Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Today, in the midst of my daily cat-herding at work, I got an email from my boss alerting me that the presentation he has to give in a couple of weeks will have to be made form scratch, so things "will get a bit hectic."

"GET a bit hectic?" I said, standing at his door. "GET?" I swooped across his office and leaned over his desk. "Have you ever heard of 'terminal velocity'?"

He smiled. "I really like the way you handle stress with such humor and creativity."

"Have you broken into the homemade Polish hooch Emily brought you back from the old country? Because I might need some soon."

I took a lunch today with J-- a girl who works two floors down. Going out with J- is an interesting phenomenon. She looks like Natalie Portman, and whenever I'm out with her I undergo the Klingon Cloaking Device effect: all that men register of me is some vague displacement of the atmosphere somewhere to J-'s side.

J recently broke up with her boyfriend and immediately took up with a new admirer, much to the chagrin of a longtime hanger-on who'd been hoping for a shot. (I once illustrated J's dating life to her using a box of Kleenex: "Oh, I think I'm done with this one...oh, look! Another one is waiting! OK, I'm done..wait! Here's another one popped up!")

She is actually a very nice girl and I like her a lot.

We ate outside today on the lawn (our building is the only building in The Loop to have its own lawn. Don't know whether that makes me feel lucky or sad.) One of the HR people walked by. Perversely, our two HR associates, the ones who interact with employees, never smile, unless they're introducing new employees, and then it's painful to see them try to master this thing that's so foreign to them. It comes out as a sort of grimace.

We watched the guy walk by, deadpan-faced.

"I vote him Most Likely to Come to the Office With a Semi-automatic," I said.

Although it was a bit of a relief to have us BOTH be invisible for a change.


SP said...

Our HR associates never smile either, and they also do not know who anyone is in the building. Nevertheless, they feel the need to send us a weekly email informing us of their whereabouts on any given day. Must be nice to feel so important.

JC said...

During my orientation I clarified some finer points about benefits for the associate who was supposed to be educating me.

AN said...

While blowing my nose last night I had a giggle about your friend J and the box of kleenex!

Just to confirm our HR dept is the same too! In fact a recent survey of staff on 'what they would like changed' indicated that they would like friendlier HR staff amongst other things. The HR dept had replied about all lines (ie. vending machine - actioned; staff breakout area - actioned) but neglected to make any mention an increase in friendliness!

SP said...

What is human resources anyway?

JC said...

I've discovered that the only truly competent, personable HR person I've ever met is me, and I had to learn it all as I went.

Seriously, all it takes is some common sense and the ability to follow through to be a rock stgar in this world.

JC said...

Human Resources, like Event Planning, is the backwater repository for all the deluded twentysomething head cases who think they have People Skills.

SP said...

I just bumped into the HR person who did my exit interview after resignation #2. She came toward me, looking me straight in the face. Did she say hello? Did she do the tight lipped raising of eyebrows indicating recognition, but a preference not to say anything? No. She probably has no idea who I am. HR that!

JC said...

Excuse me, but who is this?