I’m not sure if this happens to anyone else, but it seems that no matter where I work, I always hear “Stop talking, HR’s here” or “You can’t say that, Lori is in the room” or some other inane version of this tripe. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not so uptight that I can’t laugh at myself, but this stuff gets really old really fast. And it’s never been particularly funny.
In fact, there was one time when I was showing a new employee around the office, we came across a group of people who were talking and laughing. When I went to introduce the employee, someone repeated the above referenced statement about HR being present and I lost my temper somewhat. I told the employee no uncertain terms to knock it off as I didn’t appreciate the comment.
This was probably not the best way to handle it, but it truly annoyed me that this was said in front of a new employee. And it was not my intention to break up the fun, but I didn’t see the need for the comment. It felt insulting and alienating.
I’ve now taken to responding to such statements by either singing a first person version of “1921”(“I didn’t see it, never heard it, no not a word of it…”) or by flatly stating, “I’m on my lunch break, do what you want, say what you want. I really don’t care”.
Now, of course that’s absolutely not true (HR is always on duty), but I have to tell you, it does feel really good to say it.
And I always make sure to say it with a smile.