October 2017

Do you want to make more money? Of course, we all do.

Sorry, I was channeling my inner Sally Struthers, which really dates me, and it wasn’t even my point.

What I should ask is “do you want to save more money?”  Everybody says that yes, yes, they do, especially from a business setting. You don’t want to pay more than you absolutely have to. As a result, businesses sometimes cut corners where they shouldn’t.

For instance, employment attorneys. If you’re a business owner or an HR manager, you need a relationship with one. It doesn’t have to be a big firm and it doesn’t have to be expensive.  You may think you know everything you need to, and your employees love you and would never sue anyway.

Ha, ha, ha. Wishful thinking. I’ve put together some ideas on when you’ll want to save money in the long run by spending some money now in hiring an employment attorney.

To read it, hop over to The Balance and read 6 Times When An Employer Needs to Hire an Employment Attorney

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Amazon almost lost me as a customer, but not for reasons you might expect. I covered the fall of Amazon Studio Head, Roy Price, who Executive Producer Isa Hackett accused of sexual harassment, but honestly, that didn’t affect my buying habits.

What did? Bad customer service.

Yep. My 9-year-old saved and saved his money in order to buy his very own Kindle Fire. A package, the right size, arrived and I let him open it. Surprise! It wasn’t his Kindle Fire, but two French books. We don’t speak French.

Now, I’m not heartless and I understand mistakes happen. So, I contacted customer service to inform them of the error. They agreed that, indeed, I did not order French books and promised to send the Kindle Fire express shipping. Great.

Two days later, nothing. I contacted them again. Oh, oops, we didn’t order that. Do you still want it? Yes, please, I said.

To keep reading, click here: Amazon, Pay Attention: Your Front Line is More Important than Your Executives


How to Be Polite by Telling a Jerk to Stop Being Rude

by Evil HR Lady on October 26, 2017

I was raised to be polite. I say please and thank you. I don’t take up extra seats on a crowded train. I sneeze into my arm. I don’t play music on public transportation. You know, all the normal things that not rude people do. But, unfortunately, some of my fellow humans take advantage of nice people like me (and you) by doing whatever it is they want without a whit of concern about other people. Jerks.

I live in a town with amazing public transportation–so amazing that I don’t even own a car. There is also a town center with wonderful street musicians and other performers. I often give money to these people. I truly enjoy listening to most of them. And if I don’t? (Like the guy who plays the pan flute.) I can just walk away.

There is one woman who loves to sing for money, but she doesn’t do it on the street. Instead, she gets on a tram, where you’re trapped for at least one stop, sings a short song, and then asks for money. That, by the way, is illegal, but the police aren’t focusing on it, and she jumps off after one or two stops anyway.

She drives me utterly insane. I refuse to give her any money. But I never say or do anything about it–until last week.

To keep reading, click here: How to Be Polite by Telling a Jerk to Stop Being Rude


Yesterday, Arianna Huffington spoke at HR Tech World in Amsterdam wearing the same dress she’s worn at other conferences and the same dress she plans to wear later this week at another conference. This is on purpose. “Why do women feel they need to buy a new outfit for every event?”

It’s a good question, I thought, as I sat there in my new outfit that I purchased specifically for this conference. (Full disclosure, I do some work for HR Tech.) In my defense, I work at home and my daily wardrobe isn’t what I want to wear to a professional conference.

Why do women focus so much on clothing? Why do we think we need new outfits, or at least different outfits, for every important event?

To keep reading, click here: Why Arianna Huffington Wears the Same Dress Over and Over (and You Should, Too


How long do you expect that new grad to stick around? 18 months? Two years? What about the employee who is on her third job since graduating from college in 2012. She’s definitely a short timer, right?

Jack Jampel, HR expert and a form

er co-worker and de facto boss of mine (I never reported directly to Jack, but he was definitely a leadership influence in my career), is a bit frustrated with the idea that we can’t count on employees to stay around any more. He wrote on LinkedIn

“PLANNING FOR SHORTER EMPLOYEE TENURES IS THE NEW NORMAL”. Over the past several weeks I have now heard this referenced three times as a potential upcoming new “business strategy” and it is quite concerning. Millennials have a reputation for moving from job to job, being constantly on the lookout for the next best thing. I bet if you survey Baby Boomers, many have moved from job to job just as frequently as Millennials in their first five years. One of the most critical factors impacting the frequency of job movement is where one is in their life (i.e. married or single, children, home ownership, etc.) and not simply because you were born during the “Millennial” generation. Lets hope we don’t see Talent Management modules popping up on “How to Manage and Get the Most out of Short Term Employees”. These will be the companies who are not investing enough time and money in developing the right strategy and implementing the right technology to ensure your employee satisfaction and engagement is both up-to-date and impactful. Oh, and by the way…. I also love working from home and I’m no Millenial 🙂

I love the idea of a Talent Management module called “How to Manage and Get the Most out of Short Term Employees” because it lays it straight out. What can you get out of these people without putting anything in?

To keep reading, click here: When a Millennial Quits, Did You Drive Her Out?


Why Your Nightmare Job Can Be Someone Else’s Dream Job

by Evil HR Lady on October 23, 2017

Dream jobs. Everyone wants one, but chasing that elusive dream can often result in a nightmare. But, the reality is, your dream job may be someone else’s nightmare job.

For instance, I love writing. I love Human Resources. I love writing about HR. It goes together well. Other people would rather stick pins in their eyes than sit down every day in front a computer with the assignment to write a couple of thousand words, edit them, and get them ready for publication.

On the other hand, someone who hates writing may find a real joy in teaching kindergarten. Frankly, that seems like a complete nightmare to me, and if I somehow ended up in a Kindergarten classroom I might adopt some of the teacher in this video’s behavior. (Although, I would choose Harry Potter as my book series to share with the little darlings.)

So, with this in mind, I asked people what their nightmare jobs look like. This wasn’t about bad co-workers or micro-managing bosses, but where the actual work would make you climb in bed and hide under the covers. See if you relate to any of these ideas:

To read the list of nightmare jobs, click here: Why Your Nightmare Job Can Be Someone Else’s Dream Job

Add your own in the comments!


You’re the HR Manager and an employee comes to you and says, “I’d like to report sexual harassment.” You pull out your notepad and a pen and say, “Sit down, and tell me what happened.” 

Moments like these are a dime a dozen when you’re an HR manager. Some of them are silly. (“Jane asked me out on a date!”) Some of them are easily fixed. (“John told a dirty joke during a meeting” can often be fixed by speaking to John and saying, “Don’t do that again.”) Some are horrifying. (“On a business trip, Henry raped me.”). All HR managers hope such claims are of the first two varieties–easily investigated and rather easily fixed.

But, when it’s on the horrifying side of things, several things happen. First, the company cannot legally brush it aside. They are required to investigate, in which case the accuser cannot remain completely anonymous. Second, if the company concludes that the accused is guilty of the horrible behavior, they have to make a decision as to the punishment.

To keep reading, click here: How to React When an Employee Accuses the Most Powerful Person in the Office of Sexual Harassment


When you change your health plan, make sure to engage in health plan monitoring so you learn what works and what doesn’t. That way, if need be, you can change for the following year. Why start in November instead of January? Because most health plans run January to January, your employees will sign up at the end of the year. Here’s a calendar of things to look for every month so you’re on top of your health care plans at all times:


Double- and triple-check to make sure every eligible employee signed up for the next year. If an employee hasn’t signed up or didn’t enroll their family, ask why. It could be that their partner’s plan is better for the kids, but it could also be that your plan is too expensive.


Provide information to every employee about their health care coverage for the coming year so there aren’t surprises in January.

To keep reading, click here: Engage in Monthly Health Plan Monitoring to Improve Engagement, Costs


Tesla Fires Hundreds of Workers for Poor Performance

by Evil HR Lady on October 17, 2017

Last week, Tesla terminated hundreds of employees for performance. The actual number has not been released, but estimates range from 400 to 1200 people. Regardless of the actual number, that’s a lot.

Usually, when companies terminate large numbers of people, they do so as part of a reduction in force or a layoffTesla is quite emphatic, according to the Mercury News that this is not a layoff. In fact, a Tesla Spokesperson said that they had not reported the terminations to California’s Employment Development Department, which the law requires in cases of layoffs of more than 50 employees.

Layoff or Fired? What’s the Difference?

Typically, when someone is laid off, it’s a recognition of either a business failure or a business reorganization. We say it’s not the person that is being terminated, it’s the position that is being eliminated, and the person is simply the unlucky person who happened to be sitting in that spot. Now, of course, if you have to terminate someone in relationship to a position elimination you pick the lowest performer, but there are certainly situations where a top performer can be the victim of a layoff. Once the person is terminated, the position remains unfilled. (This, of course, is a bit simplified, as there can be bumping rights, and reorganizations, and the like.)

To keep reading, click here: Tesla Fires Hundreds of Workers for Poor Performance


What is the Happiest Job For You?

by Evil HR Lady on October 16, 2017

I get lots of questions that begin with “should I….?” Should I get an MBA? Should change my major? Should I quit my job? And I always answer, “I don’t know. What do you want?”

Because people are always searching for that elusive “happiness” or “best job” but they haven’t taken the time to figure out what happiness means them. With all apologies to Charles Schulz, I need more than two kinds of ice cream to reach true joy.

A friend posted on Facebook, asking for help figuring out the best graduate program. Lots of people were giving him ideas, recommending this school and that school. I said, “What did you want to do with the shiny new degree?”

The answer? I have no idea. So I said, “well, then don’t go into debt for it.”

If you’re someone who is always chasing happiness and not quite able to find it in the real world, try figuring out what kind of career would make you happy. Then plan from there.

Over at The Balance, I’m talking about things you need to think over before deciding what job will bring you happiness. Click here: Why Happiest and Unhappiest Jobs are Unique to You