Snarky Comments

A couple of days ago, I wrote about a recent tragedy that affected both the Bay Area and the business community. An employee who had been fired the morning of November 14, came back to the office with a gun and shot down the CEO, COO and the HR Manager.

I had expected an outpouring of sympathy from the rest of the world, but instead found myself subjected to headlines such as “Murdered HR Manager was a Classic Valley Workaholic“. While this title wasn’t too bad (for Valleywag, that is), the comments on the aforementioned post ranged from inane to completely insulting.

One person blamed HR: “There’s good reasons why HR has no respect in tech and it has little to do with whether they have to handle firings or how much they love their job.”

Another commenter stated: “When I was still a hot sh*t techie the head of HR was universally hated by the company personnel (including the top local folks as he was installed by “headquarters”). His meddling in technical matters, such as relative staffing levels for department which did things he didn’t begin to understand was only the tip of the iceberg.” And yet another one stated that he never met an HR person who liked their job.

This was my response to these snarky trolls:

First off, this HR person loves being in HR. It seems that those who are the first to denigrate HR are also the ones who don’t cooperate with HR when it comes to the workplace. Don’t you think that we want to recruit the right people for your open reqs? Yet when we ask you for job descriptions or creative ways to recruit, we get turned down or ignored. Same goes for compliance, policies, and management. When we ask you to manage your people, it becomes HR’s problem to handle because you won’t. When you act like an immature asshole foregoing all professionalism, blame it on HR being in the room. It’s easy to point the finger, but try cooperating instead.

I didn’t know Marilyn Lewis, but I think that it is truly tacky to insult her memory by insulting the career she loved.

RIP Marilyn.

I know it was a little preachy, but I needed to speak my truth. It really does seem that the first ones to insult HR are the ones who never seem to find the time to do the things HR asks of them. Granted, there are some HR people who are better suited to other careers, but this is not about them. This is about the HR professional who attempts to act as a business partner only to be rebuffed or ignored. And then be denigrated time after time.

I realize that one cannot always be responsible for one’s commenters. I’ve even approved snarky comments here. But when a post, no matter how questionable the title, intends to be a memorial of sorts for someone who died a violent death as a direct result of his/her profession, one would think that the trolls stay in their caves and out of the conversation just this once.

That being said, there were a few commenters who did seem to get it. One even told the author of the first comment above, “Rot in hell, dude“.

Couldn’t agree more.

3 Replies to “Snarky Comments”

  1. The comments came from people intent on telling their own opinion, instead of joining the spirit of your post, the remembrance of lives lost. It happens. You are a great HR person and should freely blow off the off-key snarky comments.

  2. I am in complete agreement that the tragic passing of one person should not be used as a platform to bash the profession chosen by that individual, especially when it was the good faith job responsibilities which that person was carrying out that probably led to the event.

    There are many of us in the profession, myself included, who have been asked by our employers to take the lead in discussions with volatile employees when informing them that they are no longer employed. Though I’ve had that conversation many, many times, my heart still races every time. Steady, straightforward honesty and getting the person on the other side of the table ready for whatever comes next has always worked best for me.

    All that being said, we must admit that there are a lot of folks in our profession, (like every profession), who don’t do us any great justice with the way they approach their work. And we should come to terms with that.

    The term defined in my Dictionary of Corporate BS page-a-day calendar yesterday was “human resources (HR)”.

    It wasn’t a glowing review. I laughed anyway.

    Integrity, compassion, common-sense and humor. If we can season our careers well with all of those, we’re best off, serving in our own way as the model for what HR really is.

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