Being a Circle in a World Made for Triangles

Figuring we could all benefit from some good old fashioned training, I invited a local HR consultant to come give a workshop at the end of the month. I completely forgot it would be Halloween.

At the appointed time, a cheerful blonde woman in a suit turned up, expecting a conference room full of business people. But when she stepped through the door she saw a forest witch, a mermaid, and a cowboy. Her eyes widened and her smile froze on her face.

That was funny, but what came next was even more interesting. She asked us what HR questions we had:

“Sometimes we want to just gift money to each other, but our accountant says generosity between businesses isn’t in the tax code. What should we do?”

“How do you stop people from working too much for free? We’ve had some issues with people turning down payment and later burning out.”

“We don’t have job titles. Can I put ‘Director of Autonomy’ on my business card?”

Taking it like a champ, she kept smiling and replied: “Well, I don’t know. I’ve never been asked those questions before.”

In the end, it was great: we learned about employment law and regulations, and she ended up getting interested in making her own agency more flat. While superficially it was the contrast of costumes versus suits that stood out, on a deeper level two very different shapes were coming into contact.

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