40 - Being the HR Friend

"Can I get fired if I....?" "Is my manager allowed to...?" Being the HR friend is both hysterical, addictive, and downright annoying all at the same time. Tyson and Alexa swap their fav and least fav parts of the role, share audience feedback, and chuckle about the shit people will ask for when they know you work in HR. It's a hoot!


Release Date: April 6, 2022

[00:00:00] Automated: Warning. This podcast is about the realities of working in people operations. This is not a stock-up PC compliance-based or employment law podcast about stuffy outdated HR practices. Shit will get real here and we assume no responsibility.

[00:00:16] Alexa Baggio: Just another day in the office.

[00:00:18] Tyson Mackenzie: There's nothing better than, like, a bunch of people who work are retargeting around tables and sharing these stories. We have this like out-of-body experience in HR where you're like, [unintelligible 00:00:25] [crosstalk]

[00:00:27] Alexa: It's not that bad.

[00:00:27] Tyson: It's not that bad. It's not.

[00:00:29] Alexa: Come hang out with Tyson and I on this podcast, we'll make you laugh.

[00:00:31] Automated: This is the People Problems podcast with Alexa Baggio & Tyson Mackenzie.

[00:00:40] Alexa: What's up, Tyson?

[00:00:41] Tyson: Oh, not too much. Same old, same old.

[00:00:43] Alexa: Looking like a girl who's been in the world. They let you out of there?

[00:00:46] Tyson: Yeah. Yeah, I feel like just things are like pretty normal and chill like I'm almost too busy now. Like, I was out today and I was like, uh, I just want to go home, like get me out of here.

[laughter]

[00:00:55] Alexa: Social-socially exhausted after a coffee day.

[00:00:58] Tyson: Yeah. But I do love showing my-my face and my smile, a-actually. So it's funny. So I was-- I was at the grocery store and I was chatting to the employee who was checking me out, and she had removed her mask, so she was not wearing a mask and I didn't have my mask on. I said, "You know, oh, you must be so nice for you to, you know, work without your mask on all day." She's like, "You have no idea how excited I was to come to work today."

[00:01:18] Alexa: Awww.

[00:01:19] Tyson: And I was like, "Oh, my God." Like my heart, right?

[00:01:22] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:01:22] Tyson: Like, you know, she's a cashier and-and she just said-- she said, "It's so nice to see people smiling and it's just-- it's-it's just a breath of fresh air," like quite literally, to not have to wear her mask all day at work.

[00:01:32] Alexa: Yeah. I just feel like people underestimate the-- like the amount of expression that comes from the lower two-thirds of your face. [laughs] I'm glad though.

[00:01:38] Tyson: Yeah. I feel like I look like a complete idiot like smiling at everyone. Like it was-- it was bizarre, but a lot of people still have their masks on, so they're probably looking at me being like, goof, get out of here.

[00:01:48] Alexa: Yeah, yeah. I'm-I'm excited for everyone involved. I'm glad Canada is also on the no-mask train. I'm happy for you.

[00:01:54] Tyson: Yes.

[00:01:55] Alexa: Nice. Very cool. All right. We'll-- I wanna do just a quick housekeeping announcement before we jump into our first segment here as people know. And speaking of your beautiful face, I get to see it in person at some events this fall. We're doing a little bit of a tour for the podcast, which is cool, but I want to make sure that people know that as the loyal four listeners of this podcast, they get free tickets to any of the perks con events that we will be recording at. If we're at any other events, we will let you know. But currently, you can go to Parkscon.com and you can use our discount and promo code, which is peopleprobs at checkout for a free ticket to any of our events.

So just use the code peopleprobs, which is the word people, and then P-R-O-B-S in the checkout, and you guys get free tickets to come see us record live in San Francisco, LA, and Toronto. We're going to do some cool topics. And if anyone is in Boston or New York, at Boston, I will be recording live with our prior guest, Elizabeth Meir, who we did the great whatever with, overcoming the great whatever and she and I are going to be talking about Ted Lasso leadership. She's put together, uh, a cool little framework for leadership-leadership engagement based on the lessons from Ted Lasso. So, uh, I think it's going to be super fun and we look forward to having some listeners there. So that's all I got.

[00:03:06] Tyson: Sweet, sweet, that's awesome.

[00:03:06] Alexa: Yeah. We get-- we get to team up in person. Feels like forever from now, but it's going-- it's going to be around the corner.

[00:03:11] Tyson: Well, that's actually also like literally the last week of my mat leave.

[00:03:15] Alexa: Oh.

[00:03:16] Tyson: Yeah, like, it's literally going out with a bang.

[00:03:18] Alexa: I love it.

[00:03:19] Tyson: I am packing up baby girl, and we are headed-headed [unintelligible 00:03:22] states.

[00:03:23] Alexa: Yes. We're all going to be together. I'm very excited. I'm very excited. Cool. All right. With that, let's move to Pops in the news and Tyson is going to do this one this week. [music] What do we got?

[00:03:43] Tyson: So I honestly, I just did like a Google-- I tend to Google search HR in the news. Like I literally-- [laughs] just to see what comes up.

[00:03:51] Alexa: Just want everyone to reiterate how hard we prep for these. That there's a whole team that doesn't-- [crosstalk] If anybody thought we were-- we were well funded and with a ton of backing here, it's just typing in Google and HR.

[00:04:07] Tyson: But this is-- This is important because as a, you know, a professional in this industry, you know when you Google yourself, basically, HR in the news, like this was the first thing that came up and it broke my heart a little bit. I'm going to kind of do a different little spin on this. So it's called 10 Ways to Secure Employee Retention Admits the great resignation. Oh, right.

[00:04:29] Alexa: I love-- I love lists.

[00:04:31] Tyson: This is hr-- hrnews.co.uk. All right. It does come from the UK, but it's still same deal. So they talk, obviously, about the fact that it's expensive. Turnover is very expensive. We want to avoid that by retaining people. These are the ways business can improve their employee retention. Pay competitively, discretionary powers to offer flexibility. So flexibility, company values, create clear progression paths, diversity and inclusion, inspirational leaders, prioritized training, work-life balance, and reward longevity.

[00:05:05] Alexa: This feels like our next buzzwords list. [laughs]

[00:05:07] Tyson: So, but hold on. This-this article came out. This was posted March 22nd, 2022. So that's the day, that's today's date that we're recording this. And I read it and I'm like, "Come on, this article could have been written in 1999." Like I-- this is so-- It's such common stuff that they're like, it's-it's almost so common that it's like out of Vogue now. Like-- and if you think about it, I was reading through the list and I'm like, "Okay, let's like think about it if you were like doing the opposite of what this list said." So you're not paying competitively, you're not flexible, you don't have good company values, you don't have career paths. Like, you know what? Then, you're going to--

Like, you don't deserve to have employees working for you. Like, if you can't do these basic, basic things, it's ridiculous. And I just want to highlight that the last part here how it says reward longevity at work. They actually say that you can let your employees choose from a gift from a catalog after five years. [laughs] Like, we've done away with those. We've done away with the catalog. Quit that.

[00:06:13] Alexa: I feel like they just refreshed an article from like 20 years ago and changed the date.

[00:06:16] Tyson: This is literally a 20-year-old article.

[00:06:17] Alexa: They're just reusing the articles. Yes, that's really bad. I mean, I just-- I know I've done this maybe similar to the last time we kind of poked fun at an article a couple of weeks ago but like, just why can't anyone say anything more original? And why does this shit get published? Like, we have lots of interesting shit to say. Publish us. Like this shit is not interesting. And it's-it's clearly like some consultant who paid for the article to be placed or something. It's so bad. It's so bad.

[00:06:43] Tyson: I don't understand. It's just-- it's so uninspired and like, look--

[00:06:47] Alexa: It's just [unintelligible 00:06:47] It's like talking back to the industry. Like everyone in the industry is a fucking idiot.

[00:06:51] Tyson: Yeah, that's exactly it. Like if you don't know if you are an HR person reading this and you're thinking, "Hmm, pay competitively. Wow. Groundbreaking." It's like, seriously--

[00:07:01] Alexa: Yeah, I don't know a single person that works in this industry who is not already fighting for all of those things, the problem is when they're fighting for them, right?

[00:07:09] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:07:09] Alexa: The problem is like when they're like, I know we're not paying competitively. I'm struggling to get it approved internally or I know we're not doing enough on the flexible workplace stuff because my CEO is like a FaceTime guy. Right? Like, that's when this stuff doesn't happen. It's not because the fucking people ops team doesn't want to do that shit.

[00:07:26] Tyson: Oh, 100%. No, it's true.

[00:07:28] Alexa: You know? That's what's so frustrating is like, everyone who works in this industry fucking knows this, it's whether or not they can actually get it done because there's some asshole in the way of letting the people team do what they need to do.

[00:07:38] Tyson: Yeah. It's just-- It's just so sad that this is-- just continues to be posted. But I did-- I did commit that we would do our 10 best practices or maybe like we can cut that list down a little bit because like we need to just bite off a little bit. But I-I still wanna-- I still wanna ponder that and think about how we could rewrite this article in a way that actually is a lot more groundbreaking.

[00:07:58] Alexa: Okay. Thanks for giving me some homework, Tyson. I appreciate that. [laughter]

[00:08:02] Tyson: You don't have anything else to do.

[00:08:03] Alexa: Oh, yeah. Nothing else going on. No, I just sit here and ponder podcast episodes all day.

[00:08:10] Tyson: There's nothing wrong with that. Okay?

[00:08:12] Alexa: It's fair, that's fair. It is like my favorite part of the week. Hopefully, for our four listeners, it's theirs, too.

[00:08:18] Tyson: There are not only four listeners. All right. We have a solid 129 to download this regularly. Okay?

[00:08:27] Alexa: No, We are-- We're actually, we're getting kind of big actually if I'm being honest. We're-we're getting a legit following. So thank you to everybody that listens to this crazy bullshit every week, we love you, we want to hear from you, follow, subscribe, rate us all the things and maybe we should move on to this week's topic which is being the HR friend which is basically like, you know, people who work in HR have friends that call them and they have HR shit they want to talk about. And so this is Tyson's idea. I think it's an awesome topic. As someone who works in the space I regularly get approached about this shit as well so I'm really excited-- really excited to talk about this so what are-- what are your opening thoughts on being the HR friend, Tyson?

[00:09:05] Tyson: Well, it's funny because like there's few professions that like have this honor, I guess, to be like the friend, right?

[00:09:11] Alexa: It's like lawyer.

[00:09:12] Tyson: Your lawyer friend, your doctor friend, your accounting friend, and your HR friend.

[00:09:18] Alexa: Yeah. Yup.

[00:09:19] Tyson: And you know, for me, probably like a plumbing friend and like those types of [unintelligible 00:09:22] I can't do any of that shit either.

[00:09:25] Alexa: Your contractor friend.

[00:09:26] Tyson: Yeah, exactly. So personally, I always love being asked HR questions by my friends but like I am that asshole that's like, "Well, it depends and I can't really answer your question because like there are so many complexities that go into these things that it's so hard to answer the question without knowing processes." Like you're in a union, I can't say shit about anything like read your collective agreement, like things like that. It's really-- It's often hard to answer these questions because like there's so many, you know, bits and bobs that goes into answering these questions, even like, internally when I'm doing my job, so it can be tricky, but I definitely get a lot, a lot, a lot of my friends reaching out to me to ask HR questions.

[00:10:10] Alexa: Do you think you get more questions about, "Hey, this thing is happening to me? What do I do?" Or do you think you get more questions of people being like, "Hey, this person is doing this thing at my job? What should I do with them?" Like, is it more-- Do you think it's more people asking you how to like, handle other people? Or is it more people coming to you and being like, "Yo, I think my boss is fucking up and I should say something," or, "Yo, I think," you know, more like people coming to you as the employee, like, what do you think is the breakdown?

[00:10:40] Tyson: It's more so people coming to me as the employee or for advice on how to get something. So you know how to properly ask your boss for something in order to get it like what's like the because if you think about it, it's-it's, you know, oftentimes when you ask for something at work to your boss, they do have to go back and check with HR. Right? So then HR advises on, like, all the things. So a-an example would be my older brother, he was living in Toronto during the pandemic and wanted to move home to Ottawa, with like, keeping his job. Because they all went remote. Right? So he was like, I just-- I just want to move and like, see what happens. So like, how do I ask my boss for that? To do that? Or like, do I just move and just tell him like, "Oops, surprise, I'm not coming back. I'm in-- I'm in Ottawa, I moved during the pandemic." So if you were to ask that question to your employer, they would almost always go to HR to be like, "Hey, Tyson, like, are we letting people move? Like, what's the deal here? What's the process? What's whatever." You know, that sort of thing. So kind of makes sense that he asked me.

[00:11:43] Alexa: All right, I have had, yeah, I-I would say, I have had. I-- So I'm-- You know, I'm not an active HR practitioner. I just am sort of the keeper of a bunch of HR practitioners [chuckles] in the work that I do. And so it's funny because so I can think of two or three stories recently where someone called me and was like, "Oh, fuck." Like, the only person I know that works in HR or around HR is Alexa. Like, I need to see if she can hook me up with somebody or if-- or if she's got some advice, and-and one was, and this one's sad.

I think I've referenced this one before on a prior episode, but it was a friend who shall remain nameless, who runs a company that shall remain nameless, but basically a lot of stuff around the DENI stuff and George Floyd's-- Like, right after George Floyd happened, and basically picked up the phone and was like, "Alexa, you know, I need ahead of people. You know, what do I do? You know, I'm not, you know, I'm being I'm basically being asked as the CEO to like, make a statement and do all these things. And like, I think I just need a head of people."

And I was like, "Okay dude, the wrong time to hire a head of people is because you realize you're in a fucking shooting situation. And you don't have anybody to scapegoat it, to. So like, step one, this is not why you need a head of people, you need to deal with this situation. And the fact that you have this many employees and don't have a head of people is actually kind of a red flag for anyone who would be your head of people." But we had this long conversation, I connected with a bunch of people, some real gunslingers in the industry. And they were all like, "Yeah, dude, like this is-- this is the wrong time to realize you need this person."

And, you know, I get a lot of those phone calls that are like, "Hey, I need-- I need somebody. Who do you know?" And I'm always happy to connect people who are looking to hire people, ops people. They're my people. So happy to get hired. But the other one, I get a fair amount. And I recently helped a friend through this was just really bad managers. I recently had a friend who basically got railroaded by their manager, like got a new manager and had a bit of a tiff with them and was like, you know, hey, I'm not sure that we work super well together. I think it would make sense for me to like leave this pod and-and maybe be an engineer on another group because I just I'm not sure that we work super well together.

Then after he voiced that opinion, basically, the manager just came after him and was like-- like, she'd never made a one-on-one, she'd never like-- basically was not managing this person. And then he was like, I don't think we worked super well together and she just went after his livelihood and totally railroaded him and put him on a PIP that was basically like, you're done like there's no way you're ever going to meet this PIP like, he just got totally railroaded and so called me and I was like, "Wait a minute, this is a super fucked up situation. She actually should not be and cannot be doing this." And then wait, when she-- like she was like, "Oh, I'm gonna put you on a PIP." I was like, "You don't just like casually drop that in a wham." Like, that's not how this works.

So we-we alerted the authorities and wrote an email to her people off-steam. And I was like, uh, his people off-steam. And I was like, "Look, if your people off-stream is worth anything, you're gonna get an immediate response to this email, and they're gonna bring you in for an interview and we're gonna-- they're gonna talk about the situation. And they're gonna pump the brakes on what she's trying to do." And that's like, exactly what happened. But I had to step in and be like, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, let's get some gunslingers on the phone and ask about the right situation here. What terminology should we use? How do we frame this and I don't-- Obviously, I don't do that for everybody. So please, God, don't call me with your bad manager questions.

This happened to be a close friend but a lot of people that just go like, is this kosher basically, and-and I get a lot of questions like, "Is this okay?" And I'm like, "Look, I'm not your-- I'm-I'm not a lawyer but from everything I know know what is happening here is absolutely not okay. And you could absolutely sue this company for this kind of behavior." So I get a lot of stuff like that, which is sometimes fun because I'm like, "Ooh, other people's dirt."

[00:15:06] Tyson: I know I [unintelligible 00:15:07] I love it. I love, love, love when people come to me, but it's very awkward when you're put in a position where you can see what's going down with a friend. They're either being performance managed and like-

[00:15:20] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:15:20] Tyson: -they come to you because they're like, I think I'm getting fired tomorrow. I have, uh, my boss, like, just sent me a meeting request for 8:00 AM. It's like in office with HR. And it's like--

[00:15:30] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:15:31] Tyson: You're like, "Oh, it could be anything." [laughs]

[00:15:32] Alexa: And they ask me at 5:00 PM-- If they ask me at 5:00 PM the night before if I had time at 9:00 AM.

[00:15:37] Tyson: Well, that's exactly right. So like that can like be really awkward. I pretty much any of my friends who have ever been like laid off or fired for any reason they-- I'm like their first call, they always call me afterward and go through their termination letters with me and like, "This is what they're offering me. This is how they did it. Like, it-- does it make sense that they-they told me that I was being terminated. Like they actually use the terminology terminated. Like is that-- Is that okay?" I'm Like, "That's pretty rude. I guess like, you're terminated."

[laughter]

[00:16:06] Alexa: It's not very human.

[00:16:08] Tyson: It's so rude.

[00:16:08] Alexa: I mean, yeah it's not very graceful, but, you know.

[00:16:10] Tyson: Um, exactly. So like, that happens a lot. And those are always like really shitty. And I always say to them, you know, probably a blessing in disguise. Look on the bright side, how are you going to reevaluate your life and like, think about all your great experiences that you got there and how you can apply going forward. But what I wanted to kind of talk about with that is like, it-it's crazy how much people don't understand the processes. And the-- and the things that go on with termination. So even something like cause or not for cause, people don't get that in like in Canada, we have something called a record of employment. So after you've been terminated, they send-- the company has to send a record of employment to our Service Canada, where they say the reason for termination, and usually, it's super, super vague, you just say like not for cause or something like that.

Anyway, so those were all those processes people don't understand at all. So I've-I've given that sort of spiel a few times to-to make sure that people understand because that's shit that you need to know like, you know, if you see your record for employment and it's like says something on it like you need to-- you need to know those types of things. But--

[00:17:11] Alexa: Yeah, I think here it's-- it's--it-it-it gets comp-- it's more about like, you know, am I owed severance, am I not? 'Cause like every state's a little different like California does not-- is not required to give you a severance package. They just cut you loose and fuck off kids.

[00:17:23] Tyson: Yeah, that's crazy.

[00:17:25] Alexa: Or-- Yeah, it's crazy. It's, but it's state by state.

[00:17:28] Tyson: Right, right.

[00:17:27] Alexa: It just totally depends, some-some it's gonna be like in Missouri with term of employment, which is like, vague, but you know, just means you got to give them something and then it's just--

[00:17:34] Tyson: Yeah, the pay, the pay part is another thing, I [unintelligible 00:17:37] people about.

[00:17:38] Alexa: Yeah, the 50 state whack a mole on this stuff. There's like, COBRA, and people are like, what the fuck is COBRA and I'm like, "Oh, my God, I can't believe I have to tell it you."

[00:17:44] Tyson: It's so complicated. But if anyone's listening, you can always call your HR person after the fact too, right?

[00:17:50] Alexa: Absolutely.

[00:17:50] Tyson: Like I-I always used to get calls like, after the fact. Because like, you don't digest anything into the termination, like during the termination meeting, and then call after, anyways, they didn't want this to be a conversation about termination specifically, but it is definitely like an awkward situation when like, people are like, they come to you either after or before. And they like, it's like, kind of obvious, or like, their performance managed and they like are going on about, like, the reasons why and I'm kinda like, actually, like, they're probably following a really sound process. And like [chuckles] this is how you should show up now, you know, to kind of give like advice that way, which, like, I always like to tread lightly, because I don't like to get involved in people's shit. Like-- But, um--

[00:18:29] Alexa: Yeah, I actually just love hearing how people's existing HR teams do things. Like that-that for me is what people come to me more for. It's verses like, "Hey, I, you know, I need advice on my termination."

[00:18:41] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:18:40] Alexa: It's more like, "Hey, this is what the people team is doing." Or, "This is what they're up to, or this is what I think they're doing." and like, or, "You know, what should our team do? Like we've never had the ability to like handle this situation before. What should we do as a people team?" And that shit I find fascinating like, I-- There's nothing I love. In a-- in a disgusting, like voyeuristic kind of way there's nothing I love more than someone being like, Okay, so here's what my people did," [chuckles] or like, "Here's what our company did and like how they treated this employee like what the fuck can we do to fix it?"

[00:19:11] Tyson: Yeah, contacted my HR.

[00:19:12] Alexa: I live for that shit.

[00:19:13] Tyson: Yeah, like me and my HR friends talk like that. Especially like, when one of my HR friends like, moves jobs. We always make sure like we sort of like connected to okay, like how is this done? Like, what was your interview process? Like we're like no, this and that perspective or like-like I still chat with a lot of, uh, friends I went to college with or that I-I worked with at a previous company and like that's the other thing I love. I love like getting the dirt on like the company I used to work for like all the issues that I was sorting out like hearing like that those issues are all-- still have-- [chuckles] like, that's-that's just like me being a nosy bitch, but I love-- I love getting caught up on the [unintelligible 00:19:48] people that used to be my clients. [laughs]

[00:19:50] Alexa: Yeah, I love that. No, I think it's funny. It's also-- it's also really funny. I'm sure this happens to you too. Like you go like, and again, nobody's done this in like two years but like you go to a cocktail party or something and people find out you work in HR, and then all of a sudden like every fucking grievance they've ever had they want to talk to you about. Like, oh man, my HR team does this, or like, oh, my old boss did that. And I'm like, I don't like I don't give a fuck, like, it's like when people like they know I run a-- they know I run an event business and they like-- they like automatically assume I'm an event planner. And like, oh, Alexa, what do you think about like, you know, this, or this or this caterer? I'm like, I'm not a fucking planner, like, I don't-- I have no idea.

[00:20:23] Tyson: I'm a party planner.

[00:20:24] Alexa: Yeah, I'm a fucking party planner. And, no like, love the people that do that shit cause that shit's hard. You gotta have the patience of, you know, of a-- of steel wall for that shit. But like, that's not what I do, like I don't wanna talk about this all day, like, don't ask me about your fucking wedding.

[00:20:37] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:20:39] Alexa: Like, I don't plan weddings, like, just like I don't, you know--

[00:20:41] Tyson: That's how I feel-- That's how--

[00:20:42] Alexa: Don't wanna sit here and talk about your HR bullshit. I work in the industry doesn't mean I wanna talk about your shit.

[00:20:45] Tyson: That's how I feel when people-- When people asked me about, like, recruitment processes, like sometimes, like, my friends will be like, is it normal for them to take two weeks to-to call me back and not even give me like a single update? Or like, you know, like, why-why would they like decline my like, resume or whatever, without even looking like, all these like recruitment like questions.

[00:21:04] Alexa: It's just like dating, it's the same shit people do with dating like, oh, he hasn't texted me in two days. Does he not like me? Is-is he with someone else, did he find someone else?

[00:21:09] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:21:12] Alexa: Like, it's like, oh my God, just shut the fuck up and let it happen.

[00:21:12] Tyson: Should I assume that if I haven't heard from them in two weeks that I didn't get the job? That kind of thing, I do like looking at people's resumes though.

[00:21:18] Alexa: But I think some people [crosstalk] it's just like, you never fucking know. Like, you have no fucking idea why they haven't got back to you in two weeks.

[00:21:24] Tyson: No, you never know. You never know.

[00:21:26] Alexa: People are terrible at running recruiting processes, even with all the tech and talk of recruiting in the world right now, like, everyone still sucks at it. You just never fucking know.

[00:21:32] Tyson: Yeah, I applied to a job-- I like applied to a job, and I got an interview, and I like never heard back from them. And it was like, literally like three or four months later, like, what I assume happened is maybe they offered the job to someone else and negotiated for a while and it fell through.

[00:21:46] Alexa: Yeah, and they didn't wanna turn you down. Yes, that's exactly what happened.

[00:21:48] Tyson: It fell through and they didn't turn me down. Yeah, that's exactly what happened but they called me back and I was like, no, like, no, I have-- you didn't keep me warm at all. Like, there was no communication.

[00:21:59] Alexa: Yeah, this happened to my brother.

[00:22:00] Tyson: Like, absolutely not like I will not. And I gave that feedback like, I will not work for a company that has such a poor recruitment process, because that just gives me sort of like a peek in the window of like what I'm about to sign up for and like I'm not-- I'm not down for that, but--

[00:22:12] Alexa: Yeah. I get-- I get just as annoyed on the other side, though. Like I-I try to be really communicative with someone I'm trying to hire. And like, you know, things pop up when you're running a bunch of different brands, and they're all like, sort of small growing companies. It's like kind of crazy and like, I-I-I will try to be really thoughtful about like, if I'm gonna, like, let somebody go from the process or whatever out like, hey, here's my feedback, like here's where we're at, or, you know, this process has stalled. I'll follow up with you on these things. And I really do for candidates I like, I really do try to stay in touch with them, like I'm like, hey, I'll reach out in a couple months and see where you're at. I'd love to hear if you've moved on, like how you're doing blah, blah, blah. Nothing pisses me off more than when people don't fucking respond.

[00:22:48] Tyson: Mm.

[00:22:48] Alexa: I'm like, I'm trying to build a relationship here. Like I-I put the thought in, I kept you warm, like, just acknowledge that I'm a human over here. And it's okay, if you took another job, like, I'm not gonna be hurt like just fucking acknowledge that I extended an olive branch here and was like, I'd like to keep this conversation going. I just don't have the news you want right now. I just-- don't-don't be a fucking dick.

[00:23:06] Tyson: Yeah. Yeah, that's-that's, it's just like any relationship, right? You don't wanna like close doors.

[00:23:10] Alexa: Like I had this one candidate. Yeah, I had this one candidate. I was like, I really liked him. Like, I really liked him, I just if I could have hired him and our other teammate, I would have hired them both at the same time, I just couldn't, I just didn't-- I just didn't have the budget at the time and I reached out and wrote him a really thoughtful-thoughtful note. Same thing. He fucking ghosted me because I was like, hey, I may-- I may still have the ability to hire for this role in a few months. Like, I'd love to, like I know you're not urgently leaving where you're at I'd love to stay in touch. I'd love to take you like to coffee when I'm in New York in a month. Like I really was trying to like, keep the relationship warm. Fucking ghosts me for like three months, and writes back and goes like, "Oh, I never saw this. I guess I-I like I never really checked this email." And I was like, okay, first of all, that's horseshit because it's the email you kept writing me emails from when we were actively--

[00:23:55] Tyson: Was it the email on your resume when you applied?

[00:23:57] Alexa: Literally the email like we had done all of our communication on. And he didn't, he was like, a cold email, like he wrote back was like, "Hey, I guess I missed this, like, sorry, I missed this. Like, I never check this email anymore." And I was like, okay, is that your way of telling me to like fuck off three months later? Like, what purpose does this serve? Anyway total-total-total digression, but yeah, man, I just love listening to the shit that people will do. Cause I'm like, they did what now?

[00:24:23] Tyson: Yeah, I love listening to what people do. I love-- I love reading, um, new hire agreements and I love reading termination letters, which we've talked about.

[00:24:32] Alexa: Why do you love reading hire agreements?

[00:24:33] Tyson: Resume-- I don't know. I just like I-I just love it, it's just the nerd in me. I love to see how the termination, specifically the termination.

[00:24:39] Alexa: You're like, oh look what this person got.

[00:24:42] Tyson: I wanna read the termination clause. I don't even care like I'm not looking at the salary, I'm looking at like the way things are written.

[00:24:48] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:24:48] Tyson: So like how the termination clause is written, how like all these like types of things. I keep coming back to termination thing, you'd think that I-I like doing though.

[00:24:55] Alexa: You really do love talking about firing people.

[00:24:57] Tyson: I'm fixated on them. Um, but so I asked the community like what the common questions are that people would a-- like what their friends would ask them and like, number one, by far is like, can you look at my resume? Like can you review my resume?

[00:25:08] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:25:09] Tyson: I do that for so many people.

[00:25:10] Alexa: A lot of really bad resumes in the world. Yeah.

[00:25:13] Tyson: There are a lot of really bad resumes. I will-- you send me your resume, I will send it back to you and you won't-- you'll be like what the hell is this? I've never seen this before because like I will completely delete it and rewrite it for you, cause it sucked.

[00:25:25] Alexa: I always-- I alway-- I mean I haven't-- I haven't-- I haven't updated a resume in almost a decade. Thank God I'm-I'm lucky enough to say that. I hope I never have to. But I-I always get it spellchecked by someone, always get a tense checked by someone because I'm fucking terrible at that, like proof editing, I'm so bad at like, I have people on my team that do that shit for me, because everyone knows I'm terrible at it. But if you have written a resume that doesn't indicate the impact you had on your last business, throw it the fuck out.

[00:25:49] Tyson: Mm.

[00:25:50] Alexa: Every single position should talk about like, with numbers, like, here's what I did.

[00:25:50] Alexa: Yeah, that's all it should be. Right.

[00:25:55] Alexa: Here's the impact it had. Here's the skills I have, like, I don't give a shit that you updated reports. I don't give a fuck.

[00:26:01] Tyson: There's like a thing a star? Is it called star situation?

[00:26:05] Alexa: Oh, I don't know.

[00:26:06] Tyson: Something. Something, something? It's like the way you're supposed to answer interview questions. I don't know, but--

[00:26:10] Alexa: Yeah. I don't know.

[00:26:11] Tyson: That's kind of like the same idea. But like less, because it's a-a resume.

[00:26:14] Alexa: Yeah. Pay a resume coach, there's lots of them, and they're quite good, they're quite inexpensive.

[00:26:17] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:26:18] Alexa: That's my advice, don't ask your friends.

[00:26:21] Tyson: The other one that was really common was like, can I get fired because? Or like, fired for? Or like various like, how much would-- how much money would I get if I got fired kinda questions?

[00:26:32] Alexa: Yeah, yeah.

[00:26:33] Tyson: Um, those were pretty common. Also, like, is my manager allowed to do X?

[00:26:38] Alexa: Mm.

[00:26:40] Tyson: Like, not-not, uh, approve my vacation? Or, you know, uh, various other-- not approve overtime? Or not pay overtime and stuff like that.

[00:26:46] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:26:48] Tyson: Um, but honestly, like when I'm looking like, it's-it's very the same question sort of getting answered over and over.

[00:26:55] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:26:55] Tyson: And when I called people to see, uh, do your friends ask you HR questions, we got 97% of people said yes.

[00:27:03] Alexa: Wow.

[00:27:03] Tyson: So all of us HR folks are working-working overtime. Answering all of our friends' questions.

[00:27:07] Alexa: Yeah. I mean I feel bad for the-- I feel bad for the lawyer friends, you know, they must get it equally as bad.

[00:27:12] Tyson: Oh, and especially the fun thing about like lawyers--

[00:27:13] Alexa: Hey, can I get sued for doing this?

[00:27:16] Tyson: But the thing is with lawyers, it's like they're pretty specialized, right? So like, if I'm like going to a lawyer to ask them about like something totally random. They're kind of like, I can't help you but I can refer you to someone else who knows that good stuff.

[00:27:29] Alexa: I feel like-- No I feel like they get to play it both ways. Because I feel like they get to say like, in an instance where it behooves them to be like, a scary person in this situation they get to be like, oh, well, I'm a lawyer, right? Or like, sometimes, like I have a-a cabin that sometimes I rent out and like I've had a few people be like, oh, well my husband's a lawyer. I'm like, are you really threatening me right now, with your lawyer husband? Like, I'm sorry he could be like a tax lawyer for all I know, I have no idea.

[00:27:55] Tyson: Right.

[00:27:56] Alexa: But then you ask the person who's like, I don't want to fucking deal with this. This really isn't my area of expertise, and they're like, I can refer you to someone that specializes in that.

[00:28:03] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:28:03] Alexa: But I feel like for business, like, yeah corporate lawyers it's a pretty broad spectrum. And most people are not asking like insanely specific questions, so.

[00:28:11] Tyson: Yeah, and I think like, at the end of the day, like most questions, like the-the questions that like a lay person might have would not be about like corporate taxes, or like whatever, like, you know, like the wild-- the wild stuff that, um, is very complex, right? They can just use like their common lawyer sense.

[00:28:27] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:28:26] Tyson: But I-I think like, the moral of the story is like, there's just so much that people don't understand about their processes at work. Their employment agreements, like the way that contracts work, the way that all this stuff happens. Like, my husband, like God love him is like the perfect-- he is like an HR nightmare. It's absolutely, like despicable like I get-- I get mad at him on behalf of his HR person. Like, it's one of those things where it's like, you have to like do sign up for your benefits, right? Your annual enrollment, I swear that poor woman had to email him like 17 times to get him to sign up for benefits. He's like, I don't want benefits, I'm like-- he's like, I just use your benefits. He's like, I don't even know what these benefits are, and I'm like, well, did you read it? Like, is there anything like, you know whatever?

[00:29:12] Alexa: Oh my God. This is literally why I'm in business. It's literally why I do what I do.

[00:29:15] Tyson: He's just like-- he's like I know I don't have time. I don't-- I don't want to, I don't feel like doing that. And then he finally does it, takes him like five seconds or like, he had to like, you know, send in like, reports for like HR like stuff and like, he just-- he just didn't do it. Like he-he was-- he was giving out negative COVID tests. That's what he had to do. To take a picture of a negative COVID test every other day for work. And he just didn't do it for like three weeks. And then his boss was like, hey, buddy yeah, like are you gonna send me your COVID test and he's like, oh, yeah, I guess I forgot and I'm like, oh my god, like you are like such a nightmare but anyways love him to death but I-- you can guarantee that I've gone through with a fine-tooth comb all of his employment agreements.

[00:29:57] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:29:58] Tyson: All the shit. I freaking enroll for his benefits for-- on his behalf, because like, he just like, doesn't give a shit about any of that stuff at all. He's just there to work and doesn't care-

[00:30:08] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:30:07] Tyson: -about HR.

[00:30:09] Alexa: It is-- That is someone's HR nightmare. Speaking of HR nightmare-

[00:30:11] Tyson: I know.

[00:30:13] Alexa: -total plug my team is so fun and so creative that we have created-- You'll love this. The first HR video game in VR that it's called The HR Nightmare and we are debuting it this year at some

[00:30:24] Tyson: Oh that's amazing.

[00:30:24] Alexa: -of our events. It's a-- it's a-- it's a metaverse video game called HR Nightmare. I'm sure largely-largely inspired by these conversations. And you have to fight off like the employee burnout monster to get to the-- through-through the level and you have--

[00:30:38] Tyson: Oh my God. I love.

[00:30:39] Alexa: Your weapons are like-- Uh, it's awesome. It's so fucking creative. The weapons are like a battle axe called vacation times and uh, there's a Tommy gun--

[00:30:48] Tyson: Pizza party.

[00:30:49] Alexa: There's a Tommy gun that shoots perks [laughs] at things. There's like--

[00:30:54] Tyson: That's awesome.

[00:30:54] Alexa: There's like an old software machine. That's one of the monsters. It's really fucking fun. It's-it's-- The first level is we're debuting the first level, cause we're just building an HR video game for fun cause it's hysterical. It's called-- The first level is called Return to Office.

[00:31:09] Tyson: Oh, why?

[00:31:09] Alexa: Where you have to make it from one side of the office to the other and battle these monsters. It's so fucking funny. I can't wait to show it to people. It's gonna be so fun.

[00:31:17] Tyson: I love that. That's hilarious.

[00:31:18] Alexa: Yes. But anyway. Yeah. It's-it's just people don't you know-- People ask so what were the of questions again? Those were very good. The top four questions were, is my manager allowed to do this?

[00:31:27] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:31:28] Alexa: Can I--

[00:31:28] Tyson: Can I get terminated for-

[00:31:30] Alexa: -get fired for dot, dot, dot. [laughs] How much will I get paid if I get fired?

[00:31:34] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:31:35] Alexa: Okay.

[00:31:35] Tyson: And then resume stuff.

[00:31:37] Alexa: Oh yeah. Resumes. Okay.

[00:31:37] Tyson: Resume stuff. And just like general like hiring stuff. There's also a lot of questions about benefits, like people not understanding their benefits.

[00:31:44] Alexa: Oh my God. Don't even get me started. It's literally all we-- I mean I literally created a software to kill benefit FAQs cause they're terrible. Yeah.

[00:31:51] Tyson: It's like a-

[00:31:52] Alexa: Because these poor people.

[00:31:52] Tyson: -black hole, benefits are a blackhole.

[00:31:53] Alexa: Well, it's a shit of-- Technology's a shit show and don-- don't even get [crosstalk]

[00:31:57] Tyson: It's not the technology-- For me-- for me, it's like the way that things are worded. Like I don't like when it's telling me like percent of a percent of a percent.

[00:32:05] Alexa: Oh yeah.

[00:32:05] Tyson: I'm like, I can't do that math.

[00:32:06] Alexa: Oh, yeah-

[00:32:07] Tyson: You know what I mean?

[00:32:07] Alexa: -that's entirely intentional. The insurance companies do not want you to understand that shit.

[00:32:09] Tyson: Oh. I know, I know.

[00:32:12] Alexa: There's some very good [unintelligible 00:32:13]

[00:32:12] Tyson: That whole thing is just like--

[00:32:13] Alexa: [crosstalk] start to understand that stuff. It's just getting them in the hands of companies. That's a fucking nightmare. Um, it's just too much shitty technology out there and like that doesn't actually help answer questions like that.

[00:32:22] Tyson: Yeah. And like if I have to send in my own receipts.

[00:32:26] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:32:27] Tyson: I'm like-

[00:32:28] Alexa: Happy to help.

[00:32:28] Tyson: -are you serious? Like if like my doctor or like whoever like the dentist people don't do it.

[00:32:31] Alexa: Yes.

[00:32:32] Tyson: I'm like, that just is not-- no dice for me.

[00:32:35] Alexa: Yeah.

[00:32:36] Tyson: Get my massage somewhere else.

[00:32:37] Alexa: Yeah. All right. We've officially gone on a bunch of-- down a bunch of weird rabbit holes on this on but--

[00:32:41] Tyson: So many rabbit holes.

[00:32:42] Alexa: Yeah. I do think-- I will say if you talk about, should my HR team be doing that or is that the right function for my HR team? Happy to talk shit. Anytime anybody wants. Don't ask me, uh, don't ask me about your resumes. I-I won't.

[00:32:55] Tyson: Or your collective agreement, good God.

[00:32:56] Alexa: Yeah-yeah I don't. I won't-- I'm not done with any of that. And don't call me if you have fucked up and not given your people function enough attention. And then all of a sudden you're in a crisis and you need help. I don't wanna take those phone calls. I won't fucking help you. I will let you sink. So that-

[00:33:11] Tyson: I will listen to dirt.

[00:33:10] Alexa: -you learn your lesson. Well, listen to [unintelligible 00:33:13].

[00:33:13] Tyson: I wanna-- I wanna-- I wanna hear all the-- all the-the fricking crap that's like blown up. And like-

[00:33:18] Alexa: But I will have happily-

[00:33:19] Tyson: -be nosy-

[00:33:19] Alexa: -connect you to wonderful people.

[00:33:20] Tyson: -but I'm not gonna help.

[00:33:22] Alexa: I'll help you if-if it's reasonable, I am not gonna- I'm not gonna clean up your dirty shit for you or introduce you to one of my close people, Ops, connections, uh, to clean up your shit for you.

[00:33:32] Tyson: I wish more people would call me with their shit actually. Now that [crosstalk].

[00:33:35] Alexa: No. All right. You got--

[00:33:37] Tyson: I wanna hear all the shit.

[00:33:38] Alexa: You heard it. Bring us the shit. Here we go.

[00:33:40] Tyson: I'm just like so nosy.

[00:33:40] Alexa: Tyson wants to hear all of it.

[00:33:42] Tyson: Like my-my--

[00:33:44] Alexa: Let's get some listener dirt.

[00:33:43] Tyson: -my mom works in HR-- my mom works in HR and like-

[00:33:47] Alexa: It's in the family.

[00:33:48] Tyson: -I'm always-- Yeah, I'm always like asking for like dirt-dirt on stuff. And like--

[00:33:53] Alexa: I love it.

[00:33:54] Tyson: Anyway.

[00:33:54] Alexa: We gotta get mom on here.

[00:33:55] Tyson: Yeah.

[00:33:56] Alexa: We gotta do a mom episode. I love that.

[00:33:58] Tyson: She'd love it.

[00:33:58] Alexa: Yeah. All right. Well, thanks for being a good HR friend, Tyson. I'll make sure to call you if I, uh, am ever thinking of quitting and need some termination advice.

[00:34:07] Tyson: I have to calculate your pay for you.

[00:34:09] Alexa: Yeah exactly. All right. It's a wrap.

[00:34:11] Tyson: Wait a minute. Before you leave, take some time to leave us a five-star rating. We'd really love your feedback. Also, if you'd like to see our lovely faces each week as we're recording these episodes, check us out on our new YouTube channel. Thanks.

[00:34:23] Alexa: This episode was executive produced by me, Alexa Boggio with audio production by [unintelligible 00:34:30] Frigida of fear harmonies. Our intro music was also done by the wonderful [unintelligible 00:34:30] Frigida of fear harmonies. You can find more information about us on future episodes at peopleproblemspod.com, or follow us @peopleproblems pod on

[00:34:37] [END OF AUDIO]


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