I work for a very professional company. We do very grown-up things like have meetings to discuss the schedule of other meetings. We have water coolers in each room which we often stand around to talk with each other and on more then one occasion at least one person has been known to wear a suit.
Like most other companies we also have a H.R (human resources) department. I’ve always been suspicious of the term ‘human resources’ because it implies that I am viewed as simply a resource. It sounds like the phrase a bond villain might utilise when talking about some recently deceased henchmen or that doctor Frankenstein might use when listing where he got the various body parts he used to make his monster. It often makes me want to run through the rooms of the office shouting, “I am not a number. I am a free man,” until someone asks me to be quiet, put my shirt back on and go back to my desk.
However, my opinion has recently changed.
A few days ago the phone in our department started to ring as it often does. One of the resources answered the phone and was promptly asked by the H.R department (who was on the other end of the phone) to summon one of the other resources in the room.
When the resource in question took the phone he proceeded to have what looked like either a very worrying or confusing phone conversation. The human resources department always calls about official business. Maybe it was bad news. Maybe he was being let go or maybe he was being ‘reassigned’ because doctor Frankenstein required more ‘resources’ for his latest project.
It turned out neither of these were true. A member of the H.R department had just asked him if he would like to go on holiday with one of her female friends who had just recently become single again and for that reason was in need of a new travel companion.
This seems like a different kind of ‘resource’ management then the one I am familiar with. It suddenly makes the term ‘human resources’ sound like the playful introduction an up market madam might use when introducing potential suitors.
I never knew that relationship resource management was taught at business school as part of the human resource management curriculum. It seems that my sinister impressions of the H.R department were wrong. My only complaint is that I have not yet received such an offer myself. Maybe there is a special company form I am supposed to fill out to request a relationship resource (otherwise known as a girlfriend to those outside the human resources business).
I will have to check if there are any details about it in my contract.