HR Confession #2 - Someone Lost a Head Today

Someone lost a head today - literally.

A few years back, my department of two gave me an "Ashes of Problem Employees" jar for my birthday. At first it was only a conversation piece, for a while it hid our chocolate, and then it became our stress relief. Since OSHA, Safety Officers and cleaning services alike do not take well to fires in their buildings, we had to come up with something else to relieve our stress. So, and I am not really sure where this came from - Amy?!, we began to cut out paper people. Remember the chain of paper dolls you made when you were in grade school? Yes, those are the ones. Now, how many of you remember how to make the paper people? Not only make them, but make them in a chain? Hint: It is all about the folds.

When things got a bit tense with a particular person, we would take a paper person, detach him/her from the group and rip their head off. Both head and body were ceremoniously deposited into the jar. If you look in my jar you will see a paper person with my name on it deposited there by a team leader a few years ago. Seemed like it just wasn't right for him to take one of my paper people, put my name on it and cut off my head, but a little voice, my better judgement, told me it was probably not the time to inform him of that. I keep that person in there to remind me that things go both ways, that yes, I can drive people crazy too and that I need to know when I do.

Heads roll in fun and as a way to relieve the stress of a moment. So, someone may have lost a head today but the relationship was spared and we understand each other a little bit better. Isn't that what it is all about?