A matter of common sense

My husband can be very funny, which is one of the top 5 reasons why he is so awesome. Another reason is that he has this phenomenal ability to cut straight to the chase; he doesn’t get hung up on niceties, over-analysis, or silly things like being PC.

Of course, this same reason is also on the list of top 5 things he does that make me cringe.

Sometimes he manages to combine the two things, which is brilliant.

He is an EMS worker, which leads people to assume that he is a walking medical dictionary. Rarely does a family event go by without someone asking his opinion on a rash, a sore shoulder, or a persistent cough. They often will ask him how he would “treat” them if they had called the ambulance…his response always cracks me up: “I would throw you in the back of the vehicle and drive you to the hospital”.

Does that sound callous? It shouldn’t.

Think about what he is trained to do – provide acute medical treatment, remove patient from danger, and ultimately transport to the hospital.

He is more qualified to help you if you have severed a leg or are suffering from a heart attack than if you have persistent itch or a headache (and yes, people do call ambulances for these reasons).

It’s not that he’s not an intelligent or highly capable person – he is, but rather it’s a matter of common sense. You don’t do what you can’t (or are not allowed to) do.


Admittedly, my job is less impressive at cocktail parties. I don’t save lives. I don’t get to drive 130 km/hour with lights and sirens. And I don’t get to wear a stethoscope.

However from time to time, someone will ask what I do and when I reveal that I work in HR, they will say something like: “Oh, I applied to a job 6-months ago with Company XYZ and I never heard anything back / or didn’t get the job. Do you know why?”


Or they will tell me about an “HR-related” problem they are having at work. And what it boils down to is that their manager told them to get work done and they felt that was unreasonable. Or their cubicle-mate is a selfish a-hole who eats fish at lunch and wears too much perfume. And they will ask me why their HR people aren’t doing anything about this, even after they made a complaint.

Le sigh.

First of all, I cannot speak for other company’s HR people or recruiting processes. Every company’s approach, culture, policies, whatever…are different. It’s true. We are not all the same.

Secondly, do you know what your HR person’s role is at the organization? Ask them. However, I can assure you, it’s not to allow you the freedom to abdicate being an adult and dealing with your own problems.

I can share my opinion and experience. I will admit that there are crappy HR practices and people out there. But I really shouldn’t comment on and give you sound HR advice without knowing more of the details.

It’s not a matter of training or education, it’s a matter of common sense.


2 thoughts on “A matter of common sense

  1. Sending leftover fish tacos your way: if unwell after eating, pls ask husband to throw you in back of the van and drive (really fast) to nearest hospital… Your write-up for being a thoughtless cube mate will be awaiting you on your return. Pls do not use more sick time than you have earned lest we have to have that conversation. Again.

    • First of all – fish tacos?! Eww…
      Second – we have a family agreement that if I ever need medical assistance I will be calling someone who might actually have sympathy and not tell me to “walk it off”.
      Third – great non-pplicable HR advice. šŸ™‚

      Thanks for reading!

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