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I hate victims who respect their executioners



Two years ago, I started a blog called L’enfer c’est les autres, which 6 months later became My Hell is Other People.  The aim at the time was to shake up the predominantly dull and dismal world of UK HR blogs and to provide both a little light relief and some realism.  There weren’t many HR professionals blogging and the field was bogged down with over earnest consultants trying to prove how clever they were in order to promote their businesses. Nothing wrong with that, but not really my thing and not really the thing of many of us actually doing the work.

The last few months have seen a number of HR professionals starting to blog and talk about their experiences and at the same time mixing it up with more personal content rather than just banging on about the same old boring HR stuff.  Has this blog been any kind of inspiration or driver to that? I’m not so sure, but if I’m honest I hope so.

Way back at the start I could never have imagined this.  I never really had a game plan, I wasn’t trying to make money, I have never accepted advertising or sponsorship,  I wasn’t trying to make a career out of my blog or blogging.  Just trying to provoke, shake things up and start people thinking.

Since my first post there have been hundreds of other posts and over 2,500 comments.  Traffic continues to grow each week, each month and (since I moved sites) just shy of 60,000 visits later, here I am, opening up WordPress each morning and writing away.  Through the blog I’ve met great people in real life and in the virtual world. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve argued and bitched and we’ve made friends and enemies. You have inspired and challenged me, you have made me think and you have helped me to grow as a person.

So what now? Well the answer is nothing. The words that you’re reading are the last words to be written by TheHRD, the last words from My Hell is Other People.  All good things come to an end and today is my end.

From the bottom of my heart I thank every single one of you who has contributed to this project.  This would not have been the success it is without you. On a number of occasions people have described this blog as a “community”.  Every tweet, every, comment, every idea and thought that you have contributed has made it that way.  This has been your success much, much more than it has been mine. Have you changed things? Too right you have.

I want……need, to turn my attention to other things now, other projects, other ideas…..things in completely different areas and none of which will involve TheHRD or this site.

So it has been a blast people.  Be good to yourselves, don’t listen to the shit that they tell you.  Ask questions, be difficult, strive for excellence and remember to enjoy yourselves on the way. No-one can tell you what to do, or how to be, only you decide that for yourselves. You have the power within yourselves to change your lives and the lives of others for the better. Use it.

The clock is ticking, it’s time for me to check out now.

TheHRD has left the building…….


77 Comments leave one →
  1. 03/03/2011 07:49

    I did sense you were beginning to run out of material for a daily one 😉

  2. 03/03/2011 07:53

    It’s been fun thanks. See you on the other side.

  3. 03/03/2011 07:55

    Can’t wait to see what’s next and wish you luck with it, this has been many things…!

    Rock on Dude


  4. 03/03/2011 08:00

    Miss you already… xx

  5. 03/03/2011 08:00

    It was fun while it lasted! Thanks for keeping us on our toes and for the support (when you thought we deserved it…)Is this also the end for @thehrd on twitter and linked in?

    Johanna, CIPD digital team

  6. 03/03/2011 08:00

    Wait a second, I thought we just started March, not April?

    But in case you’re really serious, thanks for many interesting, challenging and sometimes simply fun posts.

    So all the best for the future and enjoy your new house. Tout de bon et à ta santé 😉

  7. Gary Franklin permalink
    03/03/2011 08:01

    I think it was about this time last year you wrote something with a similar objective. This post however is far more heartfelt. You have as you pointed out mixed it up; inspired, confronted and pissed people off. You will be sadly missed, well this incarnation of you will be anyway. With an arm around your shoulders, thanks my friend and see ya. Till next time

  8. 03/03/2011 08:05

    Congratulations on such a strong and always-inspiring blog, and for being brave enough to finish it up when you felt the time was right.

    All the best with whatever might be next, sir!

  9. 03/03/2011 08:10

    I’m looking forward to what’s next..

  10. 03/03/2011 08:28

    Can I be happy and sad all at once – yes I think so xxx

  11. 03/03/2011 08:38

    *rubs eyes and re-reads*

    Oh Man! Your blog was akin to a daily ritual for the likes of me! Always interested to hear what you had to say and what you were going to provoke. And I’ve said it before, your blog has been a true source of inspiration for me. Through your writing I was able to find that I too want and indeed have a voice. For this, I thank you.

    Do let us (all) know when you’re ready to resurface. We’ll be here, ready for your voice once again 🙂

  12. 03/03/2011 08:39


    I can understand why you’re closing up shop but thanks for your daily thoughts – really has got us talking!

    Good luck with your future endeavours

  13. garethmjones permalink
    03/03/2011 08:44

    Inspire? I think so. You definitely inspired me all those years ago when i came across your blog. It stood out like a beacon amongst the other offerings, pitifully few were from the uk. And many were exceptionally bland. In the last couple of years a lot has happened and many other things have happened which have also inspired others to join in. I guess we are all ingredients in this ‘soup’ of creativity which grows daily. In this instance, an ingredient has been removed – and a secret ingredient at that.

    So, the soup wont taste the same any more. New arrivals are unlikely to notice. Those of us who have been around a while will. And no doubt we will think of it in much the same way we do when we complain that they dont make curly wurley’s like they used to.

    Will it matter? I doubt it. will i miss you? Hell yes. but then im fortunate enough to know you so i can rest in the comfort that at some point very soon you will be telling me that im talking bollocks like you normally do. Except that next time it will be over a pint, and not on here.

    RIP Theo.

  14. 03/03/2011 08:45

    I’m honoured that in all your posts, only one person pissed you off sufficently to get you to post a letter!
    Good luck in your next venture. I’m sure TheHRD will never be far away. You always have house room on my blog if you have the urge to get something out in future.

  15. BJH permalink
    03/03/2011 08:48

    That’s a rubbish birthday present! I’ll miss you 😦

  16. 03/03/2011 08:48

    It’s been a pleasure to read, even if I haven’t always agreed. A gent, a scholar, a grumpy fucker.

    End it on your own terms, no regrets. Good call. Bonne chance!

  17. Oli Moore permalink
    03/03/2011 08:50

    Dude, what can I say – this is sad news to read. I actually printed off your last blog and pinned it by my PC, it was that inspiring.

    I wish you well and hope you’re not completely vanishing from our virtual world. Maybe if the blog fingers get itchy you could start a new blog “I’m in Heaven now!” Just an idea……

  18. garethmjones permalink
    03/03/2011 09:03

    or “”

  19. 03/03/2011 09:08

    You certainly succeeded with me – you managed to inspire me hugely (although I still find it hard to draw the line on personal and professional on my work blog, as so many of my thinkings and musings are about me, people and all of our wonderful, weird, funny ways – which is not necessarily connected to work, PR or HR). I’ll keep working on that.

    I have this annoying habit of not liking to piss people off, and I admire you for your c’est la vie attitude to that.

    You also managed to drive me nuts, so you’ve succeeded in so many ways. I’m going to print off the last paragraph and post it above my desk. Thank you. Hope we’ll get more of you in other ways. (Ahem, did that sound awkward?).

  20. ThinkingFox permalink
    03/03/2011 09:10

    Live long and prosper.

    Mange tout


  21. Beth Mayes permalink
    03/03/2011 09:19

    It’s been emotional, you will be greatly missed. Good luck with what ever comes next, and thank you for being such an inspiration.

  22. 03/03/2011 09:20

    I only ‘found’ you recently and thank you for the inspiration and straight talk. Wishing you all the best in your future ‘travels’ and I’m certain we haven’t heard the last of you!

  23. 03/03/2011 09:24

    Sorry to hear that – you’ve been a good read, raising some great issues.

    What will you be doing?

    (Whatever it is, Good Luck!)

  24. 03/03/2011 09:27

    Every end is the start of something new. Enjoyed reading your blog. All the best!

  25. 03/03/2011 09:31

    Bravo! Missing you already xxx 😉

  26. Bill Miller permalink
    03/03/2011 09:31

    Good luck HRD….keep in touch with yourself and give me a call when you have less time….

  27. 03/03/2011 09:35

    You get rumbled, then? 😉 Does that also mean Theo no longer lives on Twitter and Facebook? One thing I particularly enjoyed about your posts is that (some of them) made me laugh lots. That’s quite overlooked in blogging I think. Good luck with the new projects and hopefully see you at some point in another guise. And well done for helping build a UK HR blogging community.

  28. 03/03/2011 09:53

    This isn’t as good as your April Fool last year …

  29. 03/03/2011 09:58

    I understand you are going to France? I am very sure they deserve it.

    This blog has been a landmark on the blogging landscape and will be sorely missed. Good luck and best wishes in your next venture.



  30. kevwyke permalink
    03/03/2011 10:09

    Hey, what’s going on, i’ve only just arrived at this party and some of the big celebs are leaving. I hope there’s someone left to chuck a telly through the window!

  31. MegP permalink
    03/03/2011 10:38

    You made a difference.

  32. 03/03/2011 10:48

    Had to check the date to confirm this wasn’t one of your famous April Fools. As it’s March I guess it isn’t.

    Well done for everything and thanks for helping to stop the UK HR / Recruitment blogosphere disappearing up its own arse

    If your blog was a play it would be getting a standing ovation right now

  33. 03/03/2011 11:05

    HR sphere will never be the same Theo. I am hoping to see more of you somwhere else as I have enjoyed your posts very much.
    THANK YOU for being a voice of the dark Lord HR and make us all think twice about our traditional perception of our contribution to the society.

  34. 03/03/2011 11:48

    What can I say?! You will be missed. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and insights with us.

  35. 03/03/2011 12:11

    The number and the quality of the comments say it all. You have made a difference and I suspect you will continue to do so in another guise. Good luck!

  36. twotinybeans permalink
    03/03/2011 12:15

    Noooooo… was my first reaction to reading your post.
    Then, after the second read through I realized the challenge to make this decision must have been coming for a while. You have certainly inspired me in my blogging beginnings and I look to you as one of the true Rock Gods of the HR blogsphere. Thank you for saying the things that others thought but dare not say, thank you for challenging the standard thinking on so many things and thank you for being just you. You will be missed but not forgotten.

  37. 03/03/2011 12:20

    May you experience the fullness of liberty and free choice, when separated from the readers of this blog.

  38. 03/03/2011 12:57

    I quite liked knowing someone who had to keep their identity a secret 😉

    ( Au Revoir Theo …… Bonjour ??? )

  39. 03/03/2011 13:02

    Thank you my rss feed won’t ever be the same

  40. Robjones_tring permalink
    03/03/2011 13:12

    So long and thanks for all the fish….

  41. Corporate Daycare permalink
    03/03/2011 13:28

    What can I add other to what everyone else has said? You have inspired and motivated me with my own blog, as well as made me reflect on my perspectives of HR.
    You have my respect and sincerest wishes for all the best in your future.

  42. 03/03/2011 13:45

    Awwww… I’ll miss seeing you in my inbox 😥

    Thank you for saying everything you did in your blog. It’s helped me a great deal in seeing things in a new light. Your reply/DM to me the other day came at the end of a frustrating day. So thank you once again for your concern.

    Good luck with your plans and dreams, sir.


  43. 03/03/2011 13:51


  44. 03/03/2011 14:48

    I’m sad your blog is ending but dude, nice exit. 🙂

  45. Natalia Alexandrou permalink
    03/03/2011 15:36

    Best of luck Theo, i’m sure that our paths will cross again!

    You’ve been one of my biggest challenges as Digital Marketing exec at CIPD! But an enjoyable one (mostly), i’m so pleased that we managed to make friends with The HRD before his time ended. I hope this won’t be the last of the feedback and advise that we get from you and that you’ll stay in touch with us in one way or another.

    All the best,

  46. 03/03/2011 16:39

    awwww 😦

    Will miss you x

  47. 03/03/2011 19:03

    Your blog set the bar high — and so does your exit. Well done.

  48. onatrainagain permalink
    03/03/2011 19:26

    You have been my biggest inspiration and what led me to start a blog. Thank you so much. Also thank you for introducing me to this great HR community on twitter. I wish you every success for the future. Keep in touch x

  49. Em_vernon permalink
    03/03/2011 19:57

    Noooooo!!! Say it isn’t so?!?

    Thanks for an inspiring and thought provoking blog that proves that us HR mob aren’t all dull pen-pushers 😉

    Wishing you all the best and every success!

  50. 03/03/2011 20:07

    Good luck, Theo. You are a brilliant author. Fortune favors the bold.


    P.S. & if you do want to go to a Pompey game, get in touch

  51. Mrs Durbs permalink
    03/03/2011 20:53

    I guess now I know what your “Decision Made” tweet was all about!!

    This news has reached me late in the day; after a delicious ruby and one (or two) glasses of vino. I can’t help but feel a tad sad – I could say it’s the wine causing these feelings but that wouldn’t be the truth.

    I have, like others who have commented, really enjoyed your blog. Your posts have made me laugh, shocked me, intrigued me, caused me to question myself (and others), and have even brought a tear to my eye. That’s some going!

    Not only will I miss your blog but I will truly miss seeing your tweets in my timeline. And, I will always be grateful for the advice and help you offered/provided.

    I hope you return to this madhouse at some point but for now I wish you and your family every happiness.


  52. Flora Marriott permalink
    03/03/2011 21:19

    Thanks Theo. Amongst other things, your blog led me to….

    1. realise that HR blogs can be interesting.
    2. laugh ALOT, especially at the CEO posts (2009 vintage?)
    3. find lots of other HR blogs that were useful and good reads
    4. find out about HR folk on Twitter, and #connectinghr
    5. go to a #connectinghr event and meet lots of great people
    6. subsequently meet up with, do work with, drink with, those great people
    7. enlarge my work community and support network

    So, thank you.

  53. Charlie Duff permalink
    03/03/2011 21:23

    Well, if you’re sure…
    We will miss you Theo.

    Love always

  54. Skurve permalink
    03/03/2011 21:32

    Au revior dude, I shall miss your often surprising views – and I don’t even know what HR is.

  55. 03/03/2011 21:57

    WTF? you’ll still be tweeting right? who else can I make pommy vs aussie jokes with?

  56. MrAirmiles permalink
    03/03/2011 22:16

    Am looking forward to re-encarnation. That’s in 3 days, right?

  57. Robin Schooling permalink
    03/04/2011 04:13

    Well played and good luck with the next phase. You will be missed.

  58. Lena permalink
    03/04/2011 06:12

    I can remember your first post… Wow… 2 years, huh?
    It’s been nice sharing a tiny bit of the blogosphere with you… You will be missed…
    I most certainly enjoyed being The HRD… If only for a few days… 🙂
    Dumb and Glamorous hugs to you, Theo! XXX

  59. Karen (Sayya26) permalink
    03/04/2011 14:02


  60. HRBoy permalink
    03/04/2011 15:33

    Blimey. Didn’t expect that when I opened up the blog today. It’s been a blast, best of luck with all that follows…

  61. Keith Robinson permalink
    03/05/2011 18:19

    Very simple you kept me entertain and smiling.

    A rare skill and very cool.

    One day I’ll see you in a Cafe Tabac in the Ardeche.

    A bientot.

  62. Kim Urban permalink
    03/06/2011 04:36

    You’re kidding me?! I’m in the middle of writing a blog post called “My Fab Five HR Bloggers” and you take a dive on me? Now I’ll have to add a section called, “Bloggers I Miss.”

  63. 03/06/2011 13:27

    How interesting.

  64. 03/06/2011 23:59

    Discontinue the dustcarts, smash the i-phone,
    Release the staffordshire bull terrier into his home.
    Silence the casio keyboard and swig on some rum,
    Bring out the coffee, enter the HR humdrum.

    Let the parakeets circle way overhead,
    Delivering bird faeces and eating stale bread.
    Let the carnivorous public eat burger king,
    As the HR department started to sing:

    ‘He was our worth, our mouth and easily the best,
    ‘He made us work every bloody day without rest.
    ‘Working time directive? Such was our slog
    ‘He worked us like slaves will he wrote on his blog’.

    The p45s aren’t now wanted, shred every one.
    Pack up the macbook and head for the sun.
    Go somewhere exciting, you know that you should,
    Because writing crap on the internet never led to no good.

    I enjoyed your blog and enjoyed writing some comments on it. I do not care for Human resources but it struck me that you don’t either, deep down

  65. 03/07/2011 04:31

    So here I was on a bright and sunny Monday in Brisbane (Australia for those who have no idea where I live) having lunch with @masonqld telling him about my #trulondon experience and just as I mentioned that I caught up with you he passed on the news and I subsequently nearly dropped my spoon in my miso soup.

    Sad to see you go as your posts certainly got me thinking a lot more critically about certain aspects of HR and provoked me to write more often.

    I hope we can still connect outside of this crazy online world.

    Yours truly,

    Damon Klotz – The HRockstar

  66. 03/07/2011 20:37

    Gutted! You will be greatly missed Theo. A very talented writer who somehow made me laugh and irritated the crap out of me – often within one post!
    Good luck with your new projects.

  67. 03/10/2011 23:33

    Typical – I let you out of my sight for a few days and you bugger off. We’re gonna miss you! I think I’ll let Clint have the final word.

  68. 12/22/2011 21:22

    Well I never knew you but thanks for your signing off message – bloody spot on and thank you again.

  69. dan e. bloom permalink
    03/24/2012 00:30

    Speaking of Hell is other people did you see the brewhaha over ”Hell is other people at breakfast” misquote from 2003 going viral now. google for info. i am the poster who asked NYTimes who started the misqutei. turns out was Jonathan Rauch in 2003 in Atlantic. youmgiht want new blog on this emem….,meme…DANNy e. bloom in taiwan re

    Chicago Tribune
    Writing in the Atlantic in 2003, Jonathan Rauch made a joke.
    “Introverts are also not misanthropic,” he wrote, though some of us do go along with Sartre as far as to say ‘Hell is other people at breakfast.'” Jean-Paul Sartre said nothing about bagels, but the Internet has turned Rauch’s bon mot into fact.

    Mary Schmich was alerted to a piece by Kevin Delaney that “quoted”
    Sartre’s Rauch-written aphorism by Dan Bloom, a Taiwan-based blogger who spotted it in a Times supplement distributed with a Chinese newspaper. (I can vouch for Bloom’s interest in this matter; he’s copied me on 10 emails that he’s sent to the Times and others about the gaffe.)

    Schmich called Fred Shapiro, who edited “The Yale Book of Quotations.”
    “Any time you see a quote attributed to Mark Twain, figure that one is false,” Shapiro told her. “Similarly with Yogi Berra and Benjamin Franklin.” (Indeed, Mike Daisey got a Twain quote wrong when he published his now-famous nonapology.) Schmich writes that one of her lines is now frequently attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt, and that something she didn’t write is now often attributed to her.

    Schmich warns readers to be wary of online quotes, but you don’t have to bother your iPhone to read an inaccurate quote. I live in the Washington, D.C., area, where a mangled quote recently got carved in stone, which is actually kind of a tradition around here.

    It’s too bad Rauch didn’t make Sartre say “Hell is other people at brunch.” No one would have ever questioned that.

  70. 03/31/2012 13:15

    never knew you..but loved reading past articles

  71. 03/18/2013 17:08

    You’re going to be missed. May the force be with you!

  72. 05/01/2013 13:29

    Two things – great blog title and secondly it seems a shame that you are not continuing as quality blogging is like Unicorn shit…….

  73. Random Reader permalink
    07/06/2013 05:22

    Fantastic read overall. Keep up the good work in whatever you’ve moved onto, sir. Godspeed.


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