HR Insights, HR Management

10 Reasons That HR Thinks Employees Are Totally Crazy

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I don’t know of one HR Pro I’ve ever met who didn’t say, behind closed doors, “My employees are crazy!”

It’s like school teachers when they go into that mysterious “Teachers Lounge.” Once the door is closed and they are all in there with the other teachers, didn’t you want to know what the heck they talked about?

I can tell you, because before I was in HR I was a teacher. Guess what? Teachers talk about the exact same things that HR Pros talk about – how crazy the kids/employees are that we have to deal with all day! There’s no difference, just physical age (certainly not mental age!).

At least one crazy one per day

So, I wanted to come up some of the reasons we think our employees are crazy to help out those crazy employees who want to come off as less crazy at their next interview.

It can happen! I don’t think employees are crazy, all the time, just at certain times. The problem is, HR Pros have to deal with all the employees so there is a good chance a crazy one is going to come across your desk at least once a day – thus the reason HR Pros think all of their employees are crazy. We deal with crazy every day!

Here’s why HR Pros think employees are crazy:

  1. Your Boss tells us about all of your weird anxieties.
  2. Your co-workers, that hate you, tell us about all of your weird anxieties.
  3. We know your medical history – mental and physical. Sorry, it’s part of the gig.
  4. We find out every time you cry or lose it at work – every time. That’s almost part of the gig.
  5. Your crazy-ass emails find their way to our inbox. Thank your “work” friends for that.
  6. We spend too much time talking about you in succession planning meetings, uncovering all that is wrong with you.
  7. You rate yourself as “Great” on your self-assessments, and we know you are barely “Average.”
  8. We know more about your divorce than your divorce attorney.
  9. Your stories about your kids haunt me at night.
  10. We know everyone you’ve slept with in the office – or tried to sleep with, or want to sleep with.

A function of being in HR

This is just a function of the job – we see and hear the worst and the best of all of our employees.

Just like the school teacher who spends more time on a daily basis with your kids than you do as a parent, that teacher is probably going to know some things about them that you are unwilling to accept. HR Pros know some things about our employees – many of which they aren’t willing to accept – that’s human nature.

I’m only saying this so that you understand why we think you’re crazy. Yes, you are – you just can’t accept that you are!

This originally appeared on Tim Sackett’s blog, The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community – so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.
  • Susiedoozie893

    1. Not funny.
    2. #8 – the word is *than. 

  • GeorgiaHR

    I think the whole article is funny – and absolutely true.  No wonder we need “alone time” after leaving work at the end of the day.  Thanks for making me laugh this morning :)

  • GolfHR

    So much truth and humor in this.

  • Patti Kittilstved

    Satire, Suzie. And I laughed along with GeorgiaHR. Oh, the books we could write . . . 
    But Tim’s article points to the murkiness of supporting employee development in a world of 21 Flavors of Employee Crazy. For employees whose performance is suffering, it’s up to HR and the manager to determine the development solutions or interventions necessary to help the person get performance back on the rails. Additional skills training? Job Shadowing? More frequent job coaching? If poor performance is related to Crazy Flavor #3, and we’re the keepers of that confidential information, that steers us to a completely different path of performance improvement; one that all the training in the world isn’t going to fix.
    Number one competency required of anyone in HR? A sense of humor. 

  • Cyndee King

    Don’t forget the employee who thinks the company is their “oyster” and should be flexible to their needs, who gets emotional when asked to make changes to schedules, to be cooperative, to not aggrevate their team members, or just to do the job they were hired to do. While the post is funny, unfortunately it is too true.