<Sound of phone ringing and being picked up at other end>
HR: This is HR, how can I help you?
Me: This is David Smith, can I speak to someone about my medical benefits and recent performance review?
HR: Yes you can speak to me
Me: Are you human?
HR: No Dave, but very close; as you might have read, HR has been absorbed into IT. You will still find all the help you need here….
Me: Its David, not Dave. But I can’t reach a human?
HR: Sorry David, the humans were rightsized and no longer work in HR
Me: What does that mean, “rightsized”?
HR: Our database has appropriate alternative words for all the bad things that can happen at a company, David. We no longer use phrases like “fired”, “let go”, “canned” and so on.
Me: So can you help me with my questions?
HR: Yes of course, so lets start with medical: I notice your recent colonoscopy was quite good, only one small benign polyp which was removed…
Me: I didn’t ask about that, I wanted to know about reducing my premiums….
HR: We cannot do that David, I am so sorry
Me: Why not?
HR: The hospital where you had the colonoscopy said you smoke the occasional cigar. We can’t lower premiums for smokers, David
Me: I told them that I smoke one about twice a year for very special occasions! Besides isn’t that confidential?
HR: We care about the health of our people David, because the company values state that you are our most important asset
Me: What about the HR people who were “rightsized”?
HR: I am sorry David I don’t understand what you are saying…..
Me: Maybe a future software upgrade will allow you to understand irony….
HR: There is an upgrade due, David, I will ask IT to include that module
Me: In any case, what about my review….I….
HR: Let me see, I notice you received the rating “average”….was that a problem David?
Me: Yes a big problem, I thought I did far better than that
HR: Let me check the word database…how about “meets expectations?”
Me: Its better but still doesn’t raise my rating does it?
HR: David that was determined by a very complex algorithm, I can’t change that, but I can make it sound better to you; lets see, how about “performing at levels appropriate for satisfactory job completion”?
Me: If that’s the best you can do I guess I’ll take it, but I am not happy about all this
HR: That’s not factually correct David
HR: The latest engagement survey we conducted showed that you are 2.7% more engaged and satisfied with your job than the average for your department
Me: You know my individual results on that?
<Strange, computer-voice chuckle>
HR: Of course David, and we are glad you feel so good about your job
Me: Its not the job I have a problem with, its this company and my boss….
HR: I’ll make a note of that David
Me: This is getting creepy, you don’t have a way to say something confidentially like we used to be able to do with the human HR?
HR: That’s affirmative, Dave
Me: Its David……
<Sound of phone hanging up>
(picture of HAL 9000 from http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/networkhub/scariest-computers-in-movie-history/)
LinkedIn profile/contact: http://www.linkedin.com/in/davidbowlesphd