Hard Workplace Truths From “The Evil HR Lady”

unhappy-worker

Susan Lucas is an human resources veteran who shares her abundant workplace wisdom on her blog, a truly excellent one, Evil HR Lady.

She has written an invaluable list she calls “Problems at Work? 10 Signs That It’s Not Them, It’s You.”  It can be literally a life-saver for frustrated career failures, disheartened underlings, especially, perhaps, those encouraged by warped parents, teachers, mentors and  peers to always avoid blame, accountability and responsibility by attributing it to prejudice, bias and personal animus.

Some highlights:

Everyone Bullies You

It would be totally awesome if everyone were super nice all the time, but that isn’t reality. If you’re always the target of the bully, there are two possibilities.One is that you have some trait that bullies find super attractive. While this doesn’t make the bullying your fault, there is something you can do about it. Ask your friends for their suggestions and consider therapy to learn skills that will keep you from being so vulnerable.The other possibility is that you’re way too sensitive. Bosses are supposed to tell you what to do and correct your errors.

Everyone You Work With as Dumb as a Rock

It’s possible that you’re a genius, but that doesn’t mean other people are dumb. If no one seems to be able to understand what you are saying, it’s time to evaluate how you communicate. There’s a good chance that you’re not clear in your explanations and that you leave out critical pieces of information. Work to improve your communication skills and watch everyone else’s IQ rise.

You’re Always the Victim

Much like with bullying, being the victim of illegal discrimination is possible. It does happen. But, it doesn’t happen all the time.If you’re constantly overlooked for promotion because of your race or gender or something else like that, chances are you’re using that as an excuse for something you’re lacking.Take a deep look at your skills, your attitude, and your behaviors at work. There is something you’re lacking, and you need to improve it. Do that, and you’ll find that suddenly people aren’t discriminating against you.

The rest is just as wise. I bet you know someone who needs to see this and believe it. I know  several.

22 thoughts on “Hard Workplace Truths From “The Evil HR Lady”

  1. It’s the same sound advice that used to be commonplace. But that was back in the days before the entitlement mentality came to the forefront. People who’ve been brought up to believe in group identity and an “us vs. them” outlook are not liable to look beyond it for some serious soul searching. It takes moral courage to look at yourself in the mirror and question your own traits and habits. People who were brought up churched and in stable families are more liable to understand this concept. To others, it’s an alien ideology and difficult to process.

  2. We had a guy on our boat who was dumb as a whole box of rocks, and couldn’t understand why he got lousy jobs. At the time, him and a bunch of us were in deck division, which is scut work that every newbie enlisted man has to do at least for a few months before they get their dolphins and get settled into a rating. Actually, it’s a step up from the “mess-cranking” (kitchen work) that you do on your first patrol. One day, we’re painting topside with non-skid, which happened to be flammable when wet. Above-mentioned rock was smoking, and dropped his cigarette onto the edge of his paint pan, which caught fire. He tried putting out with his roller, and the roller caught fire, so he tries putting out the roller on the deck, and ended up catching a fairly large segment of this gazillion-dollar missile submarine on fire. That was a hell of a sight! Naturally, everyone went absolutely apeshit. The next day, we’re painting, and genius is beneath the superstructure, chipping zinc anodes (even scuttier work). At one point, he pops his head up through the superstructure, and says to our supervisor, TM1 Smith, “Yo, Smitty man; why I can’t paint?” We laughed until our stomachs hurt.This is one of the many stories still going around amongst those of us who were on that boat.

    • My Dad had some guys like that under his command–loved those stories. Unfortunately, one of the dumber ones blew my Dad’s foot apart (and himself to smithereens) when he pulled the pin on a hand grenade to pick mud out of his shoe.

      • That just entered my record book as the dumbest stunt ever pulled by a private soldier! I’m only sorry that your dad was hurt because of it. Anyone that worthless needs to be out of the gene pool.

      • Kind of like the Army calling its soldiers “assets”. Neither I nor my tank were “assets”. I was a person and she was my baby.

        • Applying new terms to the exact same structure, in this case, is born of the fact that having your personal future in any organization managed by an internal bureaucracy WILL ALWAYS be dehumanizing.

          The “personnel” department was no more humanizing than the “human resources” department. But large corporations like that structure, so they have to rename it periodically to fulfill latest industry buzzwords.

          I’m sure at some point some decided, “hey, let’s call it human resources…since the workers notice that we sure care a ton about our material resources and our final product, if we refer to them as our human resources, they’ll feel we care alot about them also!”

          I know the army called us “assets” precisely in an attempt to add “value” to how we are considered.

          It’s all smoke and mirrors. I could care less if the army saw me as a just another soldier…you see, that’s precisely WHAT I WAS. I signed on knowing that. But then again, I wasn’t raised to let nonsense bother me.

          In the end, the industries will constantly reinvent how they refer to and label their “people” as a placebo simply because faceless bureaucracies can NEVER fulfill the actual human need.

          Glad I’m in a small organization.

  3. This is kind of like Chris Rock’s “How to keep from getting your ass kicked by the police”. That video should be mandatory viewing for all teenagers and civil rights leaders.

  4. It would be totally awesome if everyone were super nice all the time, but that isn’t reality. If you’re always the target of the bully, there are two possibilities.One is that you have some trait that bullies find super attractive. While this doesn’t make the bullying your fault, there is something you can do about it. Ask your friends for their suggestions and consider therapy to learn skills that will keep you from being so vulnerable.The other possibility is that you’re way too sensitive. Bosses are supposed to tell you what to do and correct your errors.

    Absurd. Why should a person need to change themselves to be able to do their work free from abuse? If there’s something about you that attracts bullies that would be the fault of, say it with me, the bullies.

    • I think it’s a shared responsibility. Obviously, a bully is the one to hold accountable for their behavior, but the recipient of bullying should address any frailties that makes them a target. It only makes sense if you want your world to be a little easier to live in. Personally, I think we’re becoming a nation of thin-skinned weaklings, and constantly bending more and more to accomodate that is going to make us a nation of, wait for it…weaklings.

      • Bullies are almost universally attracted by non-conformity in some form or another. Assuming a person’s quirk doesn’t interfere with job performance then the weakness is on the part of the bully. A personality too weak to leave well enough alone. If someone thinks your ears are too big, that necklace you wear is silly, your accent is funny, or your love of disco music is laughable you are under no obligation to change any of those things just to be free from abuse especially at work.

        I don’t like the idea of HR operating under playground rules. If they hit you call a teacher, if they just harass you constantly then be a good little conformist and maybe it’ll stop.

        • No, you’re completely misunderstanding me. Im not talking about yielding to, or changing to suit a bully at all. I’m talking about exuding a presence that says ” I’m really the wrong guy/girl for that”. It’s a very subtle thing, which doesn’t require being obnoxious or scary. Very hard to explain, but once you develop it, it’s plain as day. I would say that finding confidence in your ability to physically, verbally, or psychologically destroy an adversary at need, without having to display that capability, is one of the first crucial steps.

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