Tra-La-La, You Are My Only Resource

If the relabelling of Personnel departments as “Human Resources” were designed to reassure the workers that they were henceforth to be more highly valued and appreciated, this only goes to demonstrate the shallowness of managerial thinking. There is nothing wrong with the word “Personnel”; it is a sort of plural of persons, which is what indeed we are. Neither is there anything intrinsically offensive about the word “Staff”. I am quite sure, however, that I do not wish to be considered as a Resource, even an admittedly Human one. It sounds like part of a list: mineral resources, vegetable resources, animal resources, the latter perhaps being subdivided into canine, equine, bovine, porcine, ovine and human resources. Or perhaps Human Resources are a subset of Financial Resources and; as something to spend, expend, consume and use up – oops, they’re all gone.Personnel is a Thou, a resource is an It. Personnel sounds like farming, but Human Resources sounds like mining.

The same thing happened a generation ago, when “workers” were rebranded as “employees”. Tools are employed, but people work. On second thoughts, perhaps this is not well-meant ignorance at all, but a manifesto. To be employed is the nature of an employee, and to be consumed is the nature of a resource; but when a person is asked to work, he might reasonably ask why, and what’s in it for him. Oh dear, we can’t have that!

Posted on April 22, 2012 at 17:16 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: THE ENSLAVING MAMMAL, The Return Of The Feudalist

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