The Respect Radar

My wife will be the first to tell you that you’ll either love Charlie Judy or you’ll hate him. This has pretty much been my story throughout – when it comes to school, the opposite sex, or the workplace. I’m not a pleaser, I don’t kowtow, and I’m not big on insulating you from what’s on my mind. It may be my biggest strength and, as is often the case, my biggest weakness. I’ve learned to leverage it more effectively over time and I’ve become much less of the loose cannon I once was. Whether you’ll love or hate me has everything to do with whether I respect you or not. And if I don’t? Well I’m afraid it may be difficult between us. I know that’s not very big of me. I’ll try…I really will. But my life is too short to waste my precious time with the likes of you. I’m passionate and impatient – and while that might very well be a dangerous combination – it’s who I am and it’s how I got here. I’m just fine with it and I could care less if you’re not.

The good news is that I’ve learned to pick up on the warning signs…and it has become my own personal Respect Radar. In the workplace – and particularly in the realm of HR – these things help me determine whether you and I are going to get along.  Why would you care to see this list? I don’t know. Maybe it will help you figure out whether you love me or hate me. Either way, I feel compelled to put it down on paper purely as a mode of catharsis (that’s all I really need to say about that). My Respect Radar will sound the alarm if:

  • You start every discussion with “we’ve always done it this way.”
  • You are dead-set on having “ownership” claimed and cordoned off.
  • You pull rank based on tenure and tenure only or you reference your age as a badge of honor.
  • You talk out of both sides of your mouth and don’t have a clear position on one thing or another.
  • You think the answer to every problem is a survey, an Email, a better technology, or a new form.
  • You don’t Tweet, you don’t Facebook, and you aren’t LinkedIn
  • The only HR professional event you’ve ever attended is SHRM’s Annual Expo and Conference.
  • You’ve been in HR forever yet don’t have an HRCI certification.
  • You’re always “too busy” to attend my meetings or you constantly send someone else in your stead…then you ask for a personal briefing at the last hour anyway.
  • You constantly look for reasons why something won’t work rather than how it can work.
  • You focus merely on giving your clients what they think they want rather than striving to give them what you know they need.
  • You don’t know what your clients need.
  • The only thing you can reliably contribute to a meeting is a head-nod.
  • You’re the self-proclaimed score-keeper for who’s naughty and who’s nice.
  • Your posture, by default, is defense.
  • You measure progress by the passing of the calendar days, not by what you contribute during that time.
  • Mediocrity is your bedfellow.

Will this radar help us weed out those who don’t belong  in our profession? While I’d like to think so, the sad reality is that there are a bunch of these assholes who have and always will fly right under it. Those of us who really care will be forced to battle them for years to come. But battle them we will…

Image Credit: Don Solo

  • John Jorgensen

    Excellent article. You need to turn your Respect Radar into an App for smart phones. That list is a favorite of mine now and will use it as a yardstick.

  • Jessica Batz

    You respond with “no problem” –Bad taste– like eating a penny, bitter and cheap.

  • Dave Ryan

    Well said Charlie. I am going to “borrow” your bullet points and share them with my co-workers. You haven’t copyrighted them yet have you?
    Dave Ryan´s last [type] ..“Your Time is Worth Nothing…” according to the Medical Professionals

  • Crystal Peterson

    Well said. A great list that I’ll be sharing with others.
    Happy New Year, buddy!

  • Jim aka Evil Skippy at Work

    Here’s one of mine: You walk into training, sit in the last row, cross your arms, scowl and say, “We don’t need harassment training. We just need people to stop being so sensitive.” Then you grope the person next to you.
    Jim aka Evil Skippy at Work´s last [type] ..Training Memories of 2010

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  • Charlie

    @jkjhr i think you’re on to something with the app…it would save us all a lot of time

    @jess hate it

    @dave share away

    @crystal happy 2011 to you too (and to all of you)!

    @jim hate it

  • Jay Kuhns

    Great list Charlie! Sadly, we’ve all worked with folks who take pride in behaving this way. I’m ready to join the battle!
    Jay Kuhns´s last [type] ..One Resolution – Im Not A Control Freak!

  • Richard Sherman

    No apologies, no quarter, and no excuses! “Passionate and impatient” – love it. As I read your list, I could feel my blood pressure rising and the familiar klaxon blazing AAOOOGAAAH! in my ears.

    It’s a battle to be gleefully joined with all the combined powers we can muster. Advance, crusaders, advance!

    Well done, Charlie – and thank you for giving me the battery re-charge I needed today.

    Richard Sherman´s last [type] ..Bus Story- Always Read the Instructions

  • Charlie

    Jay and Richard, so pleased – and not at all surprised – to have you in the battle. Thanks for the comments!
    Charlie´s last [type] ..Board that Baby Up