There's this weird thing about working in Human Resources. I mean, there are LOTS of weird things about it, because people are weird and the situations they get themselves into are weird and having to deal with people's weirdness is...weird.
But I'm repeatedly faced with something in my role that challenges me, because I'm a pretty up front and honest person. If you come to me with an issue and you're wrong, I'll tell you so. If you are making a bad decision, I'll call you on it. So what do I do when I'm privy to information that I can't share? What do I do when I can't tell you what's coming because it's confidential, so I have to look you in the face and lie to you? Or give you recommendations or suggestions that are way off, because I know something you don't know and I have to lead you a certain way because of that knowledge?
Most of the time, what this entails is knowing that someone is going to be let go. Now, if you are being straight up fired, I'm the one to do it and I have made it clear to you that that's where we are headed. I have no issue with that situation.
But what happens when it's a layoff, and you haven't necessarily done something wrong but it's just time for you to go? You have no idea it's coming. I'm making plans for your departure and yet I have to smile in your face and sit in meetings with you while you make plans for the next 6 months...when I know you won't even be here anymore.
It feels like dishonesty to me. It feels like I should be giving you a heads up. Like, "Hey man, you might not want to bring that extra plant into work for your office...you're just going to have to bring it back home next week." Or, "Hey man, your three-year money-saving plan isn't going to be quite that long...why don't you consider a three-day plan instead?"
Of course, I can't do that. It's part of the job - confidentiality. I have to keep it to myself and make plans for when you won't be here anymore but act to your face as if you will. It's a really weird thing for a person who takes pride in her openness and honesty at work to handle. As I move up the ranks, it's something I have to contend with more and more because more information is entrusted to me. And while I love the increased pay that comes with moving up the ranks, having to lie to people's faces is something I could do without.