Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Snow Drifts Are Rising. A Report From the Real World By Cracker Jack.

A bit of terror from the world beyond the academy.

I work in that place you send all your students -- you know, where "if you act like that in the 'real world', we'll see how you fare"?

Today some HR person put up a big sign showing a bare tree and the words "Recognize your colleagues. Say thanks for a job well done." Attached at the bottom of the sign was a pouch with pieces of paper upon which one could identify their colleague and why they are so wonderful along with tape to affix it to the tree.

Each piece of paper? A snowflake.

Winter is coming.


  1. I'd say it's already here, and the first snowflake is that HR person. Why isn't (s)he teaching kindergarten? (not that that would be good for the kindergartners, but that's the only place I've encountered such methods).

    1. My company's singular HR lady is actually a former 2nd grade teacher -- and it shows. She practically leads new employees around the office by the hand to introduce them to their coworkers. In her daily interactions, she's terribly condescending, because she literally has no other way of interacting with other humans besides teacher-child.

      It seems that HR has become a safe haven for those people who go to college and want to HELP PEOPLE but aren't smart enough to do the traditional people-helping things, like nursing or elementary ed. No one is safe from the snow drifts, not even in industry. :(

    2. That sounds about right to me, Lucy. I think there are some former cheerleaders who have found refuge in HR offices as well.

  2. HR = snowflake (and/or the worst ignorant condescension that El Ed flakery currently produces) + fascist/Internal Affairs power trips.

    Doesn't HAVE to be that way, but WAY too often it IS that way...

  3. This reminds me of the student-as-customer "training" I was subjected to about 20 years ago. Each team-building session began with a charter of house rules, each time ending with "recognition" and "celebration". Those were never defined. My idea of "celebration" would have been to get drunk.

    That "training" didn't do me any good personally and it only convinced me that the HR office was filled with snake-oil peddlers who spent their days trying to justify their paycheques.

  4. * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * Cal, * * * * * * *
    * * * * Thanks for * * *
    * * * a job well done. * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
    * * * * * * * * * * * *

  5. Isn't HR just the Education Department of the business?

  6. "Winter is coming."

    Then you MUST invest in my forthcoming student/administration laborcamp system.

    "Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
    Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
    And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
    But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
    Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
    I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
    To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
    I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
    Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
    Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
    Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
    And that so lamely and unfashionable
    That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
    Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
    Have no delight to pass away the time,
    Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
    And descant on mine own deformity:
    And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
    To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
    I am determined to prove a villain
    And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
    Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
    By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
    To set my brother Clarence and the king
    In deadly hate the one against the other:
    And if King Edward be as true and just
    As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
    This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
    About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
    Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be."

    - Richard of Gloucester,
    "Richard III"

  7. Re "Winter Is Coming," I'm now imagining this sort of thing showing up at the Night Watch headquarters ("snaps for John Snow!"). Better yet, at King's Landing, where Joffrey will probably behead anyone who compliments anyone other than him. I've been watching too much Game of Thrones.