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Employee Nickname of the Week: "KGB"

Ways HR People Say They Didn't Get The Work Done...

I love to write about HR people finding ways to squeeze administrative work down to the lowest possible percentage of time so they can spend time on what matters.

But let's face it, sometime S*** happens.  And then, you've got to protect yourself.  That's why I'm priming the pump today with some MBA one-liners for why the work didn't get done, then we'll find some pure play HR versions.  More from VentureBeat:

"The key to getting away with not getting everything done is to talk like a businessperson. MBA degrees are optional, but helpful. Pull out those banal MBA one-liners and you can circumnavigate your way through any missed deadline or incomplete spreadsheet. Whether you’re too busy or just a little lazy, here are ten surefire lines that will cover your butt and earn you some corporate cred to boot:

  1. I didn’t have the bandwidth this week Detour
  2. We were trying to boil the ocean
  3. I had to prioritize other deliverables
  4. It wasn’t the right high-level strategy
  5. It fell below the line this week
  6. It’s really a time and distance problem
  7. There were other low-hanging fruit to attend to
  8. It’s just not quite in my wheelhouse
  9. It didn’t make sense to reinvent the wheel
  10. The problem was that we were working in silos
  11. It’s an issue of scalability"

So that's the MBA world.  Got any from the HR world?  Here's my short list, hit me with yours in the comments:

  1. Four letters and a word:  EEOC suit.
  2. You want me to put out the fires or work on succession planning?
  3. I value recruiting.  I just value not getting sued more.
  4. Remember that technology we didn't invest in?  I was conducting the orchestra via forms as a result.
  5. Interrogations on bad stuff was my entire week.  I feel like an overworked cop from "The Wire".
  6. Our comp plan is not competitive.  That's why time to fill is up.
  7. I could get my team around the mission a lot faster if they were bonus eligible.
  8. The last time I avoided these employee relations issues to do the fun stuff, the person in your role before you got canned.
  9. I can't get anyone to respond to basic requests for information.  Can we have the CEO send out an email?

Boom.  That's what I got.  What other one-liners are gold for HR Managers, Directors and VPs to say they didn't get the work done and live to tell about it?  Put it in the comments.

Let's crowdsource this sucker.


R. J. Morris

Can I just vote for #8? I like the way you make it personal there.

Jim Fox

Great responses Kris. I have none better, but will contribute, "Oh, you were serious about doing that?"


Our HRIS systems don't produce valid data, therefore we can't measure the success. Since we can't measure it, we decided it wasn't worth trying.


I'm one person steering the boat - but all you've given me is one oar!


Sorry I did not get around to that, but I had my _____(fill in the blank; Safety, Environmental, Union Avoidance, Employee Relations, etc. etc.) Hat on today.


Love it! On a similar chord as Liz...
"Not enough oars in the water, and too many people yelling STROKE!"


I'd love to have done that for you. Which of the four "this is the highest priority for this week" did corporate say that was again?

John Hollon

How about, "I had to put out a fire before the NLRB got called in instead."


I had a manager who fell back on this one every time I came up with a new / edgy idea that would shake up the way they've always done it: "It's an organizational grey area and there's no appetite to __________." Makes my skin crawl just remembering.


I don't have the capacity for this. You can also tell someone you don't know by saying that you don't have any visibility into that

Joel Kimball

1) "I was engaged in completing the 'vital many'."
2) "I know in your world that's the most important thing we're working on..."
3) "If I wasn't so busy doing your job for you..."
4) "I know - you asked us to kill Superman, and we couldn't do that one, simple thing..."

Yeah, I've used every single one of those. Not proud...but it's true.


Nobody does it better than Jake Blues.

It's not my fault!

Corey Harlock

"I'm to busy because we are understaffed. I don't have time to address our recruiting concerns." Hmmm....


" I was too busy sharing my brain with the rest of you that I couldn't move the needle on that metric"


IF you want it today,
ASK for it yesterday, &
You'll get tomorrow.

Greg Modd

I looked into that and lets just say the trailer was a lot better than the movie... you know what I mean Bob?!

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