How to Send an HR Manager Crazy

In my work leading a training company I meet a lot of HR managers in different organisations from businesses to charities to colleges. Usually we get on, have meetings over lunch and I get to hear about the hassles, annoyances and general woes that the job can entail. Here then is my list of ways to annoy and send a HR manager crazy.

Thanks to my clients, fellow CIPD members and Twitter friends for all their help with this – they have been on the receiving end not doing them! I have named individuals where I quote directly form them but many more people were involved. Also, please don’t take this article too seriously and really send them crazy 🙂



Got a problem at work? Bring it to HR whether they can solve it or not, this is your first stop for a good gripe, whinge and moan. They’re “the people people” they can take it. Ignore any advice they give. Equally never make responsible complaints at a time when HR can help but wait until taking legal action. HR managers are magicians with powers over the law, other employees, insurance agencies and CEOs – so always complain to get the magic on your side!


Know Tabloid Law and Work The System

Get your knowledge of employment law from papers, the internet and TV and quote this to make your trip to a massage parlour in Amsterdam an acceptable expense and your unofficial duvet days seem entirely reasonable. Work the system as much as possible using every PC technique in the book, know your “rights” and always say “my friend is a lawyer”.


Apply for a Job Like This…

First don’t read the instructions in the advertisement, then apply in text speak/ bad spelling/ capitals with no covering letter when you clearly do not meet the essential criteria (which you haven’t read). NB: Agencies can be used to help with this, if you work for one HR like to be called daily. As a candidate, turn up late for the interview and know nothing about the organisation. If a manager recruit your mates, old school friends and relatives not those who can do the job.

Thanks to Julia Chisholm noted some of these gems

Use Management Jargon  (or refuse to understand their’s)

Anne Nielson lists: “delayering, rightsizing, leverage, disconnect, synergy, blue sky thinking and cross fertilisation” as examples. Add your own in the comments.


Fluff Them

HR may seem an integral part of the business team but we all know they are the fluffy, touchy feely hippies that doesn’t really have any financial merit so remind them of this at any opportunity! HR is easy, anyone could do it! Oh, and because they’re so fluffy get them to have your difficult conversations, make your complaints and do the firing for you.


Training and Conferences

Book onto expensive training HR has taken time to organise and then don’t show up – heh you’re busy! If there’s a conference in central London or some exotic city show up late and then leave at lunch to do a bit of shopping and see some old friends and relatives. Only jerks don’t take the perks!

Judy Williams helped with this one


Please Feel Free to Add Your Own in The Comments


Important Note: Several people noted “nothing” or that “life is too short” when I asked them “what was annoying?” I while researching this and all of these comical “nasties” could be turned around to things that would make HR happy 🙂


If you liked this you may also like:

How to spot a sickie

Stress management tips video

Essential embodied tools for training and HR managers


  1. John
  2. Chris Budd