Once upon a time I had a career in the Human Resources department of a huge global consulting company. I worked in the Employee Relations group, which is basically where they send the sensitive situations. And the crack pots. People who aren't doing their job. Or are keeping others from doing their job. Or are doing their job poorly and nothing seems to be working in getting them to turn it around. Often times it was heartbreaking. There were the cases where an employee wasn't meeting performance expectations and upon further investigation it was discovered they were facing a chronic illness, or divorce, or family crisis. In the hazy warm glow of my memory I recall how I was able to make a difference by helping these people and helping the company. All of those wonderful success stories where I made an impact. But time has a way of softening the edges, editing out the annoying and mundane. And the really stupid people. Once I take off the rose colored glasses it turns out my *professional job* is not much different from my current position.
Here is a brief comparison of then and now:
Then: Ridiculous excuses for behavior, such as *I couldn't finish the report because my hard drive crashed*.
Now: Ridiculous excuses for behavior, such as *She started it* or *It's not my fault the lamp was there, I was just running and twirling by and it fell off the table. By itself*.
Then: Lots of whining and complaining.
Now: Lots of whining and complaining.
Then: Petulant partners who tantrum when they can't give their favorite employee (yet another) huge raise due to budget constraints.
Now: Petulant son who tantrums when I won't by him (yet another) Star Wars Lego set due to budget constraints.
Then: Employees who assume someone else will pick up their slack.
Now: Children who assume someone else (me) will pick up their slack.
Then: Long hours.
Now: Longer hours.
Then: An employee inadvertently gets paid double their regular salary for three months straight and can't understand why this is a problem, or why they should have to pay it back.
Now: My child smashes their sibling's toy and can't understand why it's a problem, and why they have to help them rebuild it.
Then: An employee has a million excuses for why they can't get their work done.
Now: My child has a million excuses for why she can't get her homework done.
Then: A partner that emails at 7pm requesting some critical data for a 7am conference call.
Now: A child tells me at 8pm they need to construct a detailed diorama of King Tut's tomb for school tomorrow.
Then: An employee screws up a major project resulting in thousands of dollars lost.
Now: My son somehow screws up the computer resulting in thousands of hours of my time being lost.
Then: An employee doesn't understand why it isn't okay to take a two hour lunch.
Now: My child doesn't understand why they don't get two hours for recess at school.
Then: An employee has a few drinks at lunch and embarrasses themselves in front of the client.
Now: I have a few drinks at lunch and embarrass myself in front of the dog.
Then: An employee thinks they should be paid extra just for doing their job.
Now: My son thinks he should be paid a dollar for putting the milk back in the refrigerator.
Then: Longing for more recognition of my contributions.
Now: Longing for any recognition of my contributions.
Then: I sigh. A lot.
Now: I sigh. A lot.