“Dementors are among the foulest creatures that walk this earth. They infest the darkest, filthiest places, they glory in decay and despair, they drain peace, hope, and happiness out of the air around them… Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. If it can, the Dementor will feed on you long enough to reduce you to something like itself… soulless and evil. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.”
—Remus Lupin (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Well, hello! I’m your Sun in Scorpio and Scorpio Ascendant Human Resources Dementor.
Oh, no. No, I’m not here to hire you or talk about benefits. My responsibilities lie in the firing and discipline competencies of the HR field. It’s never pretty or easy. When I tell someone I work in human resources, I can see the briefest glimpse of disgust fall behind their face. Just a slip, and then a fake mask goes up immediately, with a phony high pitched voice saying, “Oooooh, human resources…” as if they’ve never heard of the term. I don’t blame them for their disgust. I don’t think Human Resources is anyone’s dream job or (*gag*) career.
I was a solid A/B student, and then the economy tanked and I fell into this work while trying to escape another truly horrible job. Everyone I worked with decided I was great at this soul-sucking gig, so I was down for the challenge of making it my bitch. You can trust… If I hear or read your name too many times, and you’re a poor performing employee and/or you are consistently breaking your boss’s balls, you’ll be on my radar. Once that happens say “Sayonara!” to your soul.
Sure, it get’s kind of lonely, and I’m okay with that. When you’re an HR dementor it’s not easy to counsel “friends,” and you’d never want to hand them a termination. It’s easier to float along solo and not form any attachments. I’ve got friends and family outside of the workplace. And it’s not like I’m a mean person. I still have manners. I’m just not going to bring cookies into the office. Like I mentioned, it’s just best for both of us if I don’t know your name.
Coworkers are rarely “nice” to me. If they are, it’s more like I hope I don’t upset you with my opinions or suggestions, so I’m going to be pleasant instead – and you can hear it in their tone. Maybe it’s because I’m not smiling with teeth 24/7. Sure, your supervisors love me. All their secrets and confessions are safe. And I tell no one. No. One. They keep cool in front of you, and meanwhile, I have to receive the long rant about your un-professionalism or incompetence, or worse – your inability to improve in those areas.
I’ve had VPs express their gratitude because they admit that they don’t want to be the ones sliding the termination letter across the table. Yes, I’ll do it – properly, with an even tone and a face like brimstone. It’s what I’ve been trained to do, and I’m good at it. It doesn’t bother me. The soul kiss is part of my job.
It’s not a quick process, and never mind that it’s “at-will” employment, it won’t be a sudden surprise to you. When I’m involved, you’ll feel me watching. You’ll smell the stench and feel the cold air. The soul kiss, whether it’s a termination, a demotion, or whatever disciplinary action, is something that we HR Dementors are always prepared for in advance, and it’ll definitely drain you. I have all your emails printed out, ready, and waiting for our final discussion.
Your tenure and performance records? Yes, I obsessed and pored over those, too. See where I’ve underlined, circled, and highlighted? And the colored tabs are all coordinated for my own notes. I’ve already spoken to all of your bosses, the security guards in the building, and I.T. is waiting for the exact minute that I’ve told them to disconnect your network access and completely “soul kiss” your work computer as well. I’m ready. I’m so prepared, I’ll know everything; when you arrive, when you leave, what you ate for breakfast, if you’re going through a breakup or divorce, if you have a drinking problem, all your previous complaints filed… I’ll know. I even wore my nicest dark suit.
I don’t want, and won’t accept, any apologies. Apologies mean nothing to me. It’s not me you’ve wronged. Sure, folks can fling insults and bad attitude – it just makes the soul kiss easier. They’re upset. I get it. But there are no second chances. If you find yourself sitting across from me at that large conference table, and you’re on the receiving end of the soul kiss, the decision has already been made. I’ve been sure of it. If there were any doubts, there would be no discussion. Using fancy words won’t impress me or change the situation. It’s especially painful if anyone tries to argue with me. I always have to remain professional and not argue back, no matter what they say.
I guess it’s just all in a long day’s work. Talk about Qi Vamps! When I get home, I like to go for a jog or enjoy a dark red wine. Then I’ll end the night by soaking in an intensely hot bath filled with rose water and pink Himalayan salts. I’ll sit there sweating and obsessing, reliving the events of the day and wondering who will be next.
JB has been dishing out soul kisses for almost a decade. Besides haunting the office, cutting the low-hanging fruit, and taking names, JB enjoys jogging, dark red wines, and intense soaks in a hot bath filled with rose water and pink Himalayan salts. JB is extremely secretive.
Image: Harry Potter Wiki