The date was March 5, 1987. My mom was in Northbrook, Illinois beginning her training as an Allstate agent for what seemed like a never-ending three weeks. I was eleven years old and staying with my grandmother. I loved my grandmother. She was the best grandmother ever. This is mostly because she made me guava-paste-and-cream-cheese crackers every night much to my mother’s chagrin. Her greatness was cemented as she fell asleep while I sugared up. She didn’t even bat an eye when I stayed up past 1AM watching late night television. In one fell swoop I was mystified by the wonders of Carnac the Magnificent and the deadpan comedic stylings of a man from Indiana. Yes, I ended my night watching Letterman and his guests—two odd magicians in suits with the most unusual act I’d ever seen (aka Penn & Teller).
I think my mother was upset with her mother and that’s because I was hooked. Between stupid animal tricks and Top 10 lists I would forever delight in the interplay between Letterman and his audience. I know he is an imperfect man and that he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Love him or hate him there is one irrefutable fact—he was the prince of late night television only overshadowed by Carson himself. For many in my generation, David Letterman changed the way we look at culture by bringing an irreverent tone with acerbic wit that we now expect from others like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
For me, nothing embodied Letterman’s genius more than the Top 10 list. I pay tribute to my favorite profession and acknowledge Dave’s retirement with a Top 10 list of my own. Without further ado, I give you the Top 10 reasons you know you are in HR and love it.
You know you are in HR and love it if:
10. An employee actually thanked you for helping them pick the right health care coverage.
9. No one has threatened to harm another employee in more than 24 hours.
8. You reminded employees about the engagement survey and only half the room groaned.
7. You only had four complaints a day about the CEO's nephew being appointed to the SVP of Communications role.
6. Your boss was out of office and you solved a major problem without any interference.
5. You had six meetings today and none of them involved employee relations issues.
4. No one caught the crazy typo in the mandatory sexual harassment training--never let autocorrect change "harassment" to "healing."
3. Your strategic workforce plan for diversifying the skill set of your sales team only elicited 32 questions from leadership instead of the customary barrage of 96 questions meant to derail your plan and dampen your spirits.
2. You did not need to bring your Kevlar jacket to work on the first day of performance review meetings.
1. Your idea changed the face of the organization and resulted in recognition from your peers who previously referred to you as "Chief Party Planner" and "The Warm and Fuzzy Compliance Cop" behind your back.
I hope you enjoyed this tribute as much as I did. What are your reasons for loving your career in HR?