Tuesday, February 22, 2022

You're Gay You're Evil

 I live in an area that is a little less than cosmopolitan.   Don’t mistake this, I like where I live, but trends that hit the coast in a bi-costal rage, are usually slow to arrive in Springfield, IL. There’s Chicago 200 miles to the north and Indianapolis 200 miles to the east if you want to feel a little more urban. Along with those trends, we also have some mindsets here in the middle of the country that have not yet caught up with our more urban brethren.  

Not so long ago, I was part of a conversation, where someone stated that they wished we could “go back” to the way things used be.  While I am not sure of the exact time for which the speaker was making reference to; some where late in the last century, so let’s say 1985.  The reason stated for wanting to “go back” was because things were better then. Another person spoke up and said something to the effect that things may have been better for you, but you think that would be better for everyone?  The speaker continued and said do you think that gay people would agree that things were better back then?  The original speaker fumbled and hummed and hawed around with no response.

This got me to ponder, has life has gotten better for gay folks? Honestly I think so.  The change is largely thanks to our more enlighten young folks millennials and gen Z and younger.  By and large, they don’t care about anyone’s sexual orientation. They have taught some of us older folks that it’s ok to like, to friend and to hire gay people. There is no longer the stigma that being gay was not ok.  But then wait; right in my own back yard, 30 mile to the east this occurs (link to Decatur Hearld article inserted below).

When I first heard about this on local television news I thought that can't be true. And as I was looking around on the web this morning I saw a related story on CBS News. I thought we were past this, but obviously I am wrong.  What is wrong with people like Mr. Dickerson?  How do we keep from hiring people like him? How can society function when we have people who think this is ok? We so normalized behavior like this, it just doesn't seem shocking anymore.

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Iphone Chargers - SHRM & Golf Outings


These are trying times we are living in, no doubt.  I understand how organizations are having to pivot to make ends meet and that many of us are caught in that conundrum. We can’t continue doing what we have done for a long time, because it’s not working  anymore. I am talking about Covid19 affecting staffing and attendance, truncated menus at restaurants, airlines not serving liquor, Zoom sales calls;  you get it the examples are boundless and everywhere.

Well, the other day I got a new IPhone 13 and I saw yet another example of what is bothering me.  I got the new phone which was around $800 (which will be paid off with a trading in and some billing adjustments).  Suffice it to say I got the new phone, but now they have changed the charging system to use the newer USB “C”.  Great, but they didn’t give you a charging block with the $800 phone. No, you have to go spent another $15 and buy it as a one off.  I can live without it, but it just galls me that Apple feels like they need to shave $15 off, of the phone.  I would have gladly paid $815. Apple just wants another $15 from me.

Later in the same day, I got an email from SHRM. I recently re-certified with a professional certification from them.  I was late in renewing, so I got to pay $150 instead of the regular $100 fee. I was late because I was thinking going into retirement, I would no longer need the certification, but since I have moved into the consulting space, I decided it was probably a good thing to do. That all went well until I got an email from SHRM yesterday congratulating me on my re-certification.  Then they went on to say that if I would like to have a certificate to celebrate this auspicious occasion I could do so by sending them another $25.  I remember hearing former SHRM CEO Hank Jackson tell a group of volunteer State Directors the SHRM Certification WAS NOT money grab and SHRM had no intention of using this as profit center. Well apparently, Johnny Taylor, current SHRM CEO has a different opinion, and they now need $25 more to do what they used to do for free.  Mr. Taylor I would have paid $175 if that really is what you need. I don’t think you do though.  Just like Apple it seems like SHRM is just grabbing some extra cash here.

It seems like corporate leaders are hell bent on squeezing revenue out of everything. This scenario reminds me of going to a golf outing, with the purpose to raise money for something or someone.  Many time I have shown to help/participate and happily pay $150 for a round of golf that cost $40. After your arrival, upon check-in then you are given the upsell for mulligans-$10 each, or 50/50 tickets - $10 each or a $10 chance on hitting a hole in won and winning a car.  If you have ever attended one of these, you know what I am talking about.  To me it sounds like they needed about $200 per person for the outing.   How about this, charge $200 for the event, stop nickel and diming the people who support you the most.

I have had enough of this. I am going to do like someone suggested on LinkedIn scratch out the dates on the old certificate and hand write them in.  I will buy the damn charging block and pay the $15.

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Update those Email Addresses


When I retired from full-time employment. I also retired my company email. This was an email address which had been in place since sometime in the late 1990’s.  For discussion purposes I will call this account a mature email account.

What is a mature email account?  It is the digital footprint of me traipsing all over the internet for 20+ years. It encompasses the sites I visited to look for a new product, sites I went to for research purposes, you get it, the place we go on the web.  This has lead my mature email to have the junk box fill up day in and day out.  There are the offers for the newest electronic gadget, a discounted trip to some exotic island… just click here, or my offer to collect my million dollars from some king in a little-known third world country.   In the last few years, I have tried to be vigilant to remove the people that are sending legitimate junk email.  These entities who hook you up via cookies or a click usually have an unsubscribe link some where in the email, although it may be 6-point type hidden deep in some disclaimer, but it is there.

Since I have moved from my mature email account, I have set up two new email accounts.  One of them is Gmail and the other has to do with some consulting I am doing.   So old habits die hard. I still find myself checking email at least in the morning, around lunchtime and then late in the afternoon.

But here is the interesting thing about my new email accounts; I only get a handful of emails a day. I am talking like 10 to 12 emails – A DAY.   Do you have any idea how refreshing that is?  I sometimes feel like something has been taken away from me.  I remember as a young man, I some how associated getting junk U.S. Mail to status.  This included printed catalogues, flyers or post cards.   I think some of us have the same vibe with the junk emails. You get so many of them you must be important!

Here is my take-away.  Perhaps to improve productivity in the workplace companies should direct email administrators to periodically update email addresses with a change in protocol/names.  Consider going from first initial + last name to first name.last name or change an email domain name.  I am sure the IT folks could come up with something to change. For me, less email is less worries, less time spend messing with it.  For those of you, who must plow through email to make sure you did not miss something, this is a time suck.   And while we are changing emails, couldn’t we do away with business phones and voice mail?  Anyone that needs to talk to you has your cell phone number already.

Friday, January 21, 2022

That Friday Feeling

 I have retired from full-time employment. I am still doing a lot, but I am starting to notice some things I miss about work.  I have been at home doing some work (between cold weather and covid19 there are not of compelling reasons to leave my home office) so it's not like I spend all day at the coffee shop or bowling alley.

Today I got text messages from my former co-workers, which gave me pause to think about where they are at, physically, their location. This would be the building that I used to work in.  They still do work there.

When we (the collective we) are at work there is the big anticipation of the weekend, the weekend preview – that’s what Friday at work is. In retrospect, it seemed kind of like getting ready to take a trip. It is the anticipation, the excitement, it's that stoked feeling you get for doing things you really like. All day long co-workers are communicating things like, what are you doing this week, hey this weekend we’re going to St. Louis or the ever popular I’m going fishing.

Then the same thing goes on when you talk a vendor or service provider that you talk with routinely. Hey what’s up this weekend – doing anything big this weekend?

The more I think about the Friday thing it make me sad.  It's that same feeling of returning home form a long-anticipated trip or  momentous event.  It's over I won't get that anymore - or wait, maybe everyday is Friday now?

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Can't We Agree?


We are a year past the last presidential election. When that took place in 2020, I think most of us thought that the Covid-19 thing would be behind us by now.   Since election day we have had the January 6th incident in Washington.  There have been other noteworthy events since the election but in my opinion those three events, the election, Covid-19 and January 6th in Washington D.C. are the biggest things that this nation has had to navigate in the last year.

I don’t have the exact numbers (percentages) but suffice it to say, there are nearly half of the folks who think that Trump won the election, many of them also think that Covid-19 is a fallacy and that the events in Washington were justified and/or well intentioned. The other half thinks Biden won, Covid-19 is a problem and the events in DC were treasonous. 

These two groups come to work everyday now and work with one and other and the employers are forced to deal with this matter (unless of course they quit -which seems to be in vouge these days). The diversity of opinions will undoubtedly come into the everyday workplace.  Then how will anyone come to resolution, on matters of what was once fact?  This encompasses both business and government.

Most of you have heard the story of implementation of 5G cellular service and the airline industry. The cellular communication companies want to turn on the new 5G service. The airlines content that it may or will affect airline/passenger safety.   The gist of it is the two signals are operating at a frequency where they may bump into one and other.  I don’t know much about radio transmission, frequencies, altimeters or cellular signal transmission, so my take will be simple.  There is a chance that some airplanes could knock out some cell phone calls, and then there is the chance that some phone calls could cause altimeters to provide errant readings to pilots on the plane’s elevation.

If I look at this discussion I am going to come down on the side of the airline pilots.  They could be wrong.  Can we all agree that we want to error on the side of caution? NO!

Given the environment that we are living in today, this matter is emblematic of where we are as a society.

Have you had this matter going on in your workplace? One side proposes a solution to resolve a matter and the other side exclaims you are all idiots and you don’t understand the matter and we will never agree to doing what you want to do. This is our new decorum.  I don’t like where this is headed.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Blogger Service Awards


Now that I have retired from full time employment, I have have been reflecting on things. Daily I get on my computer and look at a multitude of sites. You know the drill, weather, some right-wing news, some left-wing news, some HR stuff, Facebook, LinkedIn maybe Instagram and financial stuff and then onto some blog posts.

Ah yes, blog posts, and social media sites. This is where I kill a lot of time and learn a lot. I know I am somewhat behind the curve as so many of the cool kids have moved on from blogging to podcasts.  Me, I am still impressed by those people that can and do write. This seems to be a dying art.  For example, a recent text message I received

r u k w/me sendin u files today

I am not going to break this down, but I guarantee that text is enough to make any high school English teacher pull their hair out. Sadly, I have seen a lot of “business communication” that looked very similar.

Back to blog posts, there are many of them I read routinely, others now and then but last week something struck me about a few bloggers who are seeming ageless and continue to do this. I started paying attention to blogging and social media somewhere in around 2008. I am not even sure about the year but there four bloggers, that I have followed, who are still out there getting it and I wanted to call commend them for their longevity, in a world where people stay in jobs for 18 months and move on.

Suzanne Lucas
a.k.a. “The Evil HR Lady”.    Suzanne has been on the scene since 2006.  When she started blogging, she did it anonymously because it was so “dangerous” to be out front and out spoken, you could get fired.  Then at some point Suzanne came out of the closet and revealed herself to the world. She has taken the “Evil” franchise to new places. Her content is current and spot on. I contacted her for this post and thanked her for her years of service. Check her out!

Another blogger that is still killing it is Allison Green. Her blog site is “Ask A Manager”.  Allison to is a long-term blogger and covers HR A-Z. I have seen here posted all over the place, as well as hear her comment on national broadcasts. One day I was driving and heard NPR go to her as a subject matter expert on workplace issues. I thought hmm, I picked a smart blogger to follow if NPR is going to her as a subject matter expert on workplace issues. Allison has been doing this since 2007.

A third long-time blogger is Laurie Ruettimann. Today Laurie has expanded her horizons, she too is a blogger, speaker, author, podcaster and self-proclaimed “bad ass”.   The national press seeks her out routinely to opine on matters. Laurie came on the scene in 2004 with her first blog called Hard Core Punk Rock. I still enjoy her content and it is always relevant and spot on. Put her on your list of people to follow.

Lastly in my salute to veteran bloggers, I need to call out one more person. While he has been a blogger as well and created probably thousands of post Steve Boese is another social media leader and HR Expert that y’all should be following.  I figured out a long time ago Steve had a lot to say and it was all good stuff.  Steve has been on the scene pre 2009. Steve also deserves another honor. While he has been a blogger he is like the George Washington of podcasters. Steve started a live internet radio show called the HR Happy Hour in 2009. This has been and still is leading edge content with some of the best and the brightest in the HR business. Steve and Trish work hard on this show and put a great deal of thought and preparation into.

My full-time career in HR is done, and these dedicated folks, Suzanne, Allison, Laurie and Steve, have helped shape my thoughts and practices.  I am grateful to them for years of content that they have prepared and shared. I don’t have a good way to say thanks.  Consider this blog post my tribute to them.

There are no associations or organization that bloggers or podcasters join that recognizes them for their years of service. Nonetheless, these folks have helped to shape HR and business today and for the last 18 years.  Perhaps I should become the founder of the Bloggers, Podcasters and Social Media Content Producers Association, the SMCPA if you will, then I could award them certificates,  service pins and watches like they truly deserve.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Moving On the Next Thing


Yep that's me, in my last job, but I have moved on from that after nearly 45 years. To be transparent, I did not start out, or spend all of my time in HR.  I started out in warehousing and transportation.  To this day I have maintained a CDL. It was in 1989 that I moved into personnel. (That's what we used to call it.)  I got involved  with a group call American Society for Personnel Administration. Then ASPA turned in to SHRM and Personnel to into Human Resources a.k.a. HR.
Along the way I have done some other things on a part-time and/or voluntary level (an active volunteer with SHRM, Refereed Youth/High School Hockey, sat on several NFP Boards, as well as did weekend broadcast news), so I haven't shuddered myself in the company, I tried to stay current with what others in HR were doing.  Granted by today's standards I have stayed about two and a half life-times but that portion of my life has come to an end and it's is on to the next thing.

What is the next thing?  It is not going to be strictly retirement for me.  I am not going to be a go to the coffee shop every morning or go to the bar every afternoon kind of guy.  In moving on my next segment of life is going to involve a lot more bike riding and exercise.  I actually enjoy that.  I am also going to be spending a lot of time with Sophia, my first grandchild.  She just arrived in the middle of last month.  I am going to see a number of long-term friends, when I travel.  I am going to take the time to visit with them and see what their life is like, as most of them have moved-on as well.  I also plan to blog a bit now and then.  I spent a lot of time creating content for blogs from 2010 to about 2016 and then it kind of faded away, as if I had said all I have to say. But now I feel like trying it again, at least for a while.

There is one more thing I am going to try now, and that is to do some work in the HR Consulting Arena.  Dave Ryan/HR Consultant...  unsure about that, but it sounds curious.  Let's see how that works out in reality.  One of my best friends Donna Rogers, has kindly offered to let me work with and learn  from her about this aspect of HR.  Donna's firm is Roger's HR Consulting.  

I had always admired the folks who did this, because you not only have to do the work, you have to hustle and go get it, and then complete the job on-time and under budget.   Can you do that?   I don't know if I can.

This is where I am going to store my blog posts.  I am not going back to Word Press, Google is free and much simpler to use,  I intend to cross post them my LinkedIn profile as well.

So, I will be doing some work with Donna and some biking and blogging along with some travel thrown in the mix.  We'll see how I do Moving on to the next thing.

You're Gay You're Evil

  I live in an area that is a little less than cosmopolitan.    Don’t mistake this, I like where I live, but trends that hit the coast in a ...