HR Clusterfaq

My company has a policy where you get a prize for every 5 years your stay with the company. One of my coworkers said he got a FAX machine after his 5th year. That sounded useful to me.

Now I have been working for my company for 4 1/2 years. But I previously worked for the company in the 90s. So I found that I could bridge the experience to count towards benefits. However for each benefit I needed to fight with the Human Resources machine to make it happen.

Getting my 5 year gift was no different. I called up HR and submitted a call ticket. All I got was an e-mail stating I did not have 5 years and the ticket was closed. After replying that I had 7 years, just split between two jobs, I was informed I needed to submit another call ticket.

I should have known then it was going to be a rough ride. But I agreed to the pain, and submitted another ticket. Got a call saying my dates would be updated and the request forwarded the following Monday. Couple weeks later no gift. So I called the HR person back. Left a message. Waited a week. Repeated this for a few weeks until I got tired of this. Finally I got a call a month later saying my dates were updated and the request would be forwarded to ther person who does 5 year gifts.

Once again I should have known I was getting the shaft. No responses to my e-mails. I called up the HR help desk and found my second call ticket got closed as well. The solution? Open a new call ticket. In programming we call this the infinite loop. I don't like to waste my Project Manager's time with stuff like this. But I was getting nowhere fast. He said he would call the local HR rep. No luck just yet.

In all of this, I have tried to walk away with some lessons learned. Most of our work consists of maintaining a suite of legacy software applications. I get assigned trouble tickets on my software all the time. Sometimes us developers are in a rush to close out these tickets. Sometimes the tickets get reassigned to other developers, teams, or even other project. I need to keep aware of the non-service that my company HR team has given me. I try to be diligent, keep customers informed of trouble ticket progress, and work hard on the hand-off to others. This won't fix my HR problems. But it makes for a less disgruntled customer when the application break down on them. Hey. Somebody has to pay it forward.