say-that never happens. I’ve always been the neighbor that glares at the kids leaving their bicycles in my driveway or the dogs getting off the leash. I do not make eye contact with neighbors when I pull up at my home from a long day of work. I do not want to be bothered with meaningless conversation, I just want to take my high heels off and go to bed. Not anymore! After the conversation with the first neighbor I thought to myself “Aw, what a sweet old man”. After the second neighbor came by I thought to myself “Am I dying? Does my husband know I’m dying and he’s told the neighborhood? What is going on here?”. I’m pretty sure I can chalk these chatty neighbors up to the fact that I am looking less and less stressed. I mean I look friendly again. Crazy right?

Don't confuse this place with your happy place!

This attitude adjustment cannot be 100% attributed to my job change, but it had a huge impact . I loved what I did so I couldn’t accept that it was making me miserable, but almost a year out I can see where I was wrong! It was making me miserable and that didn’t mean I should love what I did any less, it just meant I wasn’t supposed to keep doing what I loved where I was. I share this with you for the one struggling soul somewhere out there that is torn in a similar situation. There is light at the end of the tunnel. It’s okay to leave a company after 7 years. No job should affect you to the point that people think you’re a young Miranda Priestly. It is possible to do what you love in a peaceful workplace. I promise. You don’t have to have constant chaos to be successful.

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I can totally pass a drug screen. #TrueStoryTuesday

The 5 lamest failed drug screen excuses… #truestorytuesday

Drug Test

Sir, you’re drug screen results are showing postive for cocaine.

I’ve never done cocaine. I must’ve got it on my hands somehow and transferred it into my urine when I was peeing in the cup.

<insert cricket chirp here>

Candidate studies drug screen form for seriously 12 minutes, reading the list of drugs we are testing for over and over and over and over again. Finally signs it and proceeds with the process.

Sir, you’re drug screen is showing positive for marijuana.

Dang-I didn’t see that on the list of drugs you were testing for.

It’s the first one on the list-THC.

Sir, you’re drug screen is showing positive for marijuana.

Yeah.

I can’t send you to a job site with a positive drug screen.

I didn’t know I couldn’t smoke it.

You do know smoking marijuana is illegal, right?

I didn’t realize I couldn’t do it because at my last job I would smoke with my supervisor.

<blank stare>

Sir, you’re drug screen is showing positive for marijuana.

I don’t smoke. My roomates smoke, but I don’t. They smoked in the car on the way up here.

This last one was a special situation where the employee was actually on workers comp.

Sir- you’re drug test today had no trace of the medication we prescribed you.

So now you mad because I can pass a drug screen?

Sir- you do realize it is illegal to falsely obtain a prescription and sell it to other people.

 

 

 

Pitch-a-policy

Guess what day it is… Guess. What day. It Is. It’s PITCH-A-POLICY FRIDAY! …. Wooot!

Just kidding… it’s only Wednesday and we ain’t pitchin’ no policies anytime soon! But wouldn’t it be nice if we were? Man. I can’t even take credit for this… someone mentioned this to me in Chicago-I want to say they saw it in a book? Not sure.. specifics not necessary anyway (if you’re in the market for a fact-finding blog shoo now, go on somewhere else…). Back to the point… What if you went around to everyone on your team and let them pick a policy that they would like to pitch to the trash!? Wouldn’t that be awesome? I’d be so excited to do that I probably couldn’t function; the hard part for me would be picking JUST ONE. I wonder what our employees would suggest if we gave them that option??? #justdreaming

It would be a magnificent time to get rid of pesky policies that serve little to no purpose. Ever have a conversation with a co-worker or employee about a policy and say “well we just have to do that because it’s policy, it’s not necessary that we do that for really any other purpose”. I get confused with the #policypolice at work because my thought process is: the policy must exist for a reason so we must follow it. My brain cannot work correctly when you train me on a policy and then I follow said policy and then you tell me obey hr catsaid policy is pretty much useless. I go into LOUD NOISES mode and then shut down! If it’s useless get rid of it. Don’t write policy just to write policy. Let your policies serve a real purpose. I swear I’ve worked in companies that had more policies than they knew what to do with. No one reads all those policies. Heck, the HR department doesn’t know all those policies-even though 90% of them were “implemented” by HR. What kind of picture does that paint? How serious can your department be taken if it’s pushing around unnecessary policies? How effective is it to write a policy for one trouble maker? Better yet, how lazy is it to write a policy for one bad apple? I know a lot of my HR buddies agree with me-manage your people don’t policy them to death.

Do you policy your people to death? If you could trash a policy from your handbook which policy would it be? Why?

Out Sick #truestorytuesday

I have too many short funnies to keep to myself so for a while I will be sharing a series that we will call #TrueStoryTuesday, for your Tuesday amusement of course. These stories are just a random collection of real things – or at least things that have really been told to me or my team – over my time in HR. By the way if you have one you think is worth sharing, but need it to be anonymous feel free to email it to me 🙂

Of course the names have been changed to protect the innocent … and the guilty!

Billy Bob: Hey Jim Bob we missed you-you feeling better?

Jim Bob: Hey Billy Bob-all better now. Those dadgum squirrels I was telling you about in my attic? I took care of em-poison traps.

Billy Bob: Yeah?

Jim Bob: Yep! Then I cleaned me some squirrel and cooked it up real nice.

Billy Bob: The squirrels you poisoned?

Jim Bob: Yeah. Meat was real tasty, but that wasn’t such a good idea though… Doc says I basically poisoned myself since I ate them squirrels I poisoned.

nooooooooooo squirrel#scoutshonor that’s a real excuse that someone gave for being out sick: “Ate squirrels after poisoned said squirrels in own house”

Do you hire crazy? Yes, yes we do.

So my phone has been blowing up over 2 stories that don’t really have anything to do with me. The first being some guy in Arkansas that woke up to a dog eating his testicle… I guess since I’m from Arkansas everyone feels it necessary for me to be associated with this crazy story. I haven’t been diligent in my research on this one, but you’re more than welcome to read about it here. Or google it and find where every state in the country has picked up the story. The question I have here is was it necessary to call the police? I know I should just research and find the answer, but no.

The second story Shea Allen being fired from WAAY 31 in Huntsville. Since I work in Huntsville and because I blog everyone I know feels necessary to tell me about this story and maybe make sure it doesn’t happen to me… what? Shea made it all the way to the Today show with her story of being fired for her personal blog and people are all in a tizzy sharing their two cents about it so I’ll throw my two cents in the pile. A couple of things… you are a reporter… for a news station… that makes you marketing as well. If people don’t like you or what you say they are less likely to watch you. You represent your employer at all times: when you are at the grocery store, at the gas station, at the water park, on the radio, tweeting and blogging… be mindful of that. Should she have been fired? I don’t know. Not for me to say. I don’t know what her personnel file looks like, but here’s my breakdown of her 10 confessions.

1)      If I could go bra-less anywhere and no one be the wiser, I would… but I can’t. Kudos to you for having that option.

2)      It’s easy to get things out of people who have the hots for you. This rule is true for everyone

3)      Sometimes people are better at winging it than if they rehearsed something or are reading someone else’s work. No problem here.

4)      Every female in the world is working on perfecting this art, if not for television at least for group photos, right?

5)      My left side is my good side too.

6)      Old people aren’t scary and they watch the news. Listen up sister, we all have to do things at work that we don’t like to do. Openly refusing to do a portion of your job may make it hard for an employer to take you seriously, now and in the future.

7)      Rainbows aren’t for everyone. And they usually don’t get the ratings that the opposite stories get. I’ll still give you a pass here.

8)      Are you on the clock or off the clock? Is this acceptable practice? I imagine if you have to get up in the wee hours of the morning or work extremely late and you have some hours in between stories you’re chasing that this probably isn’t as taboo as it sounds on your list. More info please?

9)      Still no problem here… as a recruiter we sometimes let candidates ramble after we’ve determined they aren’t a fit for our positions. I think letting them continue to talk is the opposite of rude.

10)   Okay.. isn’t this too far? That’s a federal crime right? Why is everyone harping on the other 9 things, but ignoring that this is actually a crime… #confused.

What I’m wondering is how the HR department for the news station is handling this? Hopefully everything is documented and maybe there is some sort of conduct clause in her contract. No matter if they chose to fire her or keep her on people are going to throw their two cents in. When your employees act crazy in public you get judged. People ask questions like “How did she get through the hiring process?” …. “Did she know what was expected from her?”… “Is this a lack of leadership within your organization?”…”Does she have a history of this type of stuff?” etc. etc.

You'll know it when you see it...

I want to be… an #intern

In two weeks, I will complete my first summer internship. Although an internship is primarily sought out for experience, I have learned much more about the real world than how to put difficult equations to practice (engineer, here).
My internship search actually began two years ago, as a Sophomore in college. I attended the career fairs that I was always advised to, and flirted with numerous recruiters from various companies. I had minimal luck, but ended up scoring an interview with an aerospace firm close to home. I really wanted this internship, so I prepared diligently for the interview, not thinking to apply to other engineering firms online. After receiving a second interview, I was unfortunately notified that I had not been chosen.
Last year, I took a different approach to the internship hunt. I decided to attend the career fairs as before, but also applying to as many programs online as possible. This is my biggest piece of advice: apply, apply, apply. For every hundred internships you apply for, you may only score one interview. It seems like overkill, but that is what it takes. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket like i did two years ago.
After weeks of filling out applications and a handful of interviews, I finally received two offers for the summer. Despite this great news, I was in a predicament. While one company had a more prestigious name, the work was more business-like and less technical. The other company was much smaller, but promised exciting technical projects. In the end, I chose the latter option, and couldn’t have been more pleased.
This summer, I contributed to a real assignment that a customer will see. I was able to to apply skills I have learned in college (microprocessor operation) and learn new ones in the process (script programming). At the end of the summer, I will present my findings in front of my fellow interns as well as the CEO and President of the company.

No coffee?
Aside from the technical experience I’ve gained, I’ve also learned a lot about corporate culture at the company I work for. Due to its size, the company is more connected to its employees, providing them with special benefits and family concern. Employees also enjoy company-sponsored events, such as picnics and holiday celebrations. Although I am unsure about my final career plans, I do know for sure that I would prefer a smaller firm over a large one.
Finally, I have learned what it means to live in a new place, starting anew with a blank slate. I was unfamiliar with the city, so on the weekends I explored new restaurants, parks, and coffee shops. I started with no friends, so I chose to spend time with my fellow interns. I even started playing Ultimate Frisbee (I was a little late in the game), meeting friends there. All in all, my internship experience was golden. I accomplished my primary goal: to learn something. And on the way, I just happened to meet some amazing people that I can call friends.

My name is Andrew Mortellaro and I am an Electrical Engineering student at the University of Florida.

I love people, wait what was the question?

I love people, wait what was the question?

Occasionally I’m faced with a group of students dreaming about their career path in the wonderful world of HR seeking advice from some of us experienced HR pros. I always ask the same question to these advice seekers… “Why did you choose HR?” and a lot of times people cannot answer that question or worse they give a bad answer. More specifically when someone wants advice on how to land a job as a recruiter I ask this question “Why do you want to be a recruiter” …. [pause…think…word vomit]… “I LOVE PEOPLE”. Let me be completely real with you guys… I hate that answer. I cannot stand that answer. When someone says that is why they want to recruit (or work in HR) I immediately start thinking of not for profit organizations they could work for that LOVE PEOPLE. Loving people isn’t going to make you an above average recruiter; in fact it could do quite the opposite to your recruiting career. I notice that people who just love people are interested in helping people and willing to fall for their stories. Tim Sackett’s compilation of candidate lies for example; a person who does recruiting because they love people are seriously more apt to fall for these and continue to deal with these rotten apples.

Why do I recruit? I get a huge sense of accomplishment when I get the opportunity to match a client and an employee up that are perfect match! I love to see the way a person’s life can change when they get to work a job that they are specifically a fit for from skills to culture and the positive impact it has on their home life. I enjoy the occasional thank you letter from candidates for working on placing them in their position. I enjoy when a hiring manager brags on the candidates I selected for them to interview. I have a heart for successful business. I believe anything is possible when you piece together the right team and I enjoy helping hiring managers and companies identify the right components and strategize to make the most of their new hires and existing team. I recruit because I love the positive impact recruiting has when done correctly. I do not recruit because I love people, in fact I may not even love people all that much.

Grumpy Cat

So let me leave you with this… why do you recruit or why do you want to recruit?