Friday, October 22, 2010

Enjoying HR? Oxymoron (?)

“Oh! So you’re in HR. Enjoying huh? No work to do right?”

Asked my cousin, when we recently met at Bommanahalli to board the bus to Trivandrum. I tried to educate him “No No, we have lots of work to do..from manpower planning, to designing training programmes to statutory compliance to co-ordinating performance discussions to aligning salary to event management”. He wasn't convinced
“Ok, but still you don’t have any deadlines to meet like us right? Ha ha... You people are enjoying..” “No”, I interrupted him “We have SLAs and deadlines to be met as well. We are accountable for company operations..”
I could see him smirk.. and could read his mind
“Hmm.. whatever it is, you guys are a lousy lot. It is afterall we the software engineers who bring in money for the company to sustain. If it were not for us, you would have been jobless”

I am sure anyone in HR line of profession might have encountered the above situation atleast once. HR function is like a swan in the lake. It looks like the swan is floating, enjoying the surroundings and relaxing, but underneath it keeps on struggling with its leg to keep it moving forward. A home maker to a home is what HR to an organization. Ask the home maker not to do her job for a day and by the end of the day you will get to know her importance.

HR job is more like a double edged sword. We need to please both the management and employees. I faced it when my previous company announced a pay cut during difficult times (Although it was not called ‘pay-cut’, but 'salary restructuring'). On one hand we ourselves had to suffer the cut in our pay and on the other we had to explain to the grieving employees on the justification regarding the pay cut.

Ha, it takes a bold heart to be in HR and sustain.

I still meet my other cousins who are also in some software firm or the other. Perceptions are etched and can hardly be alterd. So I just let it be and have some fun in the process.. When they make fun of HR , I tell them back. ‘Shh.. quiet please. Let it be between you and me. It is true that we don’t do any work. Come in the morning, swipe the card, visit blogs, read newspapers, sip coffee, get into the chat messengers, walk around, meet other fellow HRs who are equally jobless, discuss about the latest movie, send some absurd mails and forwards and swipe out on the dot. Phew man. Pray to God that you be an HR in the next birth. We are blessed souls.”

I feel some sadistic pleasure when I say that.

The questions still vibrates.."You guys just don’t have any work to do and enjoy right?”

No work to do ? – NO , a big bold, underlined, italicized ‘No’. We have a lot of work to do my boy. That too not dealing with the deadwood computer and codes but human beings with flesh and blood. And brains. People like you. Right from the top of the organization chart to the housekeeping boy.

Enjoy? – Yes, a big bold underlined, italicized ‘YES’.


Shail said...

"Ask the home maker not to do her job for a day and by the end of the day you will get to know her importance."

Hear hear!!!

sreejith thampi said...