Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Technology Allowance

My company gives each member of the technical staff a bonus each year, thanks to our Raving Employees team, with which we must spend on some cool techno-gadgety stuff. The idea is to keep us loving and playing with technology to "feed our inner geek." I am having a hard time deciding what to do with my allowance this year. Here are some options:

1. Buy new headphones (I listen to music at work all the time, but do I really need to spend more than the $3.99 I spend on my current pair of ear buds that lasted 4 years?)
2. Buy a smart phone (T-Mobile kind of stinks in what they offer, but I have read that the Blackberry 7100T is okay.
3. Buy a wireless mouse. (This option doesn't eat up much of my budget, and who really cares if your mouse has a wire)
4. Buy a desktop for at home, so I can install all of the beta versions of software without harming my work environment. (But a desktop I buy today will be a dinosaur two years from now)

What do you think I should spend my money on?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Why We Hate HR?

The other morning my day started out with a friend of mine walking into my office and calling me a loser. I was offended and hurt by the unreasonable judgment he passed on me, so I asked him what he meant by it. He explained that he has been disappointed by my lack of posting to my blog. I had to concede. He is correct. I have been a huge loser. So, to redeem myself, I am posting today. Furthermore, my post today is in honor of my friend with the insight to call me a loser.

Last week I was having lunch with Neil - who remains blogless - and the JavaKid. I had been invited by management to participate, as a representative of the technical staff, in the interview process of a new HR Manager. I was honored to accept the invitation, but struggled a bit while compiling my list of possible interview questions that I like to prepare before any interview. I asked Neil and the JavaKid what they thought some good questions would be. Neil directed me to a very interesting article in Fast Company titled Why We Hate HR. Besides having an amusing title, the article raised some very good questions about the role of HR. To be honest, I had always seen HR as the people-friendly staff who help with any benefit questions. The article suggests that HR people of that caliber would better serve society as social works. Heh. This article suggests that HR should play a role of strategic planning, and should always back up any benefit recommendations with some hard, tangible business benefits that can be quantified and proved. Hmmm…metrics for HR! What a novel idea.

Wouldn’t it be cool if HR, instead of setting up a bunch of policy that we had to struggle to work around, used their time and energy to prove to my management team why it is worthwhile, in the language of business that my management team understands, for them to keep me happy and recruit talent?

Just a thought...

Now I have posted, and I no longer rate as a loser. At least that is what I keep telling myself :)