Tag: <span>HR</span>

Over the past couple of years my job has changed. I have the same title and job description as I did before but the structure of my day is dramatically different.

I certainly don’t do much writing any more, other than the odd page or two here and there. Instead I find myself discussing strategies, planning phases of work, and generally communicating with other parts of the company as best I can.

I’m also permanently interruptable.

Part of my responsibilities is as line manager to a small group of people within the R&D team. Obviously the team of technical writers forms part of that, and there are also some developers in there as well. I’m not involved as a day to day manager, instead I’m there for what I guess most people would call the ‘HR’ side of things, including organising appraisals and, where needed, some coaching.

So between those responsibilities, and my own work I tend to spend most of my week talking to people. Either in meetings, or for a quick update on things and despite having my own set of priorities I am more than happy to be interrupted.

A long time ago, when I took my first role as a team leader, I was given some advice that has stuck with me, namely that my main role was to help everyone else in the team do their job to the best of their abilities. That means removing obstacles, dealing with problems and generally making sure that all they need to worry about is their work.

I’m permanently interruptable because that’s my job.

It took me quite a while to realise this, and getting yourself into a position to be interruptable isn’t all that easy. You need a good team around you (which I have) and you need to trust them and delegate to them as much as you can (I trust them, and I’m working on that delegation thing!).

There is always the thought, when you are new to being a manager, of ‘dumping’ on people when you delegate work or ownership of something but I’ve seen that the opposite is true. Most professionals enjoy being challenged, and giving them responsibility is a direct indication of how much you trust them. Yes they might have to step their game up, but that’s all part and parcel of that thing they call a career.

Are you interruptable? Should you be?


Completely knackered. An accumulation of two or three weeks of late nights (bed at 1am, up at 7am) and I’m struggling to stay awake… it’s only 7.40pm but I could quite happily go to bed right now. The only reason I’m not going to is because I’d only wake up at 1am, wide awake, get up and end up staying up for a couple of hours…

Was in a Ford Ka last night for the first time, and was quite impressed, very roomy inside and took my largish 6′ frame comfortably, and I reckon you could get another 6 footer behind me too. The car in question also had that new car smell as my sister only received it on Tuesday, her first car! Which reminds me that I haven’t publically congratulated her on her new job.

She qualified with a degree in … umm… HR stuff… and has landed a 6 month contract (possibly longer) doing HR for a local hotel (technically for the part that runs the luxury lodges). Needless to say she’s well chuffed. Well done Jen, onwards and upwards (you’ve got the car, next is a flat!! 😉 )

In other news, my “presentation” is actually a seminar and will take place on March the 2nd in the Lighthouse in Glasgow, courtesy of Urban Learning Space. Places are limited and invitation only, and there will be around 20-25 people in attendance. I’ve made a start on the presentation and you guys and gals will be the first to see it, and naturally I’ll be expecting some feedback.

Right, I’m off to write up a proper spec for that WordPress plugin (see previous post), jot down a few ideas for another website (ohh I’ve not mentioned that yet, have I? bugger… all in good time I guess), make a nice cup of hot chocolate and retire to bed to finish Attention All Shipping.


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Congrats to our HR/Office Manager Lynn who’s just given birth to 8lbs of baby goodness, Robyn.

Which reminds me of a funny story.

In my distant past I used to help out at the local Hospital Radio station (must get that site updated…) on the request show. It’s a fairly simple setup, you wander round the wards, chat to some patients and take requests for their favourite record. The maternity wards were always a favourite – younger patients, hotter nurses… er… more modern music choices – and so it was one night that we headed back to the station, requests in hand.

Now much as I’d like to give the impression that it was a highly organised setup it was usual more a case of rushing back ten minutes before the show started, looking out the first few tracks and jumping on air without much thought. Hence the reason the show, that night, started with the opening line of:

“Welcome along to the request show, we’ve got a stack of requests to get through tonight, so let’s get started. First up, a request for Nancy in Ward 5 from her husband. He’s so delighted that she’s just given birth to a baby Robin…”

Cue fits of giggles.

Still makes me chuckle.


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Are you pondering what I’m pondering?
To send or not to send, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler to share or to take advice solely…

Do I send a link to the Dti Work-Life Balance Campaign (via Jon) to our HR manager? Hmmmm…

With apologies to Mr.Shakespeare who, of course, wrote:
“To be, or not to be, that is the question:-
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And, by opposing, end them?”

Culture? Pure dead cultured, me*.

* to be said with Glaswegian accent

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Lunchtime finds
FLEA. The most basic cartoon ever (via Bloing Bloing)

Ugly sentiments sting American tourists. Interesting article about how American tourists are being perceived in Europe. Includes some tips for American tourists wanting to avoid confrontation, e.g. “Soften your speech; Americans typically overshadow their hosts in the volume department” which in itself is atypical (‘overshadow’ – what an understatement). Thankfully the article does point out that most people in Europe are against the American government and the way it portrays itself, but quite welcoming to Americans in general, I’ve heard there are a couple of them that aren’t too bad… 😉

And nicely related to the previous link is this article by Simon Schama: The Unloved American ?It is incredible how naively cocksure Americans are in their belief that they can whip any enemy whatsoever,? noted Knut Hamsun in the 1880s.

At Google, the Proof Is in the People. A meteoric rise to prominence, which cannot be denied, has been founded on the belief that employees come first. Man, I hope someone from our office reads this (think I’ll forward it on to our HR Manager anyway)

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Naked chicks, increase your penis size, solve your debt… sorry, just been clearing out some of my email inboxes, I like keep a couple of hotmail accounts for ‘junk’ purposes.
Anyway, in the midst of all the spam I do get a couple of newsletters from sources I can no longer remember. In one I found a few chapters of the following book available for download: Seven Highest Value Forms of Organizational Storytelling.

This is the kind of thing I like to pass on to my boss and HR department (usually with a comment like, see it IS possible to do things properly…)

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Completely unrelated to the post below but if I DID have £2700, this little item may appear on my shopping list.

I’ve not got a DVD player, I use my PlayStation 2 for that, mainly because I have around 400 films on video.

Now if only the JVC HR-XV1 had a DVD recorder, I’d be sold!

Life Work

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