Meredith Soleau is an HR pro out of Toledo. An HR pro for an automobile dealership in Toledo. An HR pro for an automobile dealership in Toledo which happens to have more restaurants and bars per capita than any other city in the United States which makes her an HR pro for an automobile dealership in a town full of foodies and drunks which she counts as her talent pool and employee population. Which really just means that the stories about their holiday parties must be really, really good.
But more than likely, the best stories include Meredith herself, which you can read about on her personal blog, Life’s Crazy Joke…
10.5 QUESTIONS WITH MEREDITH SOLEAU
1. The elevator just closed and you’ve got 30 seconds to pitch the random reader on who you are and why they should read your rants. Go…
I hate HR people, don’t’ you?
You do?! Ugh! Yet another hater.
You know, we’re really not so bad. I can prove it. You need to be reading me at Fistful of Talent. It’s pretty much where I share stories of day to day experience from the trenches of HR. If you want to know why HR people make crazy policies and sometimes drink too much as a coping mechanism, you can find it all out there.
Did I say HR people sometimes drink too much? I was just kidding. Maybe.
2. Now for the mundane – break down your location, title, company/firm and what you do for a living…
I’m the sole HR Pro for a mega car dealership in Toledo, OH. I have many titles depending on who you ask. HR Manager, HR Director, HR Generalist, Recruiter, Big Brother, Send ‘Em Packing Soleau, Sayonara Soleau, and sometimes they even call me their friend. It just depends on who you talk to. We have about 200 employees.
I’m also a humorist, swimsuit model, and podcaster. None of these things have anything to do with HR or Recruiting. However, somehow I always manage to be talking HR Speak to everyone. Even my husband and children have policies that need enforced and tracked.
3. One more question that everyone expects. What’s the reason you’re in this game? (why do you do what you do?)
I was in college, studying pre-med. Calculus 4 is so hard, yo! My junior year, I decided I didn’t want to do Math anymore. I saw my counselor, and he told me HR has very little Math and that I would get to be the boss. I JUST KNEW IT WAS MEANT TO BE!
I’m kidding. Well, not about the pre-med thing, but about why I chose this career.
I love people. That’s why I wanted to be a doctor. I would have the best bedside manor ever! However, I don’t like puke, blood, or cadaver labs. Turns out, that’s a major job requirement for doctors. So I took my smarts and applied to the business sector thing that dealt with the most people. And here I am today. Until this whole Famous Country Music Singer thing pans out, I’m going to keep helping people get jobs and soar in their workplace.
4. If you’ve ever been to a professional baseball game, you know batters from the home team get to pick their own theme music as they walk from the dugout to the plate. If we ever have a FOT convention, what theme music will you come out to to pump the crowd up and why?
This is too easy. Warren G. Regulators.
Regulators! Mount up!
5. Let’s stick with the baseball theme. If you’ve ever been to a pro game, you also know that the visitor doesn’t get to pick their own music. The home team picks that for them, and it’s usually less than stellar as a means of attempting to crush them. If you could pick theme music for your arch-rival to walk into a conference room to, what would it be and why?
Oh. So, like, if I pick the song for my husband’s ex-girlfriends? Or enemies in business? I guess it doesn’t really matter. The song is the same.
The Sexy Sax Man playing Careless Whisper.
6. Finish the following sentence – “When I’m interviewing, I can tell within one minute that this thing isn’t going to work out because _________…”
…the applicant (who is wearing pajama pants and flip flops) just took a phone call from their wife waiting in the car. And the answer to whatever was so urgent was, “Just get me a Big Mac meal with a Diet Coke.”
True story – this once happened. Shortest interview EVER.
7. Name the actor/actress that will portray you in the movie about you. Why the heck is that a fit?
I do all of my own acting. But if I had to pick, it be Dave Chapel, playing Samuel L. Jackson, playing me. I really don’t think I need to explain epic awesomeness to you.
8. List three of your favorite books to pander to the educated segment of our readership…
“Oh, The Places You’ll Go” Dr. Seuss
“The Two Minute Drill: Lessons for Rapid Organizational Improvement from America’s Greatest Game” Clint Longenecker
“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” Stephen R. Covey
9. List three of your favorite movies to connect with the segment of our readership that doesn’t like to read…
The Goods: Live Hard. Sell Hard
10. Let’s reach out to what remains of our readership. Who’s your favorite Old-School Rapper and why?
Tupac. I used to drive my friends around high school, listening to “I Get Around”, trying to hide the cigarette I was fake smoking from my teachers.
10.5. My first car was a <blank> and here’s how it defined who I am….
My first car was a 1982 Monte Carlo with 15 inch subwoofers and an amplifier in the truck. It was a hand-me-down from much cooler older brother. The speakers bumped so hard that it rattled. You could fit 9 people in the thing.
Even today, I like to be surrounded by as many people as possible, and I would say I’m a little rattled.