Bear vs Shark The Corporate Edition: HR vs IT Part 1

by Johnny Debacle

Long or Short Capital has spent many a summer night debating Bear vs Shark, namely which would win in a fight to the death. The answer is obviously the Bear, given a neutral setting such as a tank of shallow water with small islands of rocks for the bear to perch on (Two words: Bone density, look it up. It’s the key in any interspecies matchup.).

But in an equally matched battle of HR vs IT, who sucks harder and longer?

HR (Human Resources) is the official profession of large female mouth-breathers and people who have no ambition. It is closest thing to working for the government outside of…working for the government. The whole department is an entrenched intracorporate bureaucracy which spends its days finding cipherlike ways to spend money, mainly to justify its own existence. There is some debate as to whether HR is a haven of Large Marge types or attractive twentysomething. My own anecdotal experience is that two of the HR women by the door of their floor are large enough that they look like they need to eat other smaller people to sustain themselves, which is what I suspect happens to the odd attractive twentysomething HR hire after a fixed period of fattening and aging, of course.

A typical HR designed program would be to secure subsidized frozen yogurt from TCBY’s for all employees. This would take a typical HR department a full 6 weeks to do and cost $100k in fees from third party consultants. Then they would email this new program out to the whole firm with a clipart of an ice cream cone with three multicolored scoops and a White dude, a Black chick and an Indian chief holding hands to symbolize racial diversity or some crap and tell us all about the new MultiCultural Ice Cream Program. Never would they realize that TCBY does not serve ice cream.

Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple (AAPL) provides this insight into HR (Source: Stepwise):

Ms Smith [prospective VP of HR at AAPL] describes how Mr. Jobs was hostile from the start of the interview:

“He told me my background wasn’t suitable for the position. Sun is a good place, he said, but ‘Sun is no Apple,’ ” recalls Smith with a laugh. “He said he would have eliminated me as a candidate from the start.”

Jobs offered Ms Smith the opportunity to ask questions.

She asked, “What is the corporate strategy?” Jobs replied, “We’re only disclosing our strategy on a ‘need-to-know’ basis.”

Next, she asked why Jobs wanted a VP of Human Resources when it was well known that he was “not a big fan of HR.” According to Smith, Jobs replied,

“I’ve never met one of you who didn’t suck. I’ve never known an HR person who had anything but a mediocre mentality.”

After this, Jobs’s assistant knocked on the door, informing him that “the call you were waiting for is holding.” The interview was over, leaving Ms Smith’s emotions a smoking ruin.

We make the case for IT and give our conclusion in Part 2 of Bear vs Shark the Corporate Edition.

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