Let’s face it… we’re all cartoon caricatures even when we’re not trying to be. You’re a meme, I’m a meme and everyone we know is a meme. Let’s have fun with it. In Buzzfeed fashion, let’s analyze some of the different HR memes we encounter at work. For time and memorial, let’s answer the question: What’s your HR meme?
You’re the HR pro that everyone loves. Everyone. When people meet you, they love you. You are respected, listened to and admired by friends and foes alike. What’s great about you is… well, everything. Your poop smells like potpourri, as they say in Texas. Only aliens don’t like Streisand (and you). Screw aliens.
You’re the fun HR pro. You like to dance (who doesn’t), and you like for folks to feel good at work. Nothing like a little lipdub to improve employee morale. Now, you’re not that well understood… but you’re okay with that. Work should be fun, dammit, and we all need a little improvisational dance in our lives.
You’re the HR leader that is well-read. Certified. Maybe even an MBA or HR-related degree. You’re a consummate learner. You’re thinking about Six Sigma but haven’t committed to the process as of yet. Things that come out of your mouth are business friendly sound bites. You might not have an original thought but you’ve at least collected and categorized other people’s thoughts.
Nothing funny about Hitler. Except when given bad news… how do you handle it? Do you act like a crazy megalomaniac or do you handle it with grace? Hitler (the most hated man in the history of our world) acts like a buffoon when given bad news. It’s appropriate because we want to think of him as a buffoon. But what about you as an HR leader?
Invisible Pink Unicorn
As an HR pro, you don’t live in reality. You’ve never lived in reality and you are always happy on one level… you see the absolute best in people, but you’re also disappointed as reality never lives up to the crazy $h!t in your mind. People like you, though. Mostly because they know you are crazy and they kind of like having an HR leader that is crazier than they are. You’ll never change, so you may as well wear it on your sleeve. Glitter and all.
Something zen-like about planking… the solitude, stillness and self-reflection. You’re the HR leader that thinks pilates is for everyone… including your employees. To say you’re a wellness fan is a bit like saying the Grand Canyon is a just hole. You exude wellness. Now one obvious downside to this your bias is that you don’t hire fat people. No matter how well qualified and/or smart. No fatties allowed.
Photobombing is fun. It’s also dark. You’re the HR pro that likes both. Maybe even a little mischievous? Maybe a gossip hound? But let’s face it… mocking someone’s “moment” is kind of funny. Especially when they (photographer and those being photo’d) don’t realize it immediately. Karma is a you know what… just remember that.
Occupy Wall Street
You’re the HR leader that loves the moral high ground. OWS was correct… morally correct—financial institutions are inherently evil. We all agree. But the problem with the moral high ground is that most people don’t give a $h!t. Truth is, you’re the HR pro that thinks you’re better than everyone else. And you might just be.
You’re the HR pro that’s never quite happy… never satisfied. When your people do a good job, you thank them and immediately talk about what could be done to improve. It’s tiring to be around you. And, quite frankly, no one really likes you. Of course crap can be better, but we’re adults not children—freaking bask in the glow of small victory from time to time. We get it—you’re a perfectionist. Meh.
Milk and Cookies
As a consummate pleaser, you’re the HR pro that wants everyone to get along. Milk and Cookies symbolizes your greatest strength and weakness. People generally like you, but occasionally conflict happens and maybe, just maybe, that’s a good thing. Not everyone needs to be appeased with your Milk and Cookies. Learn how to turn appeasement on and off.
Stuff White People Like
When you think of it… $h!t HR says is actually really funny content. We’re the “No” department. The police. So, our content is generic and laden with utopian bullshit. Perfect employees act like this. But no one has perfect employees. So, you’re constantly vacillating between the way it is and the way it should be. That said, get a few drinks in these HR pros and they’ll tell you the real deal.
Text from Hillary
You would never admit this publically but you LOVE inappropriate stuff. Porn, drugs, gambling, spouse swapping… the more inappropriate, the better. Like a hormonally engorged 16th year old, you’re a purveyor of all the apps that feed your addiction. Intro Whisper. Obviously, you’re living a double life. By day, you’re buttoned up Sally, the perfect HR lady, and by night Rob Ford would be impressed with your exploits. No judgment here—we’re all freaks. But your freaky deaky is on point.
Let’s face it, you run the company. Everything revolves around you, your thoughts and ideas and your whims. You might have an HR title… but no one actually cares about that, especially you. You’re the HR pro that never ordered business cards. You don’t seem to work as much as glide through the office dispensing greatness.
I mean… how could we talk about HR and memes and NOT talk about cats. C’mon now. HR and cats go together like Chris Brown and inappropriateness. So here’s the thing about cats: Cats symbolize the perfect HR leader… kind of approachable and kind of not. And I would never back an HR pro into a corner.
Of course, this is by no means an exhaustive list of HR memes. Do us all a favor–in the comment section, please add additional ones so that we may all get smarter about HR memes. Thank you in advance.
William is the President of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He’s written over 200 HR articles, spoken at over 150 HR & recruiting conferences and he’s conducted over 1000 HR podcasts. William prides himself on being easy to find on The Internet, Google him and connect with him via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Not up to speed in the social media game? Reach out via email.
William serves on the Board of Advisors for Talentegy, Wellocity, GlitchPath, Talent Ninja, Universum Americas, Engagedly, Echovate, VibeCatch, Continu, Hyphen, Bevy, Happie, RolePoint, Causecast, Work4Labs, Talent Tech Labs, and SmartRecruiters. He was previously an advisor to PeopleMatter (sold to Snagajob Q2 2016), Good.Co (sold to StepStone Q1 2016), Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight Q4 2014) and a board member of Chequed (merged to create OutMatch Q3 2015).
William is a graduate of the University of Alabama of Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.