Category Archives: Twitter

Confessions of a Current (and Former) Social Media Whore

There. I said it. A lot of you already know it. I know some of you have talked about it, so let’s bring it out in the open. My attitude towards social media changes more than my underwear during any given week. Sometimes I feel like everything is so damn fake and I want to delete everyone I don’t see personally within any given month. The remaining people will be declared my close inner circle and everyone else is persona non grata. Then other times I want so many followers I find myself turning into my own little version of Jim Jones. There used to be no rhyme or reason to my whims. One day I’d have 400 Facebook friends, then whittle it down to 100, then get off Facebook altogether for months at a time. Actually that’s how the whoring started.

I think it was last summer when I decided I wasted too much time on Facebook. It was all Facebook. I had a Twitter account but never used it, same with LinkedIn, no Google Plus, no Tumblr, no Instagram, no FourSquare…all Facebook. And I was quitting. And then I replaced that addiction with what? Reading? Exercise? Cleaning my house? Nope. Twitter. If Facebook is crack then Twitter is crystal meth. It’s a faster pace, more immediately gratifying, and it will get you hooked INSTANTLY. My personal Twitter was ok for a while, but then I started the blog. And I needed a Twitter for that, which has now pretty much totally replaced the personal Twitter. Then I rejoined FB because of the blog.

meth Social-Logos

THEN I GOT A JOB AT A MARKETING AGENCY WHERE EVERYTHING IS SOCIAL ALL THE TIME, ALWAYS. I feel like a diabetic working days at Krispy Kreme and nights at Baskin Robbins. And the thing was, I didn’t expect people to be friendly. I didn’t expect people to give a crap about what I had to say…but they did. And that’s the biggest high of them all. People kept following me and I felt obliged (on Twitter) to follow them back. The more I followed, the more people followed me, and doesn’t this sound like the intro to an episode of Intervention?! It snowballed. I became friends with people. We connected on LinkedIn and then Facebook. Yes, most of this was me friending people, but some of them friended me! I swear!

news_generic_intervention

And then there was Klout. OMG for someone as bitchy and judgemental as myself, it was nirvana. A quantifiable way to determine someone’s “cool factor” as it were. First my score was 54. Then I linked all accounts to it that I could find and friended everyone and their dog catcher. I watched with glee as it slowly crept up. It lingered on 65 so long I thought I was going to have to screw George Takei to get it any higher, but higher it went. Past the scores of people that I liked and respected and just knew had more real clout that I do. It went all the way to 68 and I loved it.

mean girls

Then, I began to see the cracks in the Matrix. First off, LinkedIn is about as useless as a third nipple with regard to “clout”. I have recommendations from people I have never met. Because my world is somewhat HR-centric, I am an open networker on LinkedIn. Taking any and all requests. I know a lot of recruiters and if strangers connecting with me can help my recruiter friends find a candidate, great. But when a random boat captain (what?) started endorsing me for all kinds of skills, it became a bit silly. Really? Do you just expect me to endorse you back? For what, boat captaining? I do not feel qualified to give that reference.

This is all I know about piloting a boat. If you had anything to do with this, especially the peanut butter version, we can be friends for life.

This is all I know about piloting a boat. If you had anything to do with this, especially the peanut butter version, we can be friends for life.

Then, Twitter got ugly. I was following about 3000 people because I had largely felt obliged to follow everyone who followed me. I was up to 3800 followers and was very grateful, till I realized they mostly don’t give a shit. I can’t keep up with following 3000 people. You might be able to. Congrats. I can follow about 350 and get genuine, good info that I can use. Any more and my brain will explode. I unfollowed about 90% of my 3000 and 1100 followers went away within a week. If you are one of the ones I purged, I am sorry. It’s not that I didn’t like your tweets. It’s that I probably never saw them. I’m thrilled that 2700 people stayed with me – that seems way high. But I’m also sad that 1100 people were evidently only following me to get me to follow them back.

The exodus from my Twitter.

The exodus from my Twitter.

Remember when social media was supposed to be fun and helpful and not a spiteful high school popularity contest? Yeah, me neither. Still. It’s getting to be too much.

I purged the Twitter. I’m keeping the Facebook but using it less. The blog is down to once a week (for the most part) because I’m busy with school and work this summer. My Klout score is down to 64 and falling fast. I’m ok with that. I’ve decided I’d rather have a few good friends and colleagues in this industry that I really get to know vs. being Jim Jones with my brain falling out. I’m still super friendly and awesome. You can still find me on LinkedIn, but I’m no longer keeping score. In my mind, that means I’m winning.

I’m a Big Ol’ Liar – Orientation Guest Post Instead

I know, I know.  I said “the Plan” would be coming out today BUT…

liar

a) The weekend got away from me and I haven’t written it yet.

b) My guest post was published!  I want to tweet about that and get that some notice first.  SmartRecruiters, and in particular Lexie Forman Ortiz (@LexieFO), took a chance letting me write for them AT ALL, let alone about a topic that isn’t about recruiting.  The least I can do is plug that as much as possible.

 

Here’s the link to the SmartRecruiters blog:

http://www.smartrecruiters.com/blog/5-tips-for-getting-new-employee-orientation-right/

Please enjoy.  ”The Plan” will be revealed later in the week.  Cross my heart!

Change Doesn’t Take Time – It Takes Change

My life has been through some great changes recently and I think it’s got me hooked on the whole concept of change now.  I’m jonesing for more change.

A Brief Recap

joanIn May 2011, I was in pain.  I had 2 ruptured discs in my neck and ended up having major surgery.  That summer kinda sucked.

In May 2012, I was in a different kind of pain.  I was severely depressed and having panic attacks and afraid to tell anyone about it.  My family, friends and coworkers knew I’d suffered depression for years but it had gotten markedly worse in April/May and I didn’t want anyone to know that part.  I thought they’d be worried that I’d do something awful and irreparable, even though nothing like that EVER crossed my mind.  I was in pain though and suffered largely in silence.  Last summer definitely could’ve been better.

slothNow it’s May 2013 and life is AMAZING.  I’ve made great progress in school and I can see the finish line, somewhere.  I have a new-ish and fantastic job that is a PERFECT fit for me.  I love the people I work with, I get to wear sweatpants/no pants about 80% of the time, and still be bossy and a perfectionist.  My family and friends are doing well.  My $$$ is doing well.  My depression is under control.  I have quit smoking for a while now.  Life is good.  Change is good.

What Happened?

welcomeDid it take a year for all this change to happen?  No, it’s taken 4 months and 13 days.  How do I know that?  Because I started this blog on January 4th.  Unemployed at the time, I wanted something to occupy my time and learning more about HR seemed a good start since that was my field and I was basically faking it…or that’s how I felt.  Since then, this blog has been received warmly among people who clearly AREN’T faking it.  I’ve been invited to do guest posts for other blogs (will change link to my post once it’s published) and awesome people have assisted with mine.  I’ve met lots of new people, become more involved in my local HR and business scene, and “met” thousands more on Facebook and Twitter.  HR Rock Stars.  I have met some in real life, others I know I will one day, and some have become great confidantes, advisers and friends.  Remember when I said HR was a big ol’ clique?  Still true.  But when I said they were friendly and welcoming, I had no idea what an understatement that was.

The Change Process

How did I accomplish this?  Did it happen naturally and without any effort from me?  Absolutely not. I butted in.  I interjected in Twitter conversations I found interesting, I commented on blogs, I asked total strangers for advice and opinions, and totally crashed that party.  Was it always comfy for me?  No.  I am still intimidated by these rock stars since I have no degree (yet) and I’m only informally studying HR.  Why should the talent acquisition chief from Expedia ever talk to me?  Guess what?  He did.  He does.  You’re not reading this, but just in case…hi Jer!  (Honestly, when I reached out to him on LinkedIn, I thought he was someone else, but whatever.  He’s cool.  There’s a pic of him wearing a cape on my FB timeline, so he’s clearly odd, which is EXACTLY the type of people I like to be on my FB.) There were a few moments of awkwardness with some people but for the most part, it wasn’t too bad.  Stepping out of my comfort zone, not into a neutral gray area of I-don’t-give-a-damn-ness, but into active discomfort has achieved great results.

Now What?

Is my life perfect right now?  No.  I am still woefully overweight and out of shape…not beating myself up over this, though, cause I did quit smoking, so yea.  I want to add more value to my company, so I’m trying to learn accounting and more HR this summer.  I’m not quite done with school yet so there’s still some work to be done there.  My dad and I are talking, but there’s an elephant in the room we haven’t addressed.  I’m not going to link to it, but regular readers will know what that is.  I haven’t spent enough time with my local friends or talking to my distant ones (my real, non-HR people).  My apartment is a disaster.  I need to floss more.  You know, the usual.  It’s time for some more change.

People say change takes time.  No, it doesn’t.  It takes change.  Real, actionable, quantifiable CHANGE.  I look at my life right now and where I was 4 months and 13 days ago and it could not be more different.  So that’s my new project — the next three and a half-ish months.

project

I have a few weeks now before summer school starts.  Then 2 months of school and another few weeks of freedom.  On Labor Day, I want to look back and say, “I remember that day…sitting on my boss’s sofa at the ass crack of dawn because she accidentally scheduled herself a flight so early not even Superman would put up with that BS, blogging while her daughter slept, about to get her ready for school — and look how much my life has improved since then.”  Rolling over and watching Buffy till I fall asleep right now, though tempting and guaranteed to be awesome, is not going to bring about the change I’m seeking. That’s the old path; I already know where that leads.  I’m on a new path now.

I didn’t have a plan 4 months and 13 days ago and I still accomplished a lot…with some luck, some great friends/family, and some innovative interrupting, if you will, on my part.  This time I do have a plan and I am looking forward to BIG RESULTS and BIG ACCOUNTABILITY from you guys!  So what’s the plan?  What are my goals between now and Labor Day – and how do I intend to achieve them?  Ahh.  Check back on Tuesday and all will be revealed.

tuesday

 

Have a great weekend everyone!!  I’m starting my plan immediately!! – HRGF

Fun Friday – I Got an Advice Question!!

You guys!  I got my very first email asking for advice!  I’m a guru!

(I’m totally kidding.  I’m a college student and office manager.  Take everything here as mere suggestions and feel free to tell me I’m wrong in the comments.) 

Hi Dominique:

Thanks for the follow on Twitter. After reading your bio I thought that we might have a similar path.

I have been an Office Manager in the architecture industry for 22 years (20 with the same small business). The past few years I have taken an interest in HR – in wanting to help others succeed in the workplace, etc. Unfortunately, my current employment does not allow me to gain any HR experience as we have a solo HR person who is not really forthcoming. My Masters is in Organization and Management and I am not ready to spend a bundle more money for another degree in HR. Can you give me any advice on how you are organizing your self-study? I just joined SHRM and will start networking with the local chapter but besides that I am overwhelmed with where to start … so many twitter feeds, blogs, articles, etc. Are you focusing on a specific area? Not having HR experience I am not sure what area I would like best.

Thanks,

K

Dear K -

Thank you so much for writing me!  This made my day!

I think we do have a similar path with the office manager/self-study bit, but we differ in that you have a LOT more education than I do.  In fact, with a Masters in Organization & Management, I bet you already know a lot more than you realize.  Do NOT go back to school and spend more money on an HR degree.  (Anyone disagreeing with this opinion, please let me know in the comments, but I really think further spending in that area won’t get you the return on investment that you would hope.)  Plus, you might delve further into this and hate HR.  If you do some self-study and love it and want to become the world’s foremost expert, decide that later.  For now, no.

Also, I know it’s super easy to get overwhelmed with the Twitter, blogs, articles, etc.  Don’t stress too much over this.  You’ll never read or absorb it all.  Just take in what you can reasonably handle without stressing yourself too much.  An article or two a day that you really absorb is better than 12 that you don’t.  Also, the blogs aren’t so much actual lessons as people delivering different ideas and opinions.  They are great, certainly, but you’ll want to start off with a knowledge base that will allow you to get more out of the blogs, the tweets, and endless stream of information on the internet.

I did a review of 2 iPhone apps that I currently have on my phone.  I still use them and quiz myself when I get a moment.  These have helped because they’ve given me insight into areas of HR that I didn’t even know existed, and thus am weak in.  I never had to utilize them before.  If you go that route, keep a pen/notebook handy and jot down some terms or laws that you don’t know.  Even if you get the answer correct, if the term was unfamiliar, jot it down.  They won’t teach you all the principles, but they’ll point out what you don’t know and you can research later.

When you look at the apps, or even just that post to find a list of the various areas of HR, follow the blogs/Twitter accounts of businesses in that area: benefits brokers, insurance companies, HR outsourcing, payroll companies, staffing agencies, recruiters, risk management, employment law firms, etc.  Rather than individual people musing and giving their opinions, the businesses themselves often have blogs about laws, policies, and information that will count more as a lesson.

Some that I highly recommend:  Winston Benefits, Insperity, Infinisource, My Back OfficeMonster Thinking, Workplace Prof Blog, Winston & Strawn, LLP and Presidio Group.  This isn’t an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start.

Also, joining SHRM was a great idea.  I hope you joined your local chapter as well as national.  National SHRM puts out HR Magazine, which has excellent articles and even if you don’t understand 100% of it, it will point you in an area that you can research more.  Also, reach out to your local SHRM officers.  I’m not sure how your chapter works but in Baton Rouge they have a general meeting approximately once a month.  They may not have speakers lined up months in advance, but they generally have some idea of a topic a couple months ahead of time.  It may be as general as “safety”, but you can ask about upcoming topics and study beforehand so you’ll be able to engage more fully in the meetings.  The SHRM website also has good articles and chats where you can ask questions and engage with other people.

Also, I’d encourage you to try again with the HR person at your office or maybe even a little higher up.  Do not approach this as you trying to do their job (or neglect yours), but just say you’re interested and feel that some cross-training would benefit the office.  You’d like to learn enough to be the “emergency backup”.  Not only will it help you learn a little more, it really will benefit your company.  This person could become ill, take another job, get hit by a bus or win the lottery and leave you all in a lurch. This is especially true in a small office which has a smaller talent pool to draw from.  There is no job on Earth that doesn’t need an emergency backup.  They don’t need to know 100% — just enough to keep things from falling apart till everyone adjusts.

As for me, my plans for self-study have changed/evolved a bit.  When I first started this blog in January, I had recently been unemployed and did this as a way to reach out, get more knowledge and not drive myself crazy at home with nothing to do.  I’ve since taken a job with a content marketing firm that assigns me articles and blog posts to write for our clients, many of whom are in HR-related businesses.  These require research and just doing that has taught me a lot.  I know that’s a bummer to say since not everyone has the ability to do this on the job and it’s one of the reasons I’m suggesting you try again, as nicely as possible, with your HR person at work.

In the meantime though, I’m reading blogs, I’m researching for work, I’ve occasionally got guests on this blog teaching me things (and I need to do more of that).  A delightful friend from Twitter, Liz Rominger, has agreed to loan me a SHRM PHR Learning System for the summer.  They are very expensive and I cannot afford one on my own, however, they are much less than a degree in HR, so perhaps you can.  Or maybe someone in your local SHRM chapter can loan you one.  Maybe even your local library…I never thought to check there.  You can even find older ones on eBay for a few hundred bucks less because they’re somewhat out of date.  We all know healthcare has changed since 2009, but the general principles in the rest of the materials are still the same and you can (and should) study the PPACA from multiple resources elsewhere anyway.  I wouldn’t go any older than 2009 – 2010, but that’s an idea.  Anyway, I’ll be borrowing Liz’s learning system once I finish finals on May 7, through about Labor Day.  I plan to go through the system in the order SHRM presents it and will post blogs on my progress. 

I hope you’ll keep me informed of your progress as well!  Hopefully we can learn from each other over the summer, but believe me, this is much more than a summer endeavor!  HR Pros are required to get continuing education for a reason.  Things change and the learning is constant.  This will definitely not be an overnight process for either of us, but we’ll get there!

Take care and good luck with your studies!

-HRGF

Did I miss anything guys?  Any additional advice you’d offer to K or advice of mine that was awful?  Let me know!

A Novel Approach to Intern Recruiting from MasterCard

I hate cash.  I really do.  I almost never use it and when I do, I always wonder if those bills were used for some type of nefarious purposes before they reached my hands.  Snorting coke, tipping a stripper, handled by someone who works at the CDC and didn’t properly clean the Ebola off themselves…who knows?  It’s gross.

SONY DSCWhat’s more, it’s inconvenient.  A few years back a friend and I went to a concert at the New Orleans Arena and parked across the street at the Superdome.  They gave us our ticket and we parked, went inside, and enjoyed the show without purchasing any beverages or food cause we had already eaten.  We never looked in our wallets.  It didn’t dawn on us until we were in the throes of the parking line that we’d now have to pay cash to be let out of the Superdome or be held hostage and delay hundreds of cars behind us.  We scrambled through our purses, the seats of her car, and the floorboards — and came up $1 short.  In her wallet, she had another $1 bill that she didn’t want to part with because a friend at her job had folded it into a perfect origami flower that she kept as a good luck charm.  We had no choice though, and had to unfold that masterpiece to get out of the garage.  I guess it was lucky we had it, but that seems like a poor reason to waste a good luck charm.

800px-Buick_Roadmaster_Wagon

That’s right. Grandpa was a balla’ yo!

My family also tells a funny story about my grandfather returning from a vacation in the Netherlands.  He took a cab home from the airport and did not realize until the driveway that he had not changed over any of his money yet.  I think he was able to pay the fare with a credit card but had nothing but Euros to tip this poor cabbie in Shreveport, Louisiana.  This isn’t DC or NYC where you can change that on any street corner.  This would have inconvenienced that cabbie quite a bit to accept a tip in Euros.  Instead, (and luckily) grandpa remembered that he kept an emergency $20 bill in a hidden compartment on the gas cap of his beloved faux-wood-paneled Buick Roadmaster station wagon/land yacht.  The cabbie waited in the driveway while grandpa had to get into the garage and fish out a $20 bill that had been in the gas cap for God knows how long and probably smelled of petrol enough to give the cabbie a headache.  See?  Cash is gross and inconvenient.

That’s why, when I read an article on Ryan Estis’ blog about MasterCard Worldwide and saw they were holding an internship contest around the idea of a cashless society, my eyes lit up IMMEDIATELY.   College students in the US, Canada, Italy, Turkey, China and Singapore will be developing ideas that might be implemented and lessen the need for gnarly paper money and stupid little coins.  Some people gripe about Big Brother.  Whatever.  I say bring it on!!  I can’t wait till I can pay for stuff with my retinas – and I bet these kids are going to have some GREAT IDEAS!

Add my bank balance and we have a deal.

Add my bank balance and we have a deal.

In the spirit of learning more about this global internship contest and how a huge corporation like MasterCard Worldwide runs their internships, I reached out.  Cut to – my teeny little blog here got an interview with Jen Cowan in HR at MasterCard!

mastercard_logo

Here’s our chat.  Jen’s responses about #internswanted are in BOLD.

How did you select the 6 countries?  Are those where the major MasterCard offices are located or were there other considerations? The six countries were not selected as much as they were the first to express interest in recruiting interns through this innovative social campaign method.

What do you prioritize in selecting interns?  Creativity?  Grades?  What is in the mind of the selection committee or individual during this process?   Overall, we like to see a well-rounded applicant. Our requirements are 3.0 GPA or higher, leadership experience, volunteer experience and demonstration of a work/life balance.  All of these characteristics fall within MasterCard’s vision, mission and values.

Internships will be held in areas of emerging payments, technology, marketing, issuer management and product management.  Apart from their major, how do you decide which team to place someone with?  The interviewing process gives us the opportunity to learn more about the students and what their interests are. From there, the students interview with the team to see if there is good fit.

We’ve all heard HR horror stories of interns being tasked with not much more than fetching coffee and dry-cleaning.  This sounds like a much more immersive process.  What is a typical day like in the life of a MasterCard intern?  We provide our interns with real life work experience.  Our interns will work on real projects.  At the end of the day, they can see how their efforts helped MasterCard as a whole.

Obviously the interns benefit from putting this experience on their resume and learning new skills and technologies in the corporate workforce.  What does MasterCard receive in turn from the interns?  The internship program provides us the opportunity to look at potential full time applicants.  We use this program as a 10 week job interview to see if the intern would be a good fit for their group and MasterCard.

globepic

This is the 3rd year that #internswanted has taken place, but the first year it’s gone global.  Why now?  Do you think including Millenials in Asia and Europe will give different viewpoints about the need for cashless societies?  We have seen such success with the campaign in Canada that we wanted to expand into other areas. This provides the opportunity to consider different parts of the business and different skillsets.

Are there any plans to expand to South America, Africa or Australia in the coming years? Yes, these would be locations to consider in the coming years.

Is there anything that was done in the first years that’s been changed or deleted?  Lessons learned from those programs that will make year 3 the best yet?  In the past, we asked a very broad question for the applicants to answer for the creative submission. This year, we are asking a very specific question.  From this, we should see some very exciting and creative submissions.

This process has been described as a 10 week job interview.  There are approximately 5 winners in each country, right?  Of those 30, how many do you estimate will be offered full-time employment with MasterCard upon graduation? If you come in and work hard, there are potential opportunities for full-time employment for post-graduation.  Depending on business need, we will be able to determine our full-time offers. Stefan from Canada is a great example.  He went through the program and is now a full-time employee.

Universally important.

Universally important.

What does an intern need to do to really shine and guarantee a job offer during those 10 weeks? To stand out at MasterCard, ask lots of questions, network, be well prepared, thought-provoking and punctual.

The application process includes a cover letter, resume’ and a creative/problem-solving element.  “Applicants are asked to submit an idea for a product, system, app or techniques that can help people go cashless in the future. Successful candidates will validate their application through social media using #internswanted— the more likes and retweets, the better the chances for success.”  Once selected, does the intern get to work on their idea at all or will they solely be working on other projects?  At this time, the interns will be working on business specific needs that have already been identified.

I’m sure a lot of ideas the students have are creative, but not ultimately feasible.  Do you encourage “out of the box” ideas or is MasterCard more focused on practicality? The #internswanted campaign provides us the opportunity to find those diamonds in the rough that are out of the box thinkers. The more creative the better.

What is the best advice you can give to an applicant to be successful in applying for this internship?  Think BIG and think outside the box. You have the opportunity to show MasterCard why you should be one of our summer interns.  Take the all the time you need to put your submission together. Be creative and have fun! If you have questions, reach out to the LinkedIn group for questions. We are here to help!

What is the best advice you can give to a winner to be successful during the internship? For any intern, I suggest being open-minded. Be open to feedback, ask a lot of questions and network as much as you can. You never know who may be looking for a full-time hire.

jonny_asking_questions_2networking539__1231533611_9633

This sounds like a fun program and I’m sure the winners will be glad to participate.  I was so thrilled to get to do this interview and it was very kind of them to answer my questions.  I am incredibly grateful.

There is more information at MasterCard’s website.  Even if you don’t plan to enter, the videos are cute.  I recommend them highly.

The US deadline for entry was April 7th.  The other countries will be accepting applications soon.  If you know a student in one of these other countries, I would encourage them to apply!  It will be great on a resume, it sounds like they’ll learn a lot, and if they can help the world go cashless then godspeed!!

Many thanks to @MasterCardNews, @CashCowan and @MasterCardBecca for their assistance and to @RyanEstis for that original blog post!

jen cowan

Jen Cowan is MasterCard’s Campus Program Manager tasked with identifying top innovators for their College Programs. In addition to campus recruitment, Jen is helping to shape the social media platform for HR and recruiting.  In her spare time, she is an avid tweeter, non-profit social media consultant, shopper and Food Network Groupie.

A Skirmish at SHRM-ish. Evening One.

Ok, so I ran around doing a million things today.  Drove across the river to feed a friend’s cats cause she’s out of town.  Got my hair done.  Finished the greatest piece of art the world has ever seen, washed clothes, unpacked my trunk cause I realized the Brits would need room for their luggage, watched some Walking Dead cause I need to catch up to discuss with Janine Truett and other stuff I can’t even remember.  Today has been a blur.

I arrived at Lucy’s Retired Surfer’s Bar & Restaurant around 8:15 pm.  I was supposed to go pick up the Brits, Doug Shaw and Bill Boorman, at the airport at 8, but their flight was delayed.  I had someone order me food before I arrived, ran in, met Lizzie Maldonado, Teela Jackson, Dwane Lay, Matt Charney, Robin Schooling, Bryan Wempen, Cat Carlos, Courtney Young, Jen McClure and all kinds of people.  It was great.  I scarfed my food like my life depended on it, despite that being the best shrimp and grits I have ever had EVER, right Lizzie?!  Then I ran to pick up the Brits at the airport.

Oof.  Couch to 5K starts next weekend, for SURE.  In the meantime, it was a blast meeting all these people and reconnecting with the ones I already knew!  So much fun!

Oof. Couch to 5K starts next weekend, for SURE. In the meantime, it was a blast meeting all these people and reconnecting with the ones I already knew! So much fun!

When most of my friends fly into Louisiana, they go to New Orleans.  I am much more familiar with the New Orleans airport than the Baton Rouge one.  Also, it was nighttime and I don’t know where all the parking entrances and exits are, so I lapped the airport about 17 times.  I saw the terminal with people just parked there in front of the doors but there were no spaces and cops everywhere and I didn’t know if that was allowed or what, so I just kept driving and driving and went the wrong way up some ramps a few times and I don’t even know.  No, I have not had a single drop of alcohol tonight.  I just hate this airport.

I finally figured it out and parked a grillion miles away.  Walked into the airport carrying my amazing artwork, and trying to keep it from catching air.  Then I get there and there are ZERO flights from Houston on the board.  There are about 19 from Dallas but NONE from Houston.  Now, the Baton Rouge airport only has 4 gates and 1 escalator anyway, so I wasn’t super worried about missing them within the airport, but I was briefly worried their flight had been diverted to NOLA.  That has happened to me twice, for various reasons.

A lovely gay couple became enraptured with my sign and they took my pic for me.  Then I went and sat near the escalator with my huge sign and just hoped that eventually I’d see someone.  Doug came down the escalator waving his arms gleefully like a child.  It was hilarious.  Immediate hugs and cheek kisses all around.  No, never met him, just know him from Twitter but it’s like we’re best buds already.  I love Twitter.  Then Bill came down waving also and we also hugged.  I handed out Mardi Gras beads instead of leis.  We walked to the front door and ran into Mike Haberman who had just landed and was attempting to get a ride to his hotel, so we scooped him up too.

The greatest piece of art the world has ever known.  Move aside, Guernica.

The greatest piece of art the world has ever known. Move aside, Guernica.

I left the fellas there with the sign and ran to get the car.  On the way to the car I realized that I had left my phone in my seat when I got up to hug Doug.  My superawesome iPhone with its superawesome iPhone case WAS NOW GONE.

I flipped out which did not help me find the exit from the parking lot any faster.  I actually attempted to drive out the entrance because it’s marked like 2 lanes go in and 2 go out, but no.  I’m sure I’m on security footage now with people either laughing at me or tagging my plates to put me on some kind of list.  Anyway.  I finally got out of the parking lot, headed up to the terminal, parked way at the end and did not give a damn that a cop was standing right there.  In fact, I asked him to guard my running car with my purse still in it by telling him I was picking people up but had left my phone.  Luckily he was very nice and agreed.

Greatest phone case in the world, ammirite?  You'd sprint into a state of asthma and angina for this too, don't lie.

Greatest phone case in the world, ammirite? You’d sprint into a state of asthma and angina for this too, don’t lie.

Sprinted inside, ran by the boys, told them to go find the car with the cop guarding it, and dashed for the escalator.  Phone was still there.  It was a SHRM miracle!  I caught my breath while we waited for Doug’s bag to get off the conveyor, dropped Haberman at his hotel, drove the Brits to their hotel (an adventure in itself because almost all of downtown is one way and I was using Google maps with audio.  That GPS bitch is an overachiever.  Hello, I’m at a red light!  You’re going 97 steps ahead of me and I can’t move!), they checked in, we took a pic with the sign (THAT WE ARE TOTALLY GOING TO REDO BECAUSE THAT VALET WAS AN IDIOT), walked to the bar I had recently left from and chilled with the gang some more.

All that ugly side of the hotel and you couldn't get the bottom of my awesome sign with the 2 guys it mentions?!  Come on!

All that ugly side of the hotel and you couldn’t get the bottom of my awesome sign with the 2 guys it mentions?! Come on!

They took off for another bar to hear some blues but I want to be semi-alert tomorrow, so I came on home.  I am exhausted now.  The conference doesn’t even officially start till tomorrow at 1.  My night was only from 8:15 – 11:15 and it was awesome, aggravating and terrifying when I thought I lost the phone.  I have no idea how I’d replace all that info.  I have to look into that.  Anyway.  I’m exhausted and I have to tweet golf in the morning.

You kids enjoy your breakfast tomorrow.  Look for #hrgolf tweets from the 1st 9 holes before I go to Jen McClure’s workshop!  Goodnight!

-HRGF

Update – And I just heard a ruckus outside like someone maybe breaking into cars, so I went to see…cause I’m a nosy dumbass like that, who enjoys her car.  Like what was I going to do?  Stop the criminals with my Buffy-esque fighting skills?  Why did I go out there?!  No, not breaking into cars…idiots littering beer bottles.  Part got between foot and flip flop and I stepped on it.  This better not be some kind of SHRM beginner’s curse.  The bleeding has stopped, but it’s painful and the peroxide was esp unpleasant.  Hope I don’t need a stitch.  Cross your fingers.

My First SHRM Conference – #lashrm13

Hey Gang!

The Louisiana Society for HR Management is having their conference in Baton Rouge this year and it goes from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday evening.  Some early birds are flying in on Saturday even, so there will be pre-conference fun as well.  I am attending the event as “press” because I will be live-tweeting most of my sessions and blogging to wrap up the day’s events.

Look for my Twitter to blow up with amazing info that I’m learning and some juicy behind the scenes scoop on some of my fave HR celebs too.

Mardi-Gras-Beads-new-orleans-6548364-2196-1188

I’ll be tweeting from my usual handle, @HRGalFriday.  My boss will be tweeting her sessions from the company account.  She’s attending some of the same things as me, so you’ll get to see two perspectives on the keynote speeches, for example, if you follow that Twitter also.  It is @RepCapital.

In addition to seeing some old HR buddies from around town that I don’t see very often like Robin Schooling and Christine Assaf, I am interested in meeting most of my Twitter buddies for the first time!  The list includes: Bill Boorman, Doug Shaw, Crystal Miller, Laurie Ruettimann, William Tincup, Bryan Wempen, Nisha Raghavan, Teela Jackson, Janine Truett, Lizzie Maldonado, Matt Charney, Dwane Lay, Jennifer McClure, Brad Galin, Broc Edwards, Mike Haberman, Sarah Williams, Michael VanDervort and probably tons more that I’m forgetting.  I am so excited.  If you aren’t following them all on Twitter by now, you should remedy that IMMEDIATELY.  They are all great and they’ll be tweeting about #lashrm13 too, I imagine.  (I am going to go so fangirl on Laurie Ruettimann, you don’t even know.  Check out her YouTube clips of her speeches. She is hilarious!)  And no, I did not link to all those Twitter accounts because I’m very lazy busy.  Just jot them down, the people are easy to find.

So far I am set to see keynotes from Dwane, Jennifer and Bill, a session about PPACA, one about FLSA, one about best practices in hiring veterans, one about social HR leadership from Doug Shaw, one about retirement and something from Brad Galen entitled “Who do YOU want to Hire?  A Monkey, Ninja, or Pirate?”  I’m getting WAY in the front for that one so I can tweet some pics, for sure.

crawfish21

I know one or two other little details that no one else is privy to just yet because I’m awesome and special.  Look for some fun updates and photos on my Twitter and here too, time permitting.  Also, the blogging…some might be here, some might be at http://repcapitalmedia.com/blog/ also.  Be sure to check both accounts and both blogs for all the scoop.  It’s going to be BIG FUN!

This post originally left off what I’m almost looking forward to the most.  At the ass crack of dawn on Sunday morning, after having been drinking and partying Saturday night and arriving from their various countries/locales, a few of the guys have decided on a round of golf.  Robin Schooling’s husband Douglas will be taking Dwane and Matt to play 18 holes.  Christine, Doug Shaw and I plan to watch the inevitable tears and recriminations.  I’ll be live tweeting the first 9 holes on Sunday morning with the hashtag #hrgolf before heading back for the official workshop to kick off the conference.  I expect it will be entertaining.

- HRGF

Also, before I forget, I am currently working on a blog post about a very cool internship program I’ve discovered being held by MasterCard.  They are holding contests for these internships in 6 countries around the world and the US deadline is April 7.  My post won’t be finished by then but if you or someone you know is registered full time at an accredited university in the US and looking for a cool internship, check out the MasterCard site for more details.  The webisodes are really funny.  Or, you can check out the #internswanted hashtag on Twitter, or check out @MasterCardNews.

Fun Friday: A Random Sampling of Thoughts…

It’s been an interesting week.  Pretty soon I’ll be able to tell you all why, but for now, please just know that things are going very well for me, apart from mild laryngitis/allergies/something.  I’m incredibly busy which is always good.  I’m incredibly tired, which is always good when it’s from being busy instead of being bored.  And I will have awesome news to share with you in approximately 2 weeks!

In the meantime, a few things…

1.  I read an amazing blog post this week that made me almost spit out my coffee.  Here it is: http://talentvanguard.com/2013/02/08/what-i-wish-i-knew-then/Everything she says is SO TRUE!  The spitting out my coffee came from the line about Secretary’s Day.  That has happened to me more times than I can count.  Also, if you aren’t following @JsarahwatsHR on Twitter, you really should be.  She’s delightful.

2.  The nostalgic tone of the above blog (and a few other events) got me to thinking about things I miss.  Here’s a random list in no particular order:

Drinking very diluted coffee/milk at my grandma’s house out of a wineglass because coffee and wineglasses were both very grown-up and she understood that I was a grown-up even at 5.

horses ClydesdalesHoreseVan_thumb[11]

Riding around with my parents, individually, which often led to great adventures – like getting lost and accidentally getting a tour of the Budweiser Clydesdale trailer and getting to pet the horses once with my mom, or spending an evening at the tiniest airport in the whole world climbing all over an airplane, flipping buttons and walking on the wings while my dad met with the plane’s owner about some sort of grown-up business.  I wasn’t listening.  I was busy being Evil Kneivel.

garden

I miss Miss Brooks.  She was an elderly woman that lived across the street from my grandma when I was little.  We’d go visit her often to “check on her” but really to see her garden.  It was magic.  It was the prettiest place I had ever seen at that age, and maybe even since then.  She and my grandma were great friends but when it came to gardening, they were frenemies and their competition was hilarious to watch.

I miss cameras with film.

I miss my grandpa’s woodshop.  When I was little I liked it cause he was more than likely building me something fun like a toy box or an art desk.  When I got a little older, he helped me build model bridges for the science fair.  After I graduated high school and spent the summer lifeguarding down the road from them, I used the garage/woodshop entrance when I’d come in from late nights at lifeguard parties or dates.  The alarm code was my grandma’s birthday and I still remember it: 6132.

I miss being in high school and living in a dorm.  That’s right, world.  I was a boarding school brat and I miss it.  Not always.  Not on those days when I get to go to cocktails with my friends, but I loved the routine of it all.  When failing an astronomy test was my biggest worry, life was GOOD.  I thought it was stressful at the time, but good lord I would go back in heartbeat knowing what I know now about REAL stress.  I would tell that Dominique to chill the hell out, rebel a little, and WEAR BIKINIS.  You look awesome and that body you think is “fat” is something you’d nearly commit murder for at 33.  Not at 34 though, cause by 34 you’ll have it back again! (We hope.)

zima

I miss Zima.  That’s right, I said it…douchebag drink of choice.  Zima with a Jolly Rancher dropped in it was the greatest thing since sliced bread when I was a freshman in high school.  I could sip one all night so people would not hassle me about being a prude (which I totally was), but I never got stupid from it.  Plus it tasted like sour apple Sprite.  It was awesome.  I’m sad they don’t make it anymore.

I miss Nick at Nite showing OLD television shows in black and white:  The Patty Duke Show, My Three Sons, The Donna Reed Show, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Dennis the Menace.  Showing things like The Cosby Show and Friends makes me feel OLD.

Calvin-and-Hobbes-hugging-calvin-and-hobbes-1395524-1024-768far side

I miss the 2 greatest comic strips ever: Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side.

I miss my go-kart.  My dad planted a garden in the middle of the field behind our house and mowed a track around the edges.  I was a badass on that thing.  Sure, there was one concussion and a tetanus shot resulting from said badassery…and we had to replace the metal steering wheel with one that had padding as a result of that concussion, but still.  That track was meant to separate the heroes from the wusses and it did just that.  Every little girl needs to go to school with a shiner that she EARNED at least once.

3.  I’m relatively new to the HR Scene on Twitter and I’ll admit, at first it felt like a clique.  Everyone seems to already know everyone else and it’s hard to break into that.  I’m still not all the way in and there’s still a whole language about HR on Twitter that I’m not yet privy to, but…if there are any students or assistants reading this, I do have one piece of advice: find some cool people to follow.  I don’t just mean the smartest people or the ones with the most followers or the ones who post the most frequently, though these things are all pretty common and certainly not mutually exclusive.  I mean follow some people who post GOOD information that you can learn from.  People who will answer you back if you have a question.  (PS – Some of these people have thousands and thousands of followers, so give them a minute, ok?)  People who will be friendly to a newb.  It IS a clique, because they do all know each other and they are all friends already…but they WILL let you in.  Just ask.  Below is a list of some of my faves:

@William Tincup

@new_resource

@MeghanMBiro

@RobinSchooling

This list is nowhere near exhaustive, so I’ll probably add some more next week.  Also, I’ve never talked to him, but you should be following @HR_Nasty and reading his blog.  Great info and hilarity.

4.  Read this!  It’s HR-related and it’s about me and an experience I had on dad’s 60th birthday! http://blogs.sap.com/innovation/sales-marketing/is-anyone-even-reading-my-blog-027312

So how was everyone else’s week?  Read any good blogs/articles I should know about?  What are some things that you miss? (Someone please step up and agree with me on the Zima.  I’m on this nerd branch by myself.)  Anyone cool I should be following on Twitter?  Hit me up in the comments!!