When I tell people what my job is, the most common question is some variation on, “But what do you do?” I mean, no one really knows what HR Support Partner actually means. Does that mean I sit in the front office and tend my manicure all day, or does it mean I, like, run the place (or both)? And it’s hard to explain what I do, because I do so many different things. I’m the person people come to when they have a problem with their benefits, or their pay check isn’t being deposited correctly, or their badge isn’t working, or they need to order uniforms, or they just want a piece of candy from my jar and to complain about their boss for a minute. Or five. Or it might be something else entirely – one of the things I kinda love about my job is that I have no idea what I’m going to get next. It can be anything from serious ethics/criminal charges, to what do I do when my co-worker is creepily stalking me on facebook, to hey we found a large stuffed dog upstairs and we want to use it as our mascot. You just never know. But in order to answer the question of what exactly it is that I do, one morning last week I kept a log of what I did. Enjoy:
First: Write employee verification letter for that one employee who really creeps me out. Normally I would wait until I’d had a little coffee for this, but he’s sent me three e-mails in less than 24 hours about it, so I want to get it out of the way. This involves digging into his record in the employee database, and pulling his physical file in order to verify particular information he’s asked to be included, printing the letter, signing it, and then scanning the signed letter back in to e-mail to him.
An employee comes in with a recurring problem – his name keeps showing up in various computer systems coupled with another employee’s picture and job title. He’s a fairly young, good looking Middle Eastern man. She’s an older, slightly scary looking white woman. Several attempts over the last few months to fix the problem have been unsuccessful, and the problem has now progressed to the point where his e-mail address is showing up as belonging to her. I start the process of fixing this for good. This begins with calling our computer help line – over the next week or so it will involve multiple calls moving up the food chain of computer people until someone quite high up figures out the problem (they have very similar employee ID #s, and it looks like someone somewhere got them scrambled), and it’s finally fixed.
Check my calendar – looks like we have several candidates coming in for job interviews. I print off resumes & application summaries for each, and prepare their interview packets including interview questions & evaluations to be used by the people doing the interviews.
The first job candidate arrives – I track down the two people who are supposed to be interviewing her and let them know she is here. Once they arrive, I hand off both the paperwork and the candidate, and get them installed in our interview room.
Three people arrive to pick up their uniforms – we check that the shipments are correct, I have them sign off, and then save the paperwork to be logged in our uniform order tracking system later. For a miracle, all of the shipments appear to be correct.
The day before, one of our employees had e-mailed me letting me know that her husband had just died quite suddenly, and she needed help with figuring out how this would work with her benefits. I answer her questions, and notify Administration so that if they wish they can send flowers, etc.
My favorite volunteer, a very sassy older woman who goes on cruises and jaunts to London, comes in. She cannot get into the volunteer office – do I know the code? I do not, but I suggest that she get one of the police officers to let her in. She loves that idea, because, she tells me, she thinks that Sarge is particularly adorable. She goes to find him. I message him to let her know that she’s on her way. A little later I see them coming back down the hall, her holding on to his arm. They stop in front of my door, and the volunteer carols, “Look what I found!” Sarge later comes in, blushing, and tells me about how she greeted him in the main lobby, giving him a wolf whistle for the bike uniform he was wearing. I think this is hilarious.
An employee comes in upset because her paycheck was deposited to the wrong account, and now she doesn’t know where her money is. I connect her with payroll, and she chats with me about it on our office-approved IM as she works with them to get it fixed.
Another member of my HR team asks me to look up an employee’s health insurance information on the Anthem website. Although they also have access to the website, I’m the only one who’s actually figured out how to use it.
About this time I finally get a chance to run down to the cafeteria and get breakfast: eggs, sausage, milk for my coffee. I bring it back to my desk and eat when I can.
A whole spate of e-mails about uniforms this morning. Uniforms are a constant headache, not only in delivering them to employees, and dealing with employees who are unhappy about various aspects of the process, but in dealing with the uniform company. They’ve started tacking random charges onto individual bills, meaning that each employee’s bill has to be individually audited. The latest is that they’ve upped the price for embroidering our logo on the uniforms by $1 for each item without warning.
A co-worker needs a new badge – I take a new picture for her, and make sure her security accesses carry over from the old badge to the new.
A member of my HR team asks me if I can call in some job candidates for interviews. I print off their contact information in preparation for making the calls, but do not get around to actually making the calls yet.
The President of our hospital has heard about the employee who’s husband has died, and would like to deliver meals for her. I am asked to contact the employee and see what would be helpful, and if there are any food restrictions, etc. We eventually coordinate that she will pick up pizzas from our cafeteria for tonight’s dinner, and meat and cheese trays will be delivered for the next two days.
The managers who have been interviewing job candidates this morning have finished their interviews. They give me their paperwork, and I pass it on to my team member who takes care of the next steps, along with their hiring recommendations.
I start working on updating our uniform tracking spreadsheet.
Two more employees come in to inquire about their uniforms. No, they are not in yet. Yes, I really will e-mail them the instant I get them in. Really, truly. Cross my heart and hope to die. Stop asking.
Other candidates arrive for their interviews – I repeat the process of notifying interviewers, etc.
An employee who recently left the area calls and asks if I can mail her last paycheck to her address in Texas. Yes, I would be happy to do that.
The courier arrives with the paychecks (today is payday). Most paychecks are direct deposited in employee’s bank accounts, but a few still receive actual paper checks. I make the sign-out sheet, and contact people to come get their checks. Most can be notified by e-mail, but a few still require phone calls.
One employee has asked me to take her check down to her department so she can pick it up when she comes in to work the night shift. I take it down. Her department is very quiet. Selleck is hanging out at the front desk telling war stories about his other police job.
I see the employee whose check was deposited incorrectly again – she says everything is now fixed.
On my way back, two more employees stop me with several questions about tuition reimbursement, which I take care of.
When I get back to the office, a job applicant comes in. She cries as she tells me about being fired from her previous job. I know we have no jobs currently open that she is qualified for, but she wants to look through our job postings anyway. I set her up on one of the extra computers in our front office (we have them specifically for this purpose), and help her figure out how to go online and look through the list. She has lots and lots of questions that I answer as I’m doing the next few things.
Our facilities director brings in the people who are in charge of picking out and installing the art in the hospital. He knows that I have been asking about what they are going to put up on the walls in my office for a while. (I figure that if I’m going to have to look at it every day I should have some input.) Unfortunately, I am in the middle of dealing with the job applicant, plus two people picking up paychecks, and I can’t really talk. I do manage to insert that I really like the painting in a particular manager’s office – hopefully this means I’ll get some art I actually like!
Another job applicant comes in at 3 minutes til 12 (I go to lunch at 12). I give them a card with our website, and say that if they come back at one they can use the computers then.
Just as I’m closing the door, another employee comes to pick up their paycheck.
I get the door closed. As I go back to my desk to clock out for lunch, another person comes to pick up their paycheck. I consider ignoring them, but they can see me through the window beside the door. I let them in to get their check.
The art people had asked us to send them electronic copies of all the various documents we’re required by law to keep posted so that they can frame them up all pretty for us. Before I can forget, I e-mail my boss about this.
Finally clock out for lunch
When I get back from lunch I have people waiting for me outside my door – one job candidate here for their interview, and our mail guy here to drop off mail & pick up his paycheck
And then we had the rest of the afternoon!
So, you know, that’s what I do. This was a little bit of a busy day, but not terribly so. You never know what a day will bring, whether it’s raising hell on an employee’s behalf with recalcitrant doctor’s offices who don’t want to accept their insurance, or people bringing in their newborn children to show off, or … anything. I think that’s part of what I love about this job. I don’t think I will ever be bored!