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Friday, September 21, 2007

Fruity Drinks and Communication

Do you remember that old song? The Pina Colada Song? I always thought the people in that story were phenomenally stupid and wouldn't be able to repair their marriage after both were willing to cheat.

Turns out, I was (as always--well, as occasionally) right.
A Bosnian couple are getting divorced after finding out they had been secretly chatting each other up online under fake names...

"It was amazing, we seemed to be stuck in the same kind of miserable marriages - and how right that turned out to be.

"We arranged to meet outside a shop and both of us would be carrying a single rose so we would know the other.

"When I saw my husband there with the rose and it dawned on me what had happened I was shattered. I felt so betrayed. I was so angry."

Yeah, well, duh.

So, why am I writing about this? Turnover. Bad turnover. Your employees leave you for new, exciting careers. It's quite possible that you could have offered them what they left to find--they just didn't know it was available. Likewise, you scour the universe looking for a perfect candidate to do X only to find out that a current employee is currently scouring the universe for a job to do X--only the two of you haven't communicated.

I once had a VP of HR tell me, "My job is to develop my people. If you are in the same job for more than two years, I start to worry. I don't want to lose good people, I want to develop and move and promote good people."

You can only do that if you are communicating. Don't be a manager that punishes people for looking for internal positions. Don't be an employee who keeps your career goals secret.

And most of all, stay out of the personal ads and chat rooms and talk with your spouse from time to time. Sheesh.

(Hat tip: Frank:)


The Platypus said...

I saw that episode. It was on The Munsters. Lilly and Herman wanted to buy each other gifts and, being short of funds, each secretly took a job welding. They ended up working side by side but, with faces hidden by safety hoods, did not recognize each other. They started flirting and fell in love, only to eventually discover that they were already married. It was a happier ending than that of the Bosnian couple.

HR Wench said...

Well if this woman gets her way married couples will get to "re-evaluate" their marriage every 7 years...on its expiration date!

Mike said...

Yeah I always thought "Pina Colada" was stupid, with its happy ending "I said, AH its you!"

In reality that would have erupted into some serious domestic violence.

Anonymous said...

Apropos of my current situation. I have an interview scheduled for Monday that I'm having second thoughts about. While I'm not wholly unhappy with my current job, I feel that I could be doing more. However this silly little trait of loyalty I have is nagging at me.
What to do? Hopefully I'll know before 10AM Monday.

tottergirl said...

How would your VP of HR deal with someone like me? I am in a job I love and don't want to move. I have found the niche that is perfect for me. It has enough challenge, some interesting projects from time to time, regular monthly work deadlines, and absolutely no supervision of anybody! I am responsible for my work, but ultimatly I don't have or want the responsiblity that goes along with advancement.

Evil HR Lady said...

tottergirl--since I never actually worked for the man, I'll just have to guess. What I would say is that if you are happy then stay where you are. Some jobs can be challenging and interesting for years and years. Some, well, not so much.

HR Wench said...

Tottergirl has a good point. Not everyone is interested in "climbing the ladder". I'm not. I was an HR Generalist for years and then had "HR Manager: Dept of One" dropped into my lap. I resisted at first but then said "well heck why not?". I have no desire to move up though. I like being in "middle management". Is that weird? :)

Anonymous said...

I think that story might be an urban legend. I think I heard it several years ago. It may just be making the rounds again.