We’ve all been there.
You see that ex-employee out on the town, you try to avoid the person at all costs because you can’t really remember why they don’t work for you anymore, just that they don’t work for you anymore. For some reason. Dang it! Why doesn’t this person work for me anymore?!
The ex-employee makes eye contact, you smile, and approach him, and ask how his family is doing and where he’s working now. After all, you’re HR, and HR is nice. You are required to make small talk with this person (even if you can’t remember if it ended well).
Okay, so imagine you’re
sort of drunk when this happens.
sort of drunk when this happens, at a bar with your friends, and the person you fired (or maybe he quit?) is actually the lead singer of the band on stage.
sort of drunk, at a bar, and you see the fired-or-maybe-he-quit guy, and he sees you, and there is no way to avoid turning around and walking back out because the person-who-no-longer-works-for-you announces you as you walk through the door.
Look everyone! It’s Meredith Soleau! We used to work together! Meredith, grab yourself a drink and come on up here with me and shake this tambourine!
That’s what happened. But stay with me, because this story is about to get way worse.
I didn’t know what to do at that point. I had already been drinking. I was at a local charity event. This was supposed to be the after-party. My judgment was a little hazy from glass after glass of Moscata. My eyes were doing that squinty drunk-eye thing, and he announced me to the bar. What. The. Hell.
I just never really know what to do in socially awkward situations. I happen to be a little bit socially awkward myself, and if you’ve ever met me in real life, you’d agree.
So I walked over to the bar, ordered a drink and a shot of confidence, and explained to my friend that he used to work at the car dealership (and now he doesn’t work there, but I couldn’t remember the details).
Oh, just go up there and shake the tambourine. It’ll be fun. It probably ended fine because he seemed super happy to see you. After all, you were supposed to be a famous Country Music singer, but your parents made go to college, and somehow you wound up in HR…
And that’s where it all went terribly wrong.
They should really rename Jagermeister “Mind Eraser”.
You guys, I am not really sure what happened, but I woke up the next morning thinking to myself,
Dear God, please do not tell me I made a complete fool of myself last night.
I texted my friend, to ask her if I’d been roofied, and of course I had not been. However, I did sing five songs with the band (which was an entire set). And my singing? It wasn’t top notch after the third shot of Jagermeister.
I messed up you guys. I’m doing the HR-Walk-of-Shame. And I pray I never run into this former ever again.
Have you ever ran into a former employee when you were out drinking? Do you think it’s true that HR is held to a higher standard, even while having a night out on the town? Or should I just stop fretting about it?
Meredith Soleau was supposed to be a famous country singer, but her parents made her go to college and major in something “real.” She graduated with a B.S. in Business from the University of Toledo, and landed a gig as a Human Resources Director at a large car dealership in Ohio. After eight years of HR at a car dealership, she burned out, decided to sell cars herself, and has since launched her agency, where she specializes in finding blue-collar workers. Clearly she has plenty of stories. But the best stories are probably about Meredith, herself. Read them on her personal blog, meredithsoleau.com, where she holds nothing back.