Sounds cool, huh? But instead of feeling grateful, I responded sarcastically, "Why? I don't know anything about Human Resources."
Considering I work in human resources, write and speak about it, this proclamation may not make sense. It may cause some to question my credibility or even my sanity.
But in reality, I wasn't having a moment of self-doubt, or sorrow, or stress. Sometimes, I seriously wonder, what do I really know about Human Resources. Sure I can run a department. I can teach the basics and the nuance of leading practices. I can write and enforce policy. I can implement reorganizations and enhance company culture. I can do all of this standing on one leg with my hands tied behind my back.
But I don't think I will ever fully understand the human as a working resource. Humans have some set patterns but not all are transparent. Humans are full of assumptions, presumptions, and judgements which cloud their thinking. Humans protect themselves socially in the face of perceived threats. Humans will make unexpected mistakes in the guise of best intentions. Humans will consciously create chaos.
All of this human behavior (and more) is happening at every work place right now. And HR is expected to manage this resource.
Even though the best HR professionals are a combination of psychologist, lawyer, parent, and insurance agent, it doesn't make them beyond human. HR are not flies on the wall or mind readers. HR cannot be everywhere at all times, and they cannot predict the future.
It's possible to have a high degree of skill and knowledge in Human Resources. But even experts are baffled by the unpredictability of humans.
In some ways, it's maddening. It's like a mystery that can't be solved. And "when you've gone over something again and again and again and again like I have, certain questions get answered. Others spring up. The mind plays tricks on you; you play tricks back!
It's like you're unraveling a big cable-knit sweater that someone keeps knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting and knitting..."*
*Excerpt from Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Warner Bros. films, 1985.
Link to source: http://youtu.be/XjSVRsoBYNY