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It’s a gift……



So at most companies now its performance review time right?  Even here is my little slice of hell they are trying to review…..the emphasis  on trying.  They are trying.  In more ways than one.  Anyway, that’s not what I’m talking about here, I’m trying to lay off the swearing and if I start talking about the dickish behaviour that the people here are currently exhibiting I’ll surely end up in the crap.

Instead, I thought I’d share with you my performance review….because we are open like that aren’t we?  We get along?  We trust one another?

I started this blog in March 2009, so I’m a relative newbie to the scene.  The first post was on 31 March and on 11 April I got my first comment.  I can’t tell you how exciting that was!  So?  I don’t get out much ok.  Want to make something of it?

That means I have been going for nearly a year now.  This is my appraisal of my year…….


1. I’m still here and I’m still writing.  A lot of the blogs that I was reading when I started out seem to have died a death.  So I’m taking this as a positive.  Let’s hope that is not the kiss of death!

2. I’ve interacted with a lot of nice people over the year, people with the same views as me, people with different views to me, people from all over the world.  People I respect, people I think have potential and a few people who I think are talking out of their arses

3. Technically, I moved from blogger to wordpress and managed not to fuck it up totally.  I’m not sure I did everything right and there are still improvements I want to make, but then hey I’m an HR Director not a tech geek

4.  I think I’ve made a few people laugh along the way, maybe caused people to think?  I never wanted to be a serious HR blog, there are far too many of those already, nor did I want to be exclusively about HR.  Hopefully I’ve achieved that balance

Areas for Development (aka weaknesses):

1.  My spelling and grammar are bollocks.  I never realised how needy I was in this area.  I have a PA, that covers my back…but it hardly feels sensible to ask her to type my blog posts!  The educational mantra when I grew up was not to teach grammar but that it would come naturally.  You know what?  That’s crap.  It doesn’t

2.  My swearing is an abomination.  This is supposed to be my non-swearing week, but I know that so far in this post I’ve done a couple.  By the way, I type these things straight out stream of consciousness style and don’t edit – hence the inability to not swear and also the inability to write properly (see 1 above)

3.  The lack of a community of British/European HR bloggers.  Not that I don’t love my American friends (you know you all rock) but every time I write about something specifically English (see yesterdays post) the comments fall off a cliff

4.  My use of Twitter.  So I’ve had an account for……forever, but only started using it properly over the last few weeks.  Much of the stuff that passes my eyes, confuses the crap out of me and I have no idea what the etiquette is.  Still, ladybird steps and all that, at least I’m there?

So that is my appraisal, but I’m all into 360 feedback (despite it being the devil’s spawn).  What do you think?  What could I do more of, less of?  I don’t want smoke blown up my arse.  I want your feedback.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Lindsey permalink
    01/20/2010 14:27

    Dear HRD,

    I think you’ve pretty much got this not taking HR too seriously, nailed. There are lots of great blogs out there and as you mentioned some not very good ones too. UK specific HR blogs, good ones, are few and far between. It’s good to know that you can take an issue and put a ‘common sense’ spin on it. Some of us HR professionals take ourselves far too seriously and some others, well god forbid someone should overhear us talking between us when there’s no one else in the office. Irreverent isn’t in it! As for spelling and grammar, sod it, we all understand phonetics, keep up the good work!

  2. 01/20/2010 15:20

    I have only been following you for a couple of weeks and your take on life and work is just what I need to keep my sanity – especially in the current situation I have in my HR department going through structural reorganisation in HR for the 3rd time in just over a year.

    ps Your swearing is not an issue, it fits the style so as not to feel uncouth.

  3. Lena M. permalink
    01/20/2010 16:39

    Hum… ok… here goes sappy little me…

    I have seen your blog grow and my whole life change at the same time… What can I say… Thanks for writing and thanks for tweeting! You have brought many laughs but also many things to reflect on…

    Just keep on writing, will ya???

  4. 01/20/2010 17:25

    Less technical stuff, more human drama. For example, I didn’t care about the actual Packers season (because I don’t care about sports), but I sure cared about the Brett Favre stuff because that was Drama with a capital D. How did he handle his alleged retirement? Why did he want to retire? Did he really hate the manager/owner/whoever that much? Why did they want to get rid of him? Do his former teammates hate him?

    Basically, give us the human story behind the dry policy. What’s the gossip? I love it when you do that. You do it well.

  5. teresahrgirl permalink
    01/20/2010 18:57

    Dear HRD,
    I am happy that you started blogging. I like your commentary and perspective, especially when it doesn’t match my own. Its why I read you. I would love to see more CEO conversations. They are my favorite cause it sounds very familiar lol. Your cursing is freakin’ hilarious. And please, please don’t stop writing. I hope that in your Achievements part 2 that i’m not one you think talks out of their “arse”. 🙂

    Don’t sweat too hard about Twitter … i’m trying to find the balance there myself. You’ve been doing really good so far with that.

    And this is my honest feedback… no sunshine blowing. Have a great day!

  6. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    01/20/2010 19:04

    So u’ve cursed what? 3 times in this piece? that’s 30 pounds more to Haiti? I like your reasonable, common sense approach to things- and I have a good laugh at some of ur pieces too.

    As for grammar and spelling- doesn’t matter since it’s not a formal thing and it doesn’t detract from your writings (at least not for me anyway)- it’s not like this is how u’d write something official or anything.

    Oh and it’s been a while since we’ve seen any conversation bits- i love those 🙂

  7. 01/20/2010 21:35

    i’ve only just found you (as you duly noted was all my fault), and i’d say:

    fresh content w/a lot of spirit. keeps me coming back.

    i love the swearing. keep it up. it’s so refreshing to find a f*in’ kindred spirit.

    i relate to the uk info after having lived there lightyears ago. don’t lose it. makes me want to come back.

    grammar. eh – who needs it. 😉


  8. 01/20/2010 22:14

    Thank you so much for your blog. You have literally changed my life. Whenever I am feeling depressed, and cannot locate any prescription medication, I always turn to your wisdom. I hope you will understand when I say that I see your experiences as directions for my life. You are just so WISE!
    Before I read your blog I was lost and in a very dark place. Human Resources and your common sense approach has changed that. I never considered humans to be of the status of a resource, but listening to the difficulties you have had in your working life, I realise that I have put too many of them on a pedestal. No longer will I maintain my basement shrine to ‘those unknown girls’ (YOU know what I mean man!). I’ve realised that I can treat the people I meet like the objects (or resources) that they truly are. I’m less sensitive to their painful screams because of that. AND IT’S ALL THANKS TO YOU!
    I wish you’d put some photos of yourself on your blog, as we need to be together.

  9. Corporate Daycare permalink
    01/21/2010 13:30

    What can I add that hasn’t been said. Hmmm…I guess I will sum it up by saying thank you for providing an honest and humourous perspective on HR, without coming off like you are an expert – god knows there are enough HR “experts” blogging out there.

    I don’t always agree with your comments (although that’s rare), but I always respect them. Keep changing it up when it comes to subjects – I like the mix of your views on what’s happening in the UK as much as your “conversations” with the CEO. When a blog becomes solely about one thing…it can become dry (and yes, even HR can be dry!).

    My feedback on balancing the medias – don’t worry about. Twitter is a good way to share snippets, but personally I’m looking for something with more substance…like a blog. Your blog, for instance.

    As for the cursing…f#ck it. It’s a form of expressing yourself.

    Keep up the good work and looking forward to reading you in 2010.

  10. 01/22/2010 05:52

    I love you for your unvarnished take on things – you shoot from the hip, as they used to say out here in the West. I always know I’ll get the truth from you. On occasion I might be a little anxious, but in a world of BS masquerading as Chanel #5, you’re the real deal, and I like real.

    Also, I like that you’re British – so was my mom! Yes, keep writing…

  11. 01/22/2010 09:11

    Wow…..thank you everyone, this is really helpful and useful feedback.

    @Lyndsey – Hi and thanks for commenting. HR taking itself seriously? Hevane forbid!

    @Jeremy – Welcome and thanks for taking time to comment. Third HR restructure in a year? Were the other ones wrong….or are things getting progressively worse. Sounds like a nightmare.

    @Lena – I hope you’re not holding me responsible for changes in your life! There is only so much blame I’m willing to shoulder!

    @Gold Digger – That went way over my head…..American Football? Baseball? But I hear you loud and clear…..stay off the policy

    @teresahrgirl – I certainly don’t have you in the category. You’ll see the CEO and I have been chatting….I’ll try to do more

    @Karen – You’re right, I have been swearing a little more than anticipated this week. I’ll do a tot up and perhaps we can have a vote on where the money goes?

    @Fran – Thanks for commenting and I’m glad you like the content. I really apprecviate you taking time to read me

    @fernandomando – That restraining order is still live you know…….

    @Corporate Daycare – Thats good feedback, thank you. I would never proclaim to be an expert on anything other than responsibility avoidance!

    @mkeeffer – Thanks, unvarnished is a good description, I like that!

    • Lena M. permalink
      01/22/2010 16:35

      LOL! Of course I’m not holding you responsible…
      Oh… And change? It can be a good thing…

      • 01/25/2010 20:10

        Having had two kids, I know that changing can be good….but still, same day……different shit!

  12. 01/22/2010 15:35

    Well OK. The Green Bay Packers is an American football team. Brett Favre was their much beloved iconic quarterback for many years. In spring 2008, he announces he was retiring from football. In July 2008, he says he still wants to play and has retired under pressure. Packers have already signed another QB. Favre says fine, I’ll play for another team because I am not going to be backup QB; I have to be the star. Packers say no way, we are not going to release you. In the meantime, Favre is maybe secretly talking to the Minnesota Vikings, the Packers archrival, which is very sneaky and against the rules.

    Favre ends up playing for the NY Jets in the 2008 season, a team in a different league from the Packers. He has a crummy season and retires again.

    In June 2009, Favre announces he is Still Retired. In July, Favre announces he is Still Retired. In August, he signs with the Vikings. Much wailing and gnashing of teeth across the border.

    The Vikings play the Packers twice in the 2009 season and beat the Packers both times, sending those of us in Wisconsin, even those of us who are not football fans, into a tailspin of mourning, because there is nothing anyone here wanted more than to beat that turncoat Favre.

    The Vikings play the New Orleans Saints this weekend in a playoff game and everyone in Wisconsin is rooting for New Orleans.

    So. I couldn’t tell you what the Packers win-loss record was last season or the season before, but I can tell you how people felt about the human drama and how it was managed. Favre wanted to be the star. The owners of the team wanted to take the team in a different direction. How do you manage that situation? Huge egos, public conflict, drama. That’s the interesting stuff. The policy manual might say A,B,C, but policy takes you only so far with human emotions.

  13. 01/22/2010 16:56

    Keep going.

  14. 01/23/2010 02:17

    [3. The lack of a community of British/European HR bloggers. Not that I don’t love my American friends (you know you all rock) but every time I write about something specifically English (see yesterdays post) the comments fall off a cliff.. ] HAHAHA!!! I’m guilty of that =0

    But all and all, I really like enjoy your blog. It’s entertaining yet informational at the same time. On another note, I don’t think I’ve ever caught your name??

  15. 01/25/2010 20:12

    @The gold digger – wow……..long story, but liking the metaphor!

    @Henry – Where have you been dude? I thought you were dead!

    @thuy – Yep, duly noted. A notice to improve is in the post to you! My name? It’s the HRD………..


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