… the HR Minion. Because even minions have opinions. And giggles.

Random Thoughts from the HR Technology Conference

Ever since I got home from Chicago and the HR Technology Conference I have had a lot of random thoughts floating around in my head. Nothing unusual for me, that’s typically the case after I’ve been to a conference, especially one I enjoyed. And I did have fun (I miss you already Chicago!). I would like to say that this post will be about one or two ideas that can wrap up my experience but dudes, I’m tired. My brain is having a hard time stringing together a cohesive narrative that would summarize my experience in any kind of logical or meaningful way. Even that last sentence required one too many brain cells right now. So here it is, the random thoughts of an HR Minion, stirring up shenanigans at an HR Tech Conference.

– I am so glad that I didn’t wear jeans. I may have a blister on my heel but almost everyone was dressed nicely and I’m glad I dressed up too. That, and I got to wear my super cute new knee high boots. #WorthIt
– Following up on my first thought, everyone at the conference was clearly on their best professional behavior, at least during the conference hours. It seemed to me that from the vendors to the speakers to the attendees, everyone there was working it and I can see why. It was a great conference to make connections.
– Also, hugs are not professional. Which was a little hard for me to accept as I frequently ran up to people for said hugs. I am clearly unprofessional. What can I say, it’s what I do.
April, Paul, and I may or may not have been stalking people on the expo floor. And by stalking I don’t mean tracking people down to say hi, I mean hunting them down and surreptitiously taking pictures of them unawares. All I have to say is that booths and crowds enable stalking. So really it’s the conferences fault. This goes back to my earlier point about me not being professional.
– I had my first vendor briefings ever so I brought out my professional voice and the serious, in-depth, this-is-why-I-have-a-press-pass type of questions. Yes, I have a professional voice. It’s the one I use when I want to be taken seriously so it rarely comes up outside of the office. And no, don’t ask me to do it cause I’ll just giggle and ruin the whole effect.
– April and I picked up met the new guy and we swiftly dragged him into all our shenanigans. I’m sure he will need therapy for months to recover. No worries, I’ll send flowers. And new guy, you can blame Paul for introducing you to us.
-Of all the people I finally got to meet in real life I have to say that Meg Bear was my favorite because she gave me chocolate. I am highly susceptible to bribery.
– Session rooms need to have better worse acoustics cause my giggle carried, like a lot. I know my laugh can get loud but dudes, they probably heard me all the way in Michigan.
– I wish I had more time to attend sessions, but the ones I attended were fun and useful. Next year, I will not be working my day job at the same time. Worrying about and responding to work email really got in the way of getting the most from the conference. If you are going to take the time and spend the money to attend a conference, you shouldn’t split your attention like that.
– On the other hand, this was a great opportunity to scope out new technology for the day job. Not only are there demos, info sessions, and HR Tech shout outs, the opportunity to really learn something about the technology that you and your company relies on is incredibly valuable. The best way to get over your fear of technology is to learn more about it.
– One thing I noticed is that of the technology I saw at the event, the ones that were the most straightforward, both in utility and ease of use, were the ones that impressed me the most. That, and the ones that had realistic expectations of what employees will and will not do. The more complicated a piece of technology, the more it relied on full compliance from people to work, the less impressed I was.
Cab drivers in Chicago scare me. A lot. That, or they offend me. I may need to file a work-related grievance with my HR Rep. (which is myself so that will be an odd, one-sided conversation.) Taking the train from the airport however, was quite easy and fun.
– I’ve said it before but I’m going to say it again: If you go to a conference but do not attend any of the parties/tweetups/lunches/ice cream socials/whatever you are missing out on some of the best opportunities to make and deepen your connections. A lot of business, opportunities, and partnerships have started over cocktails and appetizers. Get social, get personal, and try to have some fun too. Just not too much fun.
-The live HR Happy Hour from the Aquire party was crazy. CRAZY. Trust me, check it out below:
Episode #67 – Live from HR Tech

Listen to internet radio with Steve Boese on Blog Talk Radio

Needless to say, I’m happy I attended and even if I hadn’t gotten a press badge I would have gladly paid to go. It’s worth it and I can’t wait until next year. Well, that was a lot of randomness. Huh, looking back on all these random thoughts I think I’ve found my unifying theme: I am clearly not professional. There you have it, I think we’ve all learned something today.

10 Responses | Add your Own

  • 1 william tincup :

    you were wonderful… and hugs can be professional… depends on the intent of the hugger… side hug versus full frontal hug, etc… seiden, i’m calling you out… #awkward

  • 2 Shauna :

    William – Aww, thanks! I’m so glad I got to meet you in person. Next time we need to sit down and chat. oh, and #gigglesnort for the Seiden comment.

  • 3 John Jorgensen :

    As always, seeing you at a conference makes it that much better (you too April, don’t want to get in trouble). I was impressed by you being on your best behavior…only a little shocked.

    I agree with you 100%. The best way to overcome fear of technology is to use it and understand it. And the clearest and simplest to use is the most impressive to me. The easier to use, the more it will get used, the more successful it is.

    Now, a couple of other thoughts. You may want to rephrase that “picked” up to “met” the new guy. Someone who doesn’t know you may misunderstand it. I think he is recovering and will need no rehabilitation or therapy. Chicago cab drivers do take some getting used to, glad I could save you from at least one cab ride. BTW, you can hug me anytime you want. Plus, you forgot to mention a film maker wanted to record your laugh for his sound track.

  • 4 Shauna :

    John – Only a little shocked, clearly April and I should have tried harder. Oh, and good point about the “picked up” line, I should really change that. So glad we got to see you again and I’ve been trying to block out that laugh thing… 🙂

  • 5 Mike Carden :

    I just think it was nice to finally put a face to a laugh. 😉

  • 6 adowling :

    @John – Now you’ve seen me on my best behavior so it must have shocked you that Shauna was on hers. I get that, shocks me too. 🙂 Great seeing you again!

  • 7 A round up of HR Tech from the blogs – Rypple :

    […] whose perspective comes from someone using the software day to day.  Shauna Moerke provides an alternative perspective, again from a day to day user of HR […]

  • 8 Shauna :

    Mike – Lol, now you can say that you know I am the same in person as I am online. 🙂

    April – What?! I’m always on my best behavior…

  • 9 John Hunter :

    I find that most of the time people that say something is “unprofessional” basically are saying I don’t like x. But they think saying “unprofessional” makes it seem to have import.

    If you find yourself resorting to saying things are “unprofessional” state more specifically what you are claiming. You might say arriving late for meetings or burying yourself in your cell phone are disrespectful to the others at the meeting. Or you might say you have to wear ties because social customs expect those in your role to do so. Or using vulgar language may limit your ability to reach a wider audience. By stating directly what you claim is, it makes it much easier to judge the merit of your assertion.

    I am not a huger myself, but the idea that it is unprofessional is just lame. I am sure it is not common or accepted in quite a few business settings but it is also plenty common and accepted in many others. To set some guidelines on when it is unwise to hug would be fine with me, but just pontificating that it is “unprofessional” I find lame.

  • 10 Shauna :

    John – Whether people call it professional or not, I’m a hugger and that ain’t going to change. I’ve come to peace with it. Thanks for the comment! 🙂