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

What message are you sending?

A few weeks ago I wasn’t feeling well and left work early to visit a nearby Urgent care clinic. I hadn’t been to this clinic before but I was concerned and felt it would be good to get checked out immediately, as my regular Dr. was unable to fit me in. I went through the normal spiel with the nurse, explained what was wrong, and waited on the Doctor. He came in assured me that I had nothing to be concerned about, told me about a couple of things I could try if I felt it was necessary, and told me to come back if things got worse.

After our exchange I left the clinic, went out to my car, and just sat there for a while upset. I was just told I had nothing to worry about so I should have been happy. But they way I was told made me feel worse than when I arrived.

The problem wasn’t in what the Dr. said, it was entirely in how he said it. From the moment he stepped into the exam room I could tell that he didn’t want to be there. His tone, his mannerisms, the way he made suggestions of what I could do; It all conveyed that I was wasting his time, regardless of what he was actually saying. It made me feel like he thought I was being irrational and concerned over nothing.

It hurt. I was embarrassed. I came looking for advice from an expert because I was worried and confused. Then because of his reaction, I started questioning myself, wondering if I truly was being irrational.

After I had calmed down I got thoughtful. How often in HR do we get questions from employees that we feel are silly, obvious, or even a waste of our time? Do we wonder why people are bothering us with something so unimportant? And do we, consciously or not, broadcast that annoyance to them?

It makes me ashamed to say, but I know that there are probably employees who have come to me, an expert in their eyes, with an HR question only to leave upset because I didn’t take them seriously. We all have our bad days and weak moments where we are not at our best, no matter how kind and thoughtful we usually try to be. But it just takes that one moment. I know I will never go back to that clinic, so why would those employees feel comfortable coming back to see me? Ugh.

Now, if you are reading this post and think that it’s hitting a little close to home, you are not alone. It’s hard admitting to yourself you made a mistake. But admitting fault is the first step to forgiveness and moving forward as a better person. And sometimes that is the best you can do.

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