Thursday, April 22, 2010

You Know How I Love Vacuums

In 1997 when Dr. M & I were moving from North Carolina to Cincinnati, in a fit of insanity, J hired me over the phone. I was the office administrator for a company that provided services to adults with mental retardation – we had group homes and also provided direct care staff for people who lived in their own home. I worked there for nearly 5 years.

J had been promoted from the business manager to the director of the agency & did that for a few years before she was burned out with the industry. She got a human resources job at another local company (actually using her degree) and when a position in her department came open she dragged me to the new company (I went with fear & trembling, but yes, I was lured by the Almighty Dollar –it was a BIG increase for me). Even though I am NOT a people person, she made me work in HR for 6 years. I liked the part of my job where I entered data & ran reports. Dealing with employees in crisis? Not so much. Part of my job was managing medical leaves, so I was exposed to a lot of crises.

After 6 years the company was in the midst of restructuring. They were outsourcing a lot of my tasks and I could read the writing on the wall. Rather than wait for my severance package I decided to apply for another job in the same company. I got that job – legal assistant – and have enjoyed it quite a bit. I work with one attorney behind a locked door. It's peaceful in there. J's office is just around the corner & I see her every day.

In the nearly 13 years that I've known J, I've seen her through a divorce, internet dating, a second marriage, infertility, and twins. But our biggest challenge is just beginning.

For various reasons, she's losing her remaining two employees (who are also my friends – why do they have to abandon us?) and will be left with just a temp. She's also probably about to lose her mind. I have this sneaking suspicion that I will be pulled back into the HR world (I already help out sometimes when they're swamped). Can you hear the vacuum too, or is it just me?

 To be continued…


  1. My, what a sticky wicket! Do you have anyone you can recommend to her?? Maybe another friend that would be GREAT in HR?

  2. You can always just hide behind the door.

  3. Dear The Bug,
    Your natural ability to help others is putting you in that chair. Talk to your boss boss, the lawyer behind the closed door, and ask him for more work. Fish around for guarantees. You know how to do it better than I do!
    If you are swamped, they can't move you!

    Good luck and Godspeed,
    Ann T.

  4. Good luck with all the changes coming!

    I didn't know you were in Xenia. Hello neighbor!

  5. You know, I give our HR a hard time about the way they handle some things, but, at the same time, I really wouldn't want to trade places.

    Good luck!

  6. Sounds like you love the job you have now though. That would be a tough decision. We will stay tuned...

  7. I work for lawyers I handle a lot of labor arbitrtions. That means I get to talk to a lot of HR people. Its a love/hate relationship. They hand me all of the files and then I get to tare them apart. "Whose notes are these? Why aren't they dated? With a year?"

    good times...

  8. Ah, the years at that former job... I know I was only there a short while, but I made some lasting relationships there. Glad J is doing well, aside from the employee issues. Tell her I said Hi! (and if I were an HR person I'd jump on it, to be working for her!)

  9. Can't really offer any advice that would be better than what's here already. Make sure people know in advance that you are or are not willing to get sucked back into HR. Leaven it by saying you'll help out a bit now and then maybe.

  10. I thought you meant you loved Hoovers and Eurekas. Good luck.

  11. Oh I don't really mind helping - especially since I will mostly be doing some data entry for them (which was my favorite part of the job anyway). J knows very well that I don't want to be pulled into any employee drama. The problem is that she's not going to be allowed to fill those positions - at least for the foreseeable future.

  12. That picture is a riot. Hope it all works out to your satisfaction. Keep us updated.


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