How a lady from HR gave a nightmare to an entire department of programmers

HR is a strange word that has entered our lives so tightly... The predecessor "HR" sounded much better. But come on, we have recently been in vogue for foreign words.

In general, I worked as a lead programmer in one company. At first remotely, and then this company decided to open a branch just in my city. I will not say the office here, it is large - it is connected with sales. In general, I was offered to head the technical department of the branch, which I successfully did. The main condition they had was that everyone now works in the office.

Actually, the branch consisted of two departments: a sales department (managers were on the phone) and a technical department with programmers and a sysadmin.

We did not even touch each other, but the points of contact were exclusively in the working moments. We have a shortage of programmers in the region (because tough guys go to Moscow or work abroad on a remote basis), and here is an office and a duty at 8 o'clock.

The HR department, which consisted of a very bright lady with red hair, was engaged in the selection of personnel. Why bright? Always in orange or bright red. All of myself. No room for error. Everything is clear.

They say about such - a lady without age. She never spoke to anyone (except for interviews) and did not communicate. I even dined separately. Employees called her Patrikeevna behind her eyes, apparently because of her hair color and bright clothes.

But judging by the number of certificates, achievements and diplomas that were pasted over her small office, she knew about HR and personnel from the cradle. When she was engaged in the selection of managers, this did not concern us: the programmers were interviewed and recruited by me, but as I wrote above, there was a shortage. There were always two open vacancies.

In general, in 3 months they gathered the entire department of managers and Patrikeevna got bored. Yes, she did a lot for this office: she introduced a dress code, developed a clear scheme for hiring employees, kept timesheets, time delays... Since I was in close contact with the boss (and he was in the capital, communication was remote), he was very happy with her and always said that he had long ago offered her the position of executive, but she did not want to.

Patrikeevna came to me and said:

- Do you often interview programmers?

- Well yes

- In general, now I will do this, and I will call you if I like the applicant.

It even became interesting to me. So there are really no people, what's the point of attracting the HR department... But for some reason I believed in Patrikeevna's magical ability to attract the best employees, and I wanted to relieve myself of the burden of the search. Now at least I'm not in business.

Photo: public domain. For the cover.
Photo: public domain. For the cover.

I handed her the account from the headhunter (where I posted vacancies) and then the first interview came. The boy came to the position of a programmer and went to the meeting room with Patrikeevna. By the way, that one had a weighty folder with her. I waited for her to call me. More than an hour passed and I was called.

- Come in, I tested it.

It seems to me that this guy who came to the interview has grown older in this hour and is tired, as if he worked all 8 hours.

Next to him were 10 scribbled sheets of paper with psychological and logical tests (I will give a link to the tests that she came up with below). The guy was clearly not ready to answer profile questions and, of course, flunked the interview. I told Patrikeevna that let me first conduct an interview, and then you can, but no. She herself knew how to do it, and besides, "above, she had already settled everything."

Have programmers started appearing with this approach? Not. It got to the point of absurdity: when the applicant showed examples of his code, she found out why it was so inaccurate (she read about it somewhere!) the programmer writes his own code and "why are there a lot of folders on the flash drive" and even tried to study something in Github (a repository where programmers store).

But with grief in half, we found 2 programmers and Patrikeevna got bored even more. But she temporarily lagged behind us and switched to managers. I came up with some kind of weekly tests for them, constantly monitored their appearance, behavior and other duties of the "HR manager" - the development of employees.

The girls (and the team of managers mainly consisted of them) howled, cried, but continued to work, because the salary was slightly higher than the market, the office was comfortable, there were various bonuses and goodies.

By the way, according to the same chief, she worked perfectly. Yes, sometimes it was driven, but the indicators grew. He always said:

“Such a person will not be ideal for everyone. The main thing is that the numbers are growing.

And then she switched all her punitive measures to our modest IT department, consisting of 7 people: 5 programmers, me and the system administrator Seryoga. Which, by the way, was a rare guest of the office, since the work of the sysadmin begins mainly when something goes wrong, and we ourselves coped with the little things.

Seryoga was bearded, tall, wore a leather jacket and came by motorcycle, but he was modest akin to a lovely lady. Flies will not offend, will not say anything against. As soon as he modestly "oppresses" in response.

Since he was conditionally full-time, she decided to start with him and told him that now his distance is ending. By the way, Seryoga was ready for this in advance (there were already rumors) and began to come to the office all the time. Further more - she really did not like his appearance as a rocker-biker and with some unprecedented magic she dressed him in a suit. He flatly refused to wear a jacket, but in trousers and a shirt he already looked like an office worker.

Patrikeevna, it would seem, calmed down for a while, but then she came up with a new one:

- Programmers need to be seated in offices, because they only chat (s)

Of course, she does not understand what we are picking in the codes. Yes, we are constantly discussing something. Everyone had big headphones, and those who didn't want to take part in the discussion could sit with headphones on. Which, by the way, she didn't like either, and even once she told me, they say they go and listen to music there, how to block it... I said that in no way, if they need to, they will download the music in advance and bring their own headphones.

Personally, she did not particularly bother me, she had only complaints about the fact that we were chatting and about the fact that Seryoga was wearing “the wrong Talmud”. In general, while she was deciding how to seat us (we were categorically opposed, because sitting in a room with managers constantly chatting on the phone - even headphones will not help) her broke down a computer.

Naturally, her "favorite" Seryoga volunteered to repair the unit. More precisely, she understood that our system administrator not only monitors the server, but also repairs computers for girls, so he was politely asked to fix it to her. computer, but outside of working hours, because “she needs to be in the office, but there is a lot of dust in the computer and when the system unit is going to be pulled out, she doesn't want to do it breathe".

And Seryoga just on that day was going to some biker party, which, because of Patrikeevna, passed without him.

The next day, Patrikeevna runs into us and immediately to Seryoga:

- What did you install for me! I don't know how to work there!

- How what, Linux!

- What is it?!

- Yes, this is the same Windows, only from the other side (we were already starting to giggle), you will quickly get used to it, but would you like me to give you lessons? (and she always did not digest Seryoga, because he stood out strongly among everyone)

- Remove! Return everything!

- Yes, of course, only after working hours, I'm busy now and will be released after 18!

She, of course, still "ran on the ceiling", promised to demote all of us to the warehouse cleaners, but Seryoga sat with a stone face, and that day we were all busy rolling out the new release of the site.

Of course, Seryoga insured himself: he installed Windows, but decided to mock and install Linux for her. After working, he removed the boot and returned Windows. After that, Patrikeevna realized that the IT department should be treated more loyally, because it is much easier to find a manager than a programmer.

And more, she never climbed into our IT department - moreover, then we already "knocked out" a freer schedule for ourselves. Yes, when it was necessary we could work until the morning, but if all the work is done, there are no urgent tasks, then why spend the conditional 2 hours in the office? After all, the programmer, in fact, works only 4-5 hours a day, there is no longer any resource left for more.

By the way, Patrikeevna has been living in Italy for 2 years (she was a fan of this country, she studied the language) and seems to be working somewhere in the HR department of a large construction company...

Well, the promised tests, which she came up with, I described in this article (I chose the 3 most difficult school problems): 3 simple logic problems that I asked programmers in interviews. Nobody answered all the questions correctly.. By the way, the only thing she asked for after she stopped meddling in our affairs was these tests. Like, for statistics, at least something is needed!

Conclusion: HR department in the sense in which it exists is only suitable for widespread professions. But programmers need a different approach! Thanks for reading!

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