In a world where our god-given right to bitch…about everything…is played out every day in pretty much every forum available, I’m so glad the American holiday of Thanksgiving comes along every 365 days. Despite my penchant for foods ridden with carbohydrates and other chemicals that induce great bouts of drowsiness (whatever that stuff is that turkey apparently deposits into our blood streams), I really do very truly receive Thanksgiving as a time to do just that: give thanks. This year I’d like to publicly give that thanks to a number of people who quite literally have changed my outlook on my career, my profession, the world of work…and life. Each of them has taught me more than I could ever hope to acquire in any traditional way. Each of them has pushed me to challenge my own self-righteous stance more than anyone else ever has…or could.
Laurie Ruettimann – for giving me the first glimmer of validation (and hope) that the world of work and the Human Resources Profession’s place in that world was not only in fact fucked up, but could also in fact be changed through in-your-face, take charge, accountable actions. And for being an early (and loyal) supporter of HR Fishbowl and its platform.
Mark Stelzner – for reminding me that I am not really as smart as I think I am, and for injecting a sense of humor into what is otherwise a really frustrating profession.
Jason Seiden – for calling a spade a spade and allowing me to do the same.
Sarah White – for singing, and dancing, and injecting (much more than) a modicum of fun into this industry. And for hangin’ when there was hangin’ to be had.
Maren Hogan – for singing, and dancing, and injecting (much more than) a modicum of fun into this industry. And for listening to me when I needed to be heard.
Mary Ellen Slayter – for her willingness to share my blog with her world, her confidence in me as an adviser, and her role as the same to me.
John Jorgensen – for being the God Father of the HR community and reminding us all how important it is to commune locally. And for having some inkling that I might add some value to his wildly successful Illinois SHRM conference…
Donna Rogers – for trusting John, despite her sound instincts not to.
Jason Lauritsen – for being a kindred spirit and a role model on more fronts than he possibly knows.
Bryan Wempen – for Cinco de Wempen and all that he does…every day…to support Trench HR and its dedicated professionals.
Steve Boese – for broadening my exposure to the “the community” and actually prompting my first tweet ever: something like, “check this HR Happy Hour thing out…looks like it might have legs.”
Dave Ryan – for working for a company that makes donuts.
Paul Smith – for sharing this journey with me in some small way. And for inspiring me with his writing….lots.
Robin Schooling – for representing the “trenches” better than anyone out there, and for sharing a smoke with me every now and then…and again.
William Tincup – for being William Tincup.
Eric Winegardner – for giving me something to aspire to, for renewing my faith in all that is big and bright and shiny, for rushing the stage, and for being one hell of a bunk mate.
Ben Eubanks – for teaching us to be genuinely selfless.
Joe Gerstandt – for flying his freak flag and encouraging me to fly my own. And for being one of the few who can actually intimidate me.
Matt Charney – for keeping us all grounded, and for inciting the occasional concert hall riot.
Mike VanDervort – for paving the way.
Steve Browne – for being my funk soul brother. And for being genuinely passionate about what he does for his people and his organization every day.
Lance Haun – because he has a posse, and that’s cool.
Neil Morrison – because he’s grumpy, pithy, and British and that makes for amazing stuff.
Benjamin McCall – for being yet another crazy mo fo who isn’t afraid to speak his mind.
Jay Kuhns – because he’s got the HR goods and he gets it…big time.
Jessica Miller-Merrell – because she’ll take a skype call even when she’s in her PJs.
Susan Avello – because she makes me smile.
John Nykolaizyn – for being my conference bro and for introducing me to Perdomo.
Caty Kobe – for investing in our community and for encouraging her fine-fucking-tastic employer to do the same.
Jen Benz – for teaching me that sometimes you just have to do it yourself.
Margo Rose – for being one of the first who welcomed me into the fold. And for her compassion…so much of it.
Jennifer McClure – cuz she’s going places and I want to be there while she does.
China Gorman – because she’s a freakin’ HR sage.
Trish McFarlane – for The HR Evolution…period.
And Finally, Thank You…
To Lori, my dearest wife, who has found a way to put up with all my crazy shit as I experiment with blogging, social media, and the dark side in general.
Thank you all. And to those who I failed to mention, thank you even more.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Image Credit: woodleywonderworks (via Compfight)