Where peoplestuff is going…

Hello all,

So you have likely noticed that I have been missing from the blogosphere for a while… There are some new and exciting happenings going on, and in discussion with the BC Human Resources Association it was determined that will be of more value to have the bloggers blogging for fireside HR – the BCHRMA blog. This makes perfect sense to me, and I love the idea of being a part of a blogging team! So what this means for my loyal following is that you will now find me on fireside HR where you can set up your RSS feeds to get all of the latest from us. In terms of peoplestuff, I will be turning in and closing it down. Not an ending, but a new beginning!!

See you all on fireside HR!



They all hate their bosses…

I was returning from a lunch today when it struck me that recently, when I meet talented, professional women for lunch, many, many of them are in the process of figuring out how to transition out of their roles because they can’t stand the people that they work for.  These are not gals with a sense of entitlement, that expect to be baby’d in the workplace. In each and every case, all put in long hours, care about their clients and the teams that they manage, but somehow got stuck reporting to folks with zero communication skills, futile emotional intelligence, and in a few cases, scary cases of insecurity.

Of all the money spent by organizations on management and leadership development, why are so many organizations still lousy at this?


The happy olympic hangover…

So as we feel smug about hosting a phenomenal event that I clearly got caught up in (sorry readers – I was at the games!!), something hit me almost like a thunderbolt today.

As a self proclaimed news junkie, 90-95% of the news that I read is critical, negative or tragic. Over the past two weeks, whilst some Brits in the media had issues (“worst games ever!!”), once the sun started to shine, Alexandre Bilodeau won his medal, and the people of Vancouver draped themselves in Canada garb the media started to turn rosy. The storyline shifted.

From that point on, the stories I read were of hope, of perseverance (Joannie Rochette), and of achieving dreams (a tad cheesy but hey). I started to skip over the stories of tragedy, war, healthcare in the US etc… and let me tell you, it felt really good.

So now to go forward and try to hang on to this. The positivity, balanced with the need to remain critical and informed… Not sure how to do it yet, but when I figure it out I will let you know. And here is a link to Brian Williams (the other one – on NBC) blog. He writes a very lovely little thank you note to the people of Vancouver. So go on – feel smug and happy. Nice job Vancouver.

Why women matter…


If you were under a rock yesterday you may have missed Steve Job’s big ta da unveiling of the Apple iPad. A tablet gizmo that does a lot of stuff and is getting a lot of mixed press.

I haven’t looked into it, so am not going to opinionate on the merits of the technology. But I will say this. Women buy a lot of stuff. We are the other 50% of the population and drive the majority of consumption decisions within the household. And I can almost guarantee that there was not a woman on the team that put together the iPad. The reason? No woman on earth would name a mass consumer gadget an iPad. And ladies you all know why.

Come on Steve – you’re the CEO of the decade… wake up!

The difference between men and women Part 3

Ok –  this is funny and another example of how men and women are just a tad…tad… different.

Team meeting this AM. Topics are business updates, internal updates etc… One agenda item is related to our recently installed CRM system. Mark, one of our fantastic employees suggests that we come up with a tag to use on our contacts that indicate that they are on our uber swag list i.e. a highly valued contact of our firm. Now what should that tag be called? Here is a sample of what the five guys came up with:

  • Baller
  • Elephant
  • Whale


Need I say more? I simply suggested that our highly valued female contacts may object to being referred to as elephants or whales. We landed on VIP.

Succession – Conan vs. Leno Part 3

It just keeps getting better. Today Conan finally speaks! Check out his letter to the world Oh jeez. It just gets worse. Talk about backing NBC into a corner. See below for snippets from Conan in his own words:

“Six years ago, I signed a contract with NBC to take over The Tonight Show in June of 2009. Like a lot of us, I grew up watching Johnny Carson every night and the chance to one day sit in that chair has meant everything to me. I worked long and hard to get that opportunity, passed up far more lucrative offers, and since 2004 I have spent literally hundreds of hours thinking of ways to extend the franchise long into the future.

If you were in NBC’s shoes what the heck would you do? Not only do you have a yucky employee situation, but the celebrity component adds a whole public element. See below how Conan anchors the negotiation by stating his unwillingness to accept the shift in schedule:

The Tonight Show at 12:05 simply isn’t the Tonight Show. Also, if I accept this move I will be knocking the Late Night show, which I inherited from David Letterman and passed on to Jimmy Fallon, out of its long-held time slot. That would hurt the other NBC franchise that I love, and it would be unfair to Jimmy.

So Conan has put it to the network and built an alliance with Jimmy Fallon. But again, points for shrewdness. Conan provides an olive branch:

There has been speculation about my going to another network but, to set the record straight, I currently have no other offer and honestly have no idea what happens next. My hope is that NBC and I can resolve this quickly so that my staff, crew, and I can do a show we can be proud of, for a company that values our work.

Ok, bring it on HR Professionals.

You are advising NBC brass on what to do. Conan, Leno and their agents are calling (can you imagine Ari Gold (Entourage) were Conan his client?). What advice would you provide? Proceed with the plan to shift Leno back to 11:30 and potentially lose Conan and Jimmy? Cancel Leno, keep Conan and Jimmy? Fire them all?  The proof will be in the $$$. Conan couldn’t make the Tonight Show work. Affiliates are choked about the low ratings for Leno at 10PM because they impacted their late night news ratings. So NBC potentially loses Conan and Jimmy, plops Leno back to 11:35PM, returns to producing TV dramas for the 10PM slot and all goes back to the way that it was. Except that they have to pay Conan to release his contract and they look like major idiots to the world. Perhaps a woman could have helped. Apparently few if any of the top brass at the TV networks are women, and of the 50 or so  comedy writers on staff  working on Late Show with David Letterman, The Jay Leno Show and The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien combined, exactly zero are women.  Perhaps the question should be: What would Tina Fey do?

What’s a girl to do?

I don’t know if any of you have heard about the Vancouver Sun newspaper’s fatabase. This nifty tool enables you to look up the calories in that tasty sandwich you just had from Earls. I discovered the fatabase last week after dinner at Joeys. What follows is a shocking calorie story.

I am a gal who considers herself pretty health conscious. I work out most days, try not to eat too much meat and am generally aware and willing to make calorie trade-off’s. By calorie trade-off’s I mean I will actually consider whether a food item is worth the calories before I consume it. But alas, I fell victim the other day.

My business partner and I went to Joeys for dinner. While we happily waited for our third partner in the “wine room” which has lovely wines by the glass (Tantalus Riesling is delish), we thought let’s get something to nibble on while we wait. So we decided to order the tandoori flat bread. Flatbread, a bit of chicken, some cilantro. Sounds like a good choice right? NOT. According to the fatabase, that tandoori flatbread had 1130 calories and 1950 mg of sodium. @$%^@^$@Q^$. Yikes is right. To maintain my weight I need to consume approximately 1500 calories a day, and Health Canada recommends no more than 1500 mg of sodium a day. Sheesh – that day got blown to hell. What is a girl to do other than stairclimb her life away to recover her calorie missteps?.. 😦

My vote is to display food calorie contents on menus. Immediately. If I had known that the flatbread had 1130 calories and 1900 mg of sodium I never would have ordered it. Same goes for those yummy salads at Earls – Santa Fe Chicken Salad anyone? Yep that one has a mere 899 calories and 2133 mg of sodium. These foods irk me because we order them thinking we are making  healthy choices. We’re not. We’re getting tricked. Health and wellness are serious issues. We need to get a handle on this stuff, otherwise it is going to cost us a fortune in lost productivity and healthcare costs. Not to mention time on cardio machines!

So next time you go out to eat, take a quick look through the fatabase and plan your meal accordingly. And start voting with your mouths. No one needs to consume 1130 calories in a piece of flatbread. Get with the program Joey.