A Self-Reflecting Case Study in HR


I have certifications in the human resources field – far more than I get to put to use in my current job. Keep that in mind here. I know many people, especially of my overqualified and underemployed generation, can understand that.

There have been studies done on turnover (that is, the rate at which people quit their jobs) in slaughterhouse and meat packing jobs. It’s mentally rough to adapt to and the training is more about overcoming the associations than learning the physical tasks. Turnover in poultry plants is far higher than in mammal plants. Can you guess why?

It’s because it takes one person to repeatedly debone chickens throughout a day. It takes multiple people to cut up a cow or pig. A job that takes multiple people meets the crucial step from the “survival” to “happiness” chunks of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – beyond food, shelter, clothing, and safety, it creates a social environment.

There have been a series of changes in department structure and desk arrangements that removed the two people closest to me, and now I’m sitting in a corner mostly alone. I can hear other people’s conversations, and easily get up and walk around when I have a moment, but I’m not in a physical situation conducive to social interaction. I’ve been increasingly miserable throughout the day. I’m by myself, gutting chickens.

Beyond the issues I have with functions and structure and direction of my job and career (which existed long before this isolation) I now have the opportunity to sit here and cry all day without anyone noticing. Such was my day yesterday. Now I’ve run out of tissues.

I should hop across the street to buy some more at the store, come to think of it.


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