Sometimes technology isn't all it's cracked up to be. Texting can be a challenge.
On many levels.
Autocorrect can be a nightmare. (If you want a good laugh, visit Damn You Autocorrect! Disclaimer: Website may contain content that may not be appropriate for all audience members. Viewer discretion is advised. Additionally, please follow your company's policies on appropriate use of the internet. Ideally, you should be off the clock, off work premises and off your company's wifi/server, as well as not using your company's devices. You have been warned.)
I cannot tell you how many times I have experienced text missteps. And a few doozies! ("Deck" sounds awfully like another word that starts with "d" and ends in "ck".) Luckily, I generally ("generally" is the key word here, folks) work with people who have a sense of humor, don't take things personally, don't get easily offended and otherwise have a pulse. So I have yet to find myself in a professional predicament due to texting failures.
And before you ask, yes, I have experienced some work-related trouble for really stupid non-work related things, like boxed wine and photobooths. (Ooooo, feathered boas are so offensive!) Those are for later posts. #HRShenanigans)
I really enjoy the people I work with. We have so much fun at work (and outside of work, I might add) - which is very refreshing after having experienced some pretty dismal work environments in the not too distant past. We laugh. A lot. And this is supported by leadership.
I know. I know.
One of the things I find myself looking forward to are the emails and text messages from my boss. He frequently uses the talk to text function on his phone, which creates some really interesting content. And what's better is when he sees it, but rather than correcting it, he leaves it as is, and more clearly enunciates so you get the original translation, followed by the corrected translation.
This amuses me. Here's an example:
(I didn't get his permission to post this. I hope I don't get fired.)
People, listen up. I don't care what industry you work in, what title you hold, or what professional standards you feel the need to adhere to. It's ok to make mistakes. And it's ok to laugh about them. I really feel strongly about creating a work environment where people can be who they are, and where laughter is a prominent characteristic of the work culture. If you're so uptight that people can't share in laughter for fear of the punishment that follows (i.e., the "talking to"), I encourage you to re-evaluate your work culture.
Bunny Trail: Remind me to tell you about the time my husband received a verbal warning for "being too happy at work."
I'm not kidding. That sounds like a fun workplace, doesn't it? "Welcome to Fuddy-Duddy Insurance Company. We're glad you're here. But not too glad. In fact, we prefer that people aren't too glad about anything. Grumpiness and frowning are encouraged."
Please don't be a stick in the mud. Be the kind of person, and more specifically the HR practitioner and/or business leader that people look forward to interacting with. Positivity and joy are contagious. Feel free to spread fervently.
From there to here, from here to there,
I’ve always been a fan of keeping options open. I like choices.
Just because you may not actively be seeking other employment, if you’re contacted by a recruiter, what does it hurt to explore the opportunity he/she presents to you? You can always say no. But what if it’s a fantastic opportunity? Or your dream job? How would you know unless you looked into it a little further? Recruiters and hiring managers may be reaching out to you hoping to woo you away from your current position with a more challenging role, a different type of role altogether, better compensation, a more robust benefits package, retirement plans, stock options, and/or additional perks – such as a more flexible work schedule, the ability to work from home, unlimited vacation, paid volunteer time off, etc..
Maybe you’re working for a great company, but you're not so happy with your current position and/or duties. You don’t feel challenged. The work doesn’t inspire you. The duties are just plain tedious and aren’t working your strengths. Or maybe you’re really great at those duties, but they make up 90% of the job, and you just plain hate doing them.
Maybe you would be happy in your current position if it weren't for _____ (fill in the blank). Your supervisor/manager is a narcissistic, egotistical jerk. There are toxic people on your team that the company seems to hold on to for far too long despite your sound advice and counsel. There is a complete lack of accountability, integrity, transparency. Leadership doesn’t behave in alignment with company values. The compensation isn’t aligned with the competitive market range. The benefits package is lacking. The work impedes on your ability to be present in your life outside of work – lack of flexibility and/or paid time off. Literally, this list is endless.
If you’re in this type of situation, I think it’s time to really consider whether or not you’re in the right position and/or right company. First, you can’t control others. You can only control yourself – your thoughts, feelings, behavior, responses, etc. Second, with that in mind, you have a decision to make. Here are your options:
If you’re that unhappy in your current role/company, take the necessary steps to look for a role that better suits you and meets your needs. There is absolutely no point in continually complaining about the company, the team, your boss, the position, the whatever. Notice that there wasn’t a third option: Stay and complain. This is not an option. I totally get that there are often a lot of things to complain about. But the question is, can you do anything about them? If you can, what’s stopping you? Maybe you have done everything you can to influence positive change, but in the end you aren’t the decision maker, and the decision has been to keep things status quo. Bummer. Or maybe the direction of the company just isn't a direction you want to go.
What are you going to do?
HR Pros, I implore you. Do not get sucked in a negative space. The role of HR is critical in a company. Your job is to demonstrate appropriate behavior, positive interactions and attitudes, and be supportive - whether through change or staticity. It’s super easy to vent. But BEWARE. Your attitude, disengagement, frustration and anger are felt by those around you. They’re little seeds that you’re planting. Your garden will grow accordingly. The seeds you plant affect others’ ability to work and engage in their respective roles. Negativity breeds negativity. Toxicity breed toxicity. Don’t be a part of that cycle.
I’ve seen people so angry and frustrated with their manager or company that they throw gigantic fits. They tell people off. They purposefully try to sabotage the work of others, or possibly destroy documents or their own work product because they don’t want the company to have it, or the manager to take credit for it. I don’t understand this whatsoever.
Several years ago, I worked for an organization that was wrought with toxicity. People were horrible to each other. Leadership was secretive, immoral and unethical. Rumor-milling, bitching and drama were the norm. I found myself increasingly frustrated with the lack of accountability and the lack of alignment between the values posted on our walls and accepted behavior and performance. Why was this even allowed? One of the senior leaders said it best: “We all have choices.”
Yes, we do.
If you choose to stay in your current role with your current company, with all of the things that you disagree with, stop complaining. Stop the drama. Stop fault finding. Stop blaming others. Look at yourself. Be disciplined enough to be self-aware, self-reflective, and accountable. Your fits of rage and the words you spew ultimately reflect more poorly on you. Sure, you could get in the last word and hurt others in your revenge. What does this accomplish? I’ll tell you: Nothing. Nothing except a sad tale that others tell. (Remember the "Who's coming with me?" scene from Jerry Maguire? Yeah…. Don’t do that.)
If you choose to stay, accept what it is, and continue to put in your best effort in influencing the positive change you believe is right for the employees and the business. And do so with joy in your heart. You are not a victim of your work circumstances. You can, in fact, choose to engage with a positive attitude and encourage others to do the same.
And if you choose to leave your current position – for whatever reason – leave well. Don’t burn bridges. (After all, it’s a small world. Word gets around if you’re a pill.) Don’t make it your duty to write a long dissertation about everything that’s wrong with the company, the boss, your supervisor, your team, other employees, etc. The words you choose are a reflection of YOU and your character. Take what you have learned, and use it to help refine who you are as an HR professional and as a person.
People, there is enough negativity in the world right now. We each have the ability to choose the thoughts we indulge, our behaviors and our response to others and our circumstances. No one can make you do anything. It is your choice. If you are indulging negative thoughts, which lead to negative behaviors, stop it. Please. Stop.
Your choices are a reflection of your character.
Think about that.
Your choices are a reflection of your character.
Who are you? How do you want others to perceive you? How do you want others to feel after interacting with you? What legacy are you leaving? What do you want to be remembered by?
Whatever your answers are to those questions, leave in a manner that agrees with them.