A Dozen Anniversaries

Paul Hebert Culture, Current Affairs, HR, Paul Hebert

I struggled with what to write for today’s post.

I’ve knew I was going to be posting today for about 3 weeks but I didn’t know what I was going to say until I got up this morning. Nothing about HR and its immediate concerns seemed to have any more urgency or importance than simply taking time to honor and remember the people

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impacted by the events of September 11, 2001.

I thought about just posing about engagement, or recognition or how technology is changing the world. I thought maybe I could do a witty post on how the newest ATS is like the new Apple iPhone announcement yesterday (I’ll let you decide if that is meant as sarcasm or a compliment).

But those topics faded quickly into the background as events that occurred 12 years ago took center stage in my mind.

Today Isn’t About Human Resources – It’s About Humans

Twelve years ago today 2,977 innocent people lost their lives in the 9-11-2001 attacks on the US by al-Qaeda (that number does not include the hijackers).

Today is about remembering, contemplating, empathizing and sympathizing.

Today will be a bit more muted than most workdays. Many of our co-workers will be remembering friends and family directly impacted by the planes crashes and the resulting tower collapses. Others will take their cue from those that are mourning and be more reverential in their approach. It will be quieter.

I’m guessing productivity might be down today as we gather at coffee machines, open spaces, smoking areas and office parking lots and talk about where we were 12 years ago at 8:46 am, 9:03 am, 9:37 am, 9:58 am, and 10:28 am (ET.)

And that is okay. Today isn’t about productivity.

Today is About Being Human

We all need to be human once in a while during the workday. We need to have the opportunity to know that what we do between 9 am and 5 pm has meaning outside that block of time. We need to connect with each other and collectively recognize what else is going on in the world.

It’s not all about TPS reports and sales. It’s not about toner and paperclips.

It’s about the people we work with and connect with every day.

And days like today are the days that remind us of that.

Days like today – while tragic and unthinkable – are the days that keep us connected to each other and remind us that we are all human – doing human things