When your own community sells you short!

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On 14th February, I saw this post circling around my many WhatsApp/Facebook groups. For some strange reason, it became a very popular Valentine’s Day read. I gave in to the draw of the title and soon wished I hadn’t. This post offends me. The fact that it became a popular read makes me feel worse and this is why –

The post states 7 reasons why one must date an HR professional. While I can make peace with some points, I refuse to digest the others.

“Knows how to deal with stress: You have a problem at work – computer problem, canteen problem and even loo problems— and you simply go to HR to sort it out. Imagine they take the load of the entire office to keep your workplace running. They know how to manage the stress and they deal with it everyday.” –  I agree that we deal with a lot of stress on an everyday basis. Is this due to employees coming to us with computer, canteen or loo problems? Goodness no! I have not had employees reaching out to me for these and I hope they never do. That is not my job. We have very efficient facilities and IT teams who are dedicated to solving these problems. Forgive me, for I do not understand how an HR professional fits into this description.

“Remembers all the important dates: One of the most important factors of dating an HR professional is they remember everything. You won’t have any problem reminding them about important dates/days of your lives. Before you know, they have already jotted it down in their super brains and will probably remind you even on that day! In office, it’s the HR guys who have a calendar of events rightly marked so that they don’t forget any employees’ birthdays, or work anniversaries – so the moment you enjoy at work is an effort that an HR person puts behind it. So the guessing game of does he/she remember my birthday won’t be necessary.” – I almost fainted when I read this. An HR professional ideally should not be remembering birthdays and work anniversaries. It is great if they do but IT IS NOT THEIR JOB! We aren’t event planners or fun event organizers. Our job is so much more.

“Creative in getting good innovative gifts: Someone who remembers all the important events of your life will not disappoint you when it comes to gifts. The HR is known to be creative in sourcing the best gifts possible when it comes to Diwali, Christmas gift options. They are the ones who always make you smile with festive gifts. So once you are dating an HR professional, you will be sorted for your entire life about getting and loving the gifts they shower on you!” – They’ve got to have us confused with someone else. I feel sorry for the HR professional who has to waste valuable time deciding gift options.

& these are just three. The post rambles on to state four more. I am hurt. I’m hurt to see the role that the post has reduced us to. There are a million reasons to date an HR professional but none of them have to do with how great we are at remembering birthdays, getting gifts or listening to cribs. I doubt if that is what most successful HR professionals spend any time doing, yet that is what this post focuses on.

If this is what my own community thinks of HR professionals, how can we expect others to think differently? How can I expect the industry to take our profession seriously? I can only pray that I never stumble across another post like this. I do think it’s time for our profession to be recognized for the true value we bring to the organization.

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