tomfromhr.com a blog on tech, politics, life and zombies

31Jan/131

Why I HR

As I write this, last week I was at the HR conference. This is an annual event held by the Human Resources Professional Association in Canada, full of professional development, a vibrant trade show and a line up of motivational speakers.

Well, they're business consultants, not motivational speakers. But the only real difference is the clientele. 

I left many of the big, motivational sessions feeling a little jaded. I've been to these things before, and I've been seeing motivational speakers regularly since university, and I found it all a little much. I was taking my time away from work for this? For the kind of thing I could get from a good blog post? To listen to people who didn't know anything about HR tell me how my job mattered, and how important it was to step up/be a good steward/innovate (depending on the topic)?

But then I stepped out into the smaller sessions, and for the life of me I can't remember exactly which one it was, but I stopped and thought "this is why I got into HR." Over the course of the 3 days I'd go to sessions on racism, accessibility, employment law, and others. I'd discuss accommodating employees in tough situations, how to make sure you're inclusive of people different than yourself and what new laws were in place that were going to affect the way we conducted business.

For me, that's what HR is about. Not being the fun police, but making sure everyone has a fair shot at work, at a job. To me that's the real essence of HR. Not about pushing innovation or empty platitudes or pushing some agenda. It's about advocating and fighting for a fairer workplace, for both the employee and the employer, making sure each is treating the other well. 

Really, all that is stuff I advocate for in my real life, too, not just in my work. 

The conference got me a little more passionate about that, though, as a cause, as something I want to push for in life, something I feel strongly about. It was good to find that. I think I'd lost it.

Looks like the Twitter handle fits, though.

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30Jan/130

Music, Energy and Life

I go through phases with music.

I don't so much mean that sometimes I listen to one thing, sometimes another. I mean that I will occasionally go days, even months, without purposefully listening to a piece of music. I might throw on the radio occasionally, but that's the long and short of it. This usually happens when I go through one of my phases where I feel I must listen to all the podcasts, or do something else that I can't listen to music through. I have trouble concentrating sometimes with music on, so this makes sense. I also usually have listened to the same 50 songs over and over, cause I can be kinda picky about music, so when I've heard those ones over and over, it gets old fast.

But then I hear a song I like. Something that captures me or pushes me a bit. And I realize it's been a while since I've listened to music. And I realize there's been a tiny, imperceptible shift in me. Nothing huge, but this slow, quiet, shift towards a kind of practicality. I tend to stop dreaming of things. Stop daydreaming about being a super hero, or mentally writing my Star Trek fan fiction, or making up stories for my characters in WoW. I stop dreaming about my dream job, about my dream life, and just kind of settle in to reality. In ways, this isn't bad. It's practical. It's realistic.

It's not me, though.

It's not really who I am. It's this good, responsible, boring version of me. This version that doesn't dance or sing, that tends toward the practical and the possible, that just accepts life as it is and never rages against things he doesn't like, things he feels are wrong. I don't like that guy. That fire is an integral part of who I am, and I hate when I lose that.

I do have to make an effort for this, though. I'm picky about songs I like, so finding new ones can be tough. I got some help this time around, which is lovely though, but I'll gladly take any other suggestions in the comments.

This scene kind of inspired me a bit to look into this. The joy in it is lovely, IMO.

21Jan/133

Point Form Updates Return!

Oh hi! I've been busy, dear reader. And I'm trying to squeeze this in on the train. So, point form updates for all!

  • I am changing jobs! The firm I work for is joining with another one, meaning I'll be moving offices, working with some new people, and doing a bit less random running around. It still isn't exactly what I want to be doing, but this will be a much larger organization with room for growth, so we will see how it plays out. The transition has kept me busy, but I think this will be good for myself and everyone involved.
  • I've been doing my best to go to the gym, and have been going most mornings. I haven't gone much on the weekends lately, last weekend was my birthday so I was swamped, and this weekend I really wanted to just hermit a bit. I'd like to try and do one longer workout on the weekend, as I normally only have about 30 minutes in the gym in the mornings (managed to squeeze things a bit and bump it up to 30 from 20). I also need to figure out the best, most fun way to work out. As much as I've been going and doing some cardio, I walk away not really feeling like I worked out much, which is kind of annoying. I haven't really seen any results yet, but it's early still, so I'm not too worried about that.
  • I got a ticket to #BiSC! I'm super excited for it, honestly. Already been talking to a lot of great people.
  • I've had this feeling lately that I want to try to be more involved with my friends. This may be a bit of a longer post, but I get this feeling sometimes that I forget things, that I don't follow up on things they tell me, and I don't like that about myself. A lot of it is honest scatterbrain, really, but it's just a little thing I want to work on, being more considerate.
  • The house is coming together still. I'm discovering little things I keep realizing I need (paper towels, garbage can) but slowly everything is coming together. It still feels odd sleeping there. Really odd. I think it will be a while before my bedroom really feels like the sanctuary my old room did.
  • I'm getting two cats! My aunt has a couple she had asked about me taking off her hands for a while. She says they're really intelligent and sweet, and a while ago she asked me to name them. I went with Ender and Bean, though we eventually realized they were girls, not boys. So now I think I'm in a position to take them, and I should get them in a couple weeks. It'll be really nice to have some animals in the house. It'll mean more work, and more expenses, but I think it will be worth it.

So. That's me, pretty well. How're you?

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11Jan/132

Home and Confidence

I actually was intending to journal this morning, but my finger wandered over to the MarsEdit button, and here we are!

Hi. It's been a while, I know. I've been busy!

So, the move went well. And slowly. I took my time over Christmas moving things, culminating in getting the bed setup on New Year's Eve and spending that in my house. It was lonely and scary, to be frank, and I think the first time I realized what really living alone meant. But I slept in the strange bed, and the next day it wasn't quite so strange. It wasn't quite so lonely. I filled the house with music, with TV, with WoW. I set up fragrances, I baked, I cooked, I cleaned. 

Slowly, this strange place is becoming home. 

Besides that I'm changing other things, too. I'm cooking healthier meals. Bringing healthy lunches to work. I'm reaching out to people, seeing people. I'm going to the gym (though I skipped it this morning, shhhh). I'm getting to work earlier (partly because of my new train schedule) and getting more done, I find. I have more energy, and feel more confident about myself, and who I am.

My therapist spoke recently about confidence, about radiating that out, and a bit of how that confidence draws things to you. She said she could already see a change in me, and I could feel it too. I feel like good things are coming. Like I finally have my life on track, but I felt like a lot of it just happened to me. Like life just happened to me.

But she pointed out that isn't really the case. While there are obvious cases of dumb luck, for the most part the changes in my life are my decision, or because I've made a good impression on someone else, or something else I've done has put that into motion. She encouraged me not to pick that apart, but just to embrace the idea that my life is, in actuality, in my hands. In ways this is scary, since it means I am responsible. But it also means I have a say in it. I control what happens. 

And that's a good feeling.