Punk Rock HR Questions: Relationships, Love, & Work


I have a backlog of email messages about relationships, love, and work. I am in no way qualified to answer any of these questions beyond a simple observation, but I like to think about life and its messiness.

  • How do I meet the right guy at work?
  • I’m getting a divorce and I work 60 hours/week. How do I meet someone?
  • My soon-to-be-ex-wife thinks she’s entitled to half of my 401k because she is a bitch. What are my rights?
  • I just got out of a bad relationship and I want to focus on my career. What’s the best way to get started?

There’s more. Tons more. I spent a decade in Human Resources, and while I’m not Oprah, it doesn’t take a rocket science to answer some simple questions about work.

  • Trying to meet the right guy at work is a stupid way to kill your career. Do your job. If you meet someone at work, great. If you don’t, that’s okay — because you’re getting a paycheck to work.
  • If you are getting divorced and working sixty hours/week, you should probably examine your priorities before you look for another relationship.
  • Your ex-wife may be entitled to part of your 401k, but don’t call her a bitch. That makes you seem like a bitter loser even if she is a bitch.
  • You just got out of a bad relationship and want to focus on your career? Why don’t you take a break and focus on yourself?

As much as employment lawyers want to remove risk and sanitize the workforce, we can’t remove the human element. Coworkers date. People break-up and cry. Supervisors say stupid things. Humans are foolish and silly.

Sometimes I still overreact to my personal life as if the events are part of one big employee relations issue. I wonder if other HR people overreact, too? Do you overstate the risk at work and cramp the style of your employees? Can you sap the fun out of a three-ring circus? Do you bring your HR attitude home and ruin the fun for other people?

Let me know.

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