HR boss throws in the towel as company plans job cuts


Things have been very interesting in the office with the new CEO. Some people are already moaning about his way of working. Someone actually told me, “the guy thinks that our work is to do slides”. Though I agree with this statement, I have learnt to keep my mouth shut and not say some things out loud.

Sometime in the past, I remember having a lunch time discussion with my colleagues who were whining about their boss. In my contribution to the discussion, I said: “Well your boss can be quite bothersome because he likes to spend too much time repeating small details and he is not good at delegation.”

I was actually very shocked when a month later my feedback was quoted in a team meeting and that manager and I were never friends again.

I have learnt to forget what the managerial books say — most people do not want feedback so it is best to keep quiet. So I listened as he went on and on complaining about how the new CEO made an order for  a new coffee making machine and “insists on taking the lift alone”.

To be honest, I have not seen this behaviour and for that reason I kept my mouth firmly shut as they chattered on. I went back to my office to start working on my slides for the CEO. He wants to see where we are looking to “grow the business and our plans to manage costs”.

I decided to just update some slides we had done last year because after all we have been using the same old ideas anyway. 

I was in the middle of it when the HR manager walked into my office and shut the door. There are times when I wish she would not do that because it often feels like she is sharing some secret with me.

So she sat on the chair and  made some idle chat about politics and the weather though I could tell that she had something on her mind.

She then told me, “I have something to tell you and I wanted to tell you before you hear it in the grapevine”. I made a joke and said, “are you getting married?” She chuckled and said, “no way! I was married once and it was hell, I am not doing that again!

This was news to me, I never thought that she had been married before. So I told her, “you know we men are lousy in guessing so just share the news.”

She paused for  a bit and said, “I am leaving the company!” This stopped me in my tracks and I said, “why and where are you going to?” She took her time and told me why she is leaving. The long and short of it is that “we in HR have seen what the company is planning and we can see our jobs disappearing in the  next few months.

“A different company came calling and I decided that this is the time to jump ship.”

This really piqued my interest and so I asked her to share the details. In fact, I told her, “we are friends, you can tell me!”

She ended up giving me a breakdown of  how “the new CEO was brought in to streamline the company, lean it out so that it becomes viable for sale”. I had to ask her, “what about us guys?” She said, “I do not have all the facts but no one is safe at the moment. If I were you I would start looking”.

She then launched into a whole ranting exercise about how the company has changed and how it no longer is what it used to be. Based on her conversation I decided to ask her, “can you help me improve my CV and get my name out there?” She said, “you are my friend, I will help you.”

I laughed and said, “yes friends have to stick together.” I was shocked by her next statement, “can I make you dinner at my house this Friday?” Is she hitting on me?