Vikings Have No Respect for Standard Hiring Protocol

If I’ve gotten my chronology correct, it was The Orlando Sentinel that made such a splash last week with its report that employers are intentionally filtering unemployed applicants out of their potential hiring pools (the story having since been picked up by The Huffington Post and others). Sure, this sucks, but where’s the big surprise? Is this really that new? That’s what I don’t understand. Why are so many people (at least among those receiving mention online) so surprised? If that soulless entity known as Human Resources ever ceased to be shortsighted, it would also cease to be recognizable as Human Resources. Shortsightedness is one of the defining characteristics of Human Resources. (The others, so far as I can tell, are power-mongering, cronyism, discourteousness, and general imbecility).

I can sympathize with these monsters to the extent that I’m sure they must be inundated with applicants, including many unqualified ones. It’s just that HR is so terrible at everything it attempts to do. And the people who actually have careers in HR are just so damn laughable.

Here are my three most memorable moments of personal interaction with HR people:

1) The time when I showed up and proceeded to listen to an overweight HR woman talk about how enthralled she was with the pedometers in her shoes. That way I can keep track of how much walking I do around the office every day! If you have the pedometers already in your shoes then you’re more likely to force yourself to get up and walk over to someone you need to talk to instead of calling them on the phone! It’s such a good way to get exercise while at work!

Holy shit.

2) Talking to the woman who turned very cold towards me as soon as I told her that I thought that most internships were just another pointless piece of the puzzle that 21st century employers demand, causing college students to feel compelled to compete for them because no one wants to stand out in a negative light upon graduation, and that the employers themselves get some decent cheap/free labor out of the deal for whatever menial tasks they may have needing to be done. Okay, so it was stupid on my part—I should have known better than to answer her question honestly, but I couldn’t help myself. I have an uncontrollable gut reflex to tell it like it is when it comes to internships.

3) The time I unzipped and hosed down the carpet in the corner beside the HR dipshit’s file cabinet when he started getting smug with me. No wait, sorry, that was Björn Svensson. But the other two were me.

But that’s the great thing about Vikings. Or, I should say, one of the many great things about Vikings, because there are indeed very many great things about Vikings. But one of my personal favorites is their total disregard for the unspoken protocol of job hiring practices. If they couldn’t find work sowing the fields, hammering the blades, building the boats, casting the fishing nets, etc., then they got together amicably and without unnecessary paperwork or phony formalities, formed a crew, and sailed off into the watery horizon to completely devastate some far away coastal settlement and take whatever they wanted and with no need for a goddamned paycheck in exchange.

It was all very romantic.

Heraldry

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3 Responses to “Vikings Have No Respect for Standard Hiring Protocol”

  1. Thorkel says:

    From Ivory Towers to Golden Towers.
    Skål Earslings. The recent plunderfest to Iberia didn’t quite go as planned. The river journey up the Guadalquivir started out easy going in search of the Torre de Oro. We had been told about this ‘tower of gold’ by some distant relation of an earsling crew member. That Frankish Norman excuse for a norseman, whose giblets were left in our wake. But more of that another day… or not.
    The day’s plundering was a little slow and those Sarkland bashturds don’t even drink mead! By the single eye of Wodin, what sort of a religion is that? Anyway, as we turned a bend there was the tower gleaming in the mid afternoon sun. Muttered exclamations and quiet discussions of where we can put all the plunder, and maybe if a few of us end up in Wodens Hall trying to liberate the plunder, there will be additional room. But somebody had put a chain across the river so we couldn’t row pass. This is an old trick (Ingvarr and the King of the Franks & Alfred at London) so we just ran the ship up on the downstream bank and gathered our weapons before alighting and proceeding towards the tower along the bank. A few bone heads tried to speak with us in their blathering words and prodded their spears towards us. Well this language is universal, so without further ado we proceeded to mount their heads on their own spears and left them in a neat row along the river path.
    Coming along the bank towards the tower, it seemed strange that such a lot of gold only had so few people with sharp pointy things to guard it. I should have realised then that things were not as they seemed. On walking over to the chain ring, that was well cemented into the side of the tower, we realised that this was not gold but gold coloured tiles. “Freya’s undergarments, we’ve been ripped off!” Went the cry. “All that rowing for a lousy bunch of ceramic tiles”. “Yeah! And the wenches have been fat and ugly too!” “Where are the mead halls?” The ‘Weavers’ had made it grim indeed. This was approaching a mutiny, nearly calling for a bit of smiting to keep some of the lads in line.
    At around this time a small obsequious man with a rag around his head, a long chin beard and a great tan came out with his books and muttered something about duty and customs. Well as Vikings, we know our duty and we have some great customs as well, so this was not a complete surprise. But he wanted us to pay him to let us pass through and go upstream, and then shook his box in our face. Well this is Iberia after all, and red rags to bulls aside, rattling a box that definitely sounded like coins of various and high denominations into a pissed off Viking leaders face, is not a recommended thing to do. After a brief discussion about the laws of the sea and right of passage on navigable waterways, we decided to introduce him to some of our quaint Norse customs. Anyway, we left to return to the boat with the little mans box after trying to lever some of the shiny tiles off the tower walls with his head. We then sent him swimming across the river with the chain tied to his waist, so we could continue upstream.
    We didn’t see him on the other bank as we sailed past, but the chain was no longer blocking our way. He must have had a few friends or relatives though, because lots of similar little tanned men were lined up along the banks, waving and gesticulating at us. So we just stayed in the middle channel and ignored them. Some local Iberian passerby back near the ship had mentioned, when pressed, that there was a rich caliphate upstream, as well as silver mines so we were off to find out what a caliphate looked like and liberate some silver from these reputed mines from their Sarkland overlords. Besides its mead time. Skål Earslings.

  2. Thorkel says:

    The Politically Corrected and Legally Empowered Viking

    Skål earslings.

    I sympathise with Björn Svensson and his disaffection with the ‘New Age’ HR earslings. In my parallel universe I am confronted, enmeshed and share a thwart with an operation that has a combined HR and Legal department and manager. Now don’t get me wrong, I have the utmost respect (well nearly) for modern women in the workplace. In days of yore, our Scandinavian/Viking/Saxon girls could own, operate and inherit property as well as hold high offices within many tribal clans. Out of interest; there was once during the early Viking era, a famous female rune carver, Gunborga the good, who was a fellow compatriot from Hålsingland, and apparently quite brilliant. Also by the way, the majority of the Norse pantheon is composed of goddesses. But this HR/Legal manager is like the goddess Ran. The vicious and destructive goddess of storms and ruler of the dead.

    OK. So for three weeks out of the month we all (including the great chief) have to tiptoe around in our fur boots and be careful of what we say. We also have to make sure that any comment, however innocent, cannot be misconstrued or remotely taken as a personal slight or not inclusive of the Legal/HR department, its actions or its ruler. Then on top of that we have to have an independent legal opinion prior to any action taken, whatever the consequences of doing nothing may be. As a result, the operation spends most of its resources in front of Court, consulting lawyers or generally discussing potential future actions in grand and microscopic detail. As you can probably foresee, as you don’t need the prophetic gifts of the goddess Gullveig or the foresight and wisdom of goddess Frigg to realise that this is unsustainable, and I will soon be forced to go a viking to obtain my sustenance. My contract and work agreement made under the auspices of the goddess Var will be terminated. Although I believe there is a place for Lawyers and HR in our Viking ways. I would suggest ballast.

    Can you imagine that sort of scenario during a pillaging? Special attention would always have to be paid to HR plans and strategies however foolish, or the crew would risk a vicious pouting or poisonous diatribe. We would have to discuss the ramifications of creating a shield wall if there was any armed resistance encountered. We couldn’t leave the HR on the wings because they would feel left out, throw down their swords and do a dummy spit, refusing to fight. We would have to determine the rights of the pillager as compared to the pillagee, not burn barns where it could affect a possible non combatant neighbour or neutral entity. We would be required to sack equally the artefacts, reliquaries and treasures of the various denominations. Gain permission in writing or notify this or that local king or thegn before we subjected his villeins to the sword or rapine.

    With the grace of the goddess Saga, for her invocation of good memories of the past. Let’s just cut all their heads off! Aaargh!!
    Skål earslings.

    • Rowdy says:

      Thanks for the comment Thorkel. Your example further demonstrates just how incompatible Vikings are with our modern day godforsaken HR abomination. My own personal experience is very limited when it comes to legal departments but I have heard stories including yours and can only imagine that they suck like the spawn of Loki and deserve the beheadings you so nobly suggest! Or to be crammed belowdecks for stability. That too is a good suggestion, though I think the rot and smell would create an unpleasant sailing environment. When you’re out sailing the North Atlantic, getting ready to sack someone or heading home with glorious plundrings, I should think one of the last things you want is for your nostrils to be filled with the sick scent of decaying legal representative.

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