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Friday, May 28, 2010

How do I Balance a Job Offer with Potential Offers?

It's fun to have companies fighting over you, but it's also dangerous. Here are some tips for navigating the job offers.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Working with Idiots Can Kill You!

I always suspected this to be true. Of course, there is no Lindbergh University, nor did anyone do this study, but I fully believe it. I mean, death from head injuries sustained after beating your head against the wall must be at least a leading cause of emergency room visits, if not death.

I know more than a few HR people who have been driven to insanity (or at least accounting) by some of the people we've dealt with.

And, I blatantly lifted this from Dr. Grumpy

(Yes, people, this is just a joke. See the Snopes article.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

It's a Job Interview, Not a Beauty Pageant

In a beauty pageant, the judges look over a slate of contestants, ask them a few questions, perhaps have the contestants perform a talent of some sort, and then all the contestants parade around the stage in fancy dresses or bathing suits. At the end of all this, the judges proclaim a winner. She cries because it’s so wonderful and all the other contestants congratulate her and then slink back home, depressed because they didn’t get the crown.

Somewhere along the line, people started treating job interviews the same way. We see the hiring manager as a contest judge who is to be feared and impressed. Instead of thinking, “what would I really do in this situation” we think, “what does this judge want to hear?”

The difference is at the end of a beauty pageant, the winner gets a crown, some money and the the obligation to ride on the back of a convertible in the town 4th of July parade, while the “winner” of the job interview “pageant” gets to spend 40-50 hours a week with the “judge.”

For more of my thoughts on why It's a Job Interview, Not a Beauty Pageant, head over to BNET's Career Blog.

Your Least Favorite (or Favorite) Policy

I'm sure over our time in the working world, we've all run across some bizarre policies and practices. And some good ones as well. I love to hear about the craziness some companies foist onto their employees. So, I'm going to encourage you to tell me what you've run across.

As a little incentive, our friends at the New Yorker have offered 5 (yes 5) Desk Calendars. Granted, they are 2010 calendars, but we've still got 7 months left in 2010 and the cartoons never get outdated.

Evil Marketing Man has agreed to be the judge on the best/worst policies. He also said that if you prefer, you can write an HR related Haiku. Marketing, apparently, does strange things to your brain. I don't know what will be most likely to win, so take your best shot.

The contest ends June 1, 2010 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time. That gives you one week.

Monday, May 24, 2010

When Best Practices are Ignored

Your manager isn't following the handbook and guidelines set out by official company policy. What will happen if you complain?

Friday, May 21, 2010

I'm Going Crazy--What's the Secret of Job Hunting?

I’m trying to get a real full-time job after a 5-year string of part-time and temporary jobs since graduating from college. More accurately, I’ve been trying to get a real full-time job this whole time, but temporary and part-time jobs are all I can get. I can scarcely get an interview. The last of my money is gone, and I need a job RIGHT NOW. My question is, what does HR want to see on a resume? What do you want to hear in an interview? I am prepared to say and do ANYTHING if it means getting a job. But I need to know specifics. Which phrases am I supposed to use? Which phrases should I avoid?

Find out the secret of job hunting over at BNET.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

An Offer to all Novartis Human Resources Employees

Dear Novartis HR Department,

You probably don't know me. If you did, you might have actually read about what an HR department is supposed to do. Because of your lack of knowledge and insight, I am making an offer: Any questions from a Novartis HR person will be answered the same day I receive it.

This means you will jump to the head of the line. Cut in front of the people in my queue. Why do I make this generous offer? Because any company that is so phenomenally stupid as to tell an employee that claims she has been raped by a customer that it was her fault because she didn't have a spare set of keys and, oh yes, she let her cell phone battery get low, needs all the help it can get.

I imagine the rest of my readers think I'm joking. Oh, how I wish I were.

They also brought disciplinary action against her.

Seriously, people. This is the worst HR screw up I've seen in a long time. Perhaps ever. And it's not the only screw up. A jury agrees with me and as a result, you'll be paying out $250,000,000.

Seriously. The next time you're faced with a difficult situation, drop me a line. I don't charge. I could have seen this coming a mile away.


Evil HR Lady

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Evil HR Lady Goes Political

Okay, not really, as this is not a political blog. However, when I was greeted by this morning's headlines that my former home of Pennsylvania had just ousted Arlen Specter in the primary, I had to comment.

Don't worry, it's not a political commentary, it's just that Your Job is Not as Safe as You Think it is.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who Should Reveal Salary Expectations First?

Should the candidate fess up what his/her requirements are or should the recruiter lay the facts on the line. If you've been reading Evil HR Lady Long enough, you'll probably guess that I am not on the recruiter's side here.

My Boss is a Rageaholic

I’m a manager at my small company. Above me is our Chief Operating Officer (COO) and then the owner. I love my job and everyone I work with and really want to stay. It would be a great place to work if it weren’t for the COO. The main issue is that he’s a rageaholic. On a daily basis he “loses it” and yells and does things like call everyone into a meeting to call them stupid. We work under brutal deadlines and more than once I’ve asked my team to work until late in the evening, only to have him call them “idiots” and “morons” the next day. Morale in the office is zero and turnover is very high.

The other issues stemming from his anger problems are that he has made a couple key decisions that went against the advice of everyone on those projects, and which set back the projects, sometimes by months. In all of these cases, the customer has even said that they have no interest in his idea, and yet he ties up huge resources to try to prove that his idea can work. We know that at least one of our major customers is actively looking for a new supplier because of his behavior.

Read more about a rageaholic boss and what to do.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

How Do I Gain Visibility?

Are you operating as the invisible employee? Learn how to gain some visibility in your career. I'll give you a few tips to be seen and heard.

How Do I Gain Visibility?

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm a Little Creeped Out by This

IF YOU'VE ever joked about your boss being a robot, stop laughing, they soon could be. A web service has launched that allows software algorithms to automatically recruit, hire and pay workers to do a wide variety of tasks.

"For the last 60 years, humans have controlled software - now we're getting to the stage where software can control humans," says Matt Barrie of Australian website

I'm all for progress and efficiency, and heaven knows I've spent enough time complaining about recruiters, but creep-o-matic.

My Former Boss is Pretending I Still Work There

Almost a year ago I left a job at a small company I had been with for many years. At the time I gave notice, I was instructed that I was not to inform any customers of my departure. I respected that as I don’t believe it was my choice to make.

My issue: it’s recently been brought to my attention by several people that my former boss (the owner of the company) is cc’ing my old email address on communications with customers. I fully appreciate that the email profile bearing my name is owned by the company. I can also understand that they might want to keep it live to monitor the inbox for business-related emails. (Given my long tenure, this is certainly possible, even a year later).

However, it would seem to me that the only reason my former boss would cc my address at this juncture would be to misrepresent my current status with the company. This strikes me as ethically questionable at best. I should mention that other employees were also instructed to copy my address, so it’s not just a matter of it being habitual.

I would appreciate your thoughts as to whether this is common practice and whether I have any rights in terms of telling him to knock it off. Am I justified in being uncomfortable that someone is pretending I’m somewhere I’m not?

I think someone's former boss is a bit whack-a-doodle. Find out what I say over at BNET.

Friday, May 07, 2010

My Co-Workers Won't Stop Whining

Dear Evil HR Lady,

Don’t tell me to just get a new job. I live in a small town, I can’t move because my parents are sick, and there is no other company I can work at. The work I do is fine, but I work with 3 of the most annoying women on the planet. You could say, “It’s a nice day, today, isn’t it?” and one will complain that the nice weather brings out the animals, so there’s lots of roadkill. Another will complain that it’s unfair that the weather is nice and she has to be in an office all day but her jerk of a boyfriend gets to be outside because he’s in construction. The third will say how low pressure/high pressure/rain/drought/whatever exacerbates her arthritis.

The day then goes down hill from there. How can I survive these women?

Read my not so evil answer, and then contribute a good evil one of your own, either here or over at BNET.

Disciplinary Councils

I've gotten two e-mails asking about disciplinary hearings at work. Neither are union members and both work for large companies. The strange thing is, a hearing is being held but the accused isn't allowed to attend.

Now, I realize that companies are not required to hold to the standards that the government must. There is no law (to my non-lawyer knowledge) that requires a company to allow an employee to defend himself. But, please explain why you are bothering to hold a "hearing" without allowing the defended to attend.

One person can submit a written statement, but can't see the written statement that his accuser is submitting. How is that rational? I can accuse a colleague of all sorts of horrible things and since he can't see it, how is he supposed to defend himself?

If you aren't going to allow a defense, why call it a "disciplinary hearing"? Just do the investigation and come to a conclusion. A good investigation sometimes involves talking to the same people more than once.

Somebody help me out and explain this to me because it seems like a bad idea.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Why Won't The Recuiter Get Back to Me?

So, you've interviewed and now you wait. And wait. And wait some more. Why won't the [bad word] recruiter get back to you? Here's why.

Oh, and recruiters, I'd love to hear your take on this, either here or at BNET.

A Note to the Plethora of New HR Bloggers

Dear New HR Bloggers,

Welcome to the blogosphere! We're happy to have you. Honest. But, for the love of Pete will you stop posting comments to my blog that say things like this:

"Great Blog!"

"I also have something to say."


"For other business posts,"

Seriously. It bugs the snot out of me and I delete those comments.

What you can say is:

"I totally disagree with the underlying premise in your answer. Clearly blah, blah, blah and blah, blah, blah, but I think that alien life forms really were involved in this. www.mynewhrblog."


"That reminds me of a funny story. [then share story]. I put the rest of my thoughts here:"

See the difference? The first set is simply you trying to get readers by Spamming my blog (and all the other HR bloggers' blogs). The second is you participating in the discussion. If you make good comments, people will come to your blog to see what you have to say. If you just give a link, people say, "ew, spam."

I honestly do welcome you to the blogosophere and I welcome your comments. Just not your spam.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My Boss is Trying to Kill Me

My boss is killing me. She constantly takes on more and more for our department. We recently got impressive new titles, which elevated us to an exempt salary level (no more overtime), no raises, and a few more hours work per day for each of us. Stress is so high, I dream about work at night (when I can sleep at all), my hair is falling out, and I’m having digestive issues and sometimes, when things are really bad, chest pains. I wake up every weekday morning with a headache.

I’ve been at this job for 14 years and can’t go elsewhere because I won’t be able to put in enough years for a decent retirement if I start over again somewhere else. I want to talk to HR, but I’m afraid my job and boss relationship will not go well after I do that. We have tried to talk to our manager about her taking on more and more work and are accused of wearing our “negativity hats.” I have been on the team the longest and know for a fact that I am the lowest paid, although I’ve always had excellent reviews. I keep trying to tell myself I don’t care about sloppy work and missed deadlines that are now unavoidable, but I DO care. I am very angry most of the time. If I talk to HR, what can be done to help me (and my coworkers) without making our boss mad and our lives even more difficult? Thank you.

Learn how to deal with a killer boss over at BNET.