Archive for Fun & Misc

Beauty Queens on the Bayou – #MissUSA #goBR

site_promo1398180413LivefromBatonRouge2As a child (ages 6 through 10) there were two things I always role-played in the comfort of my home – Office and Beauty Pageant.

When playing Office I would move a dining room chair into the living room and place a TV tray in front of it. On the TV tray I placed (neatly!) a pad of paper, multiple pens and pencils, a stapler and/or tape dispenser, and my Fisher Price telephone.  I slipped on a jacket from one of my mother’s suits, clipped on a pair of her earrings, and spent glorious hours being super efficient while taking (imaginary) phone calls, writing (imaginary) work orders and ordering (imaginary) minions about to do my business.

Beauty Pageant was my go-to-role-play when I was freshly scrubbed and released from my mother’s tyranny of the bathtub.  Feeling super chic in my long flannel nightgown, accessorized with my bathrobe artfully flung about my shoulders and a pair of my mother’s peep toe high heels, I prepared for my crowning. I lined up my dolls on the sofa, grabbed a bouquet of artificial flowers to hold in my arms, and, suitably attired, made a grand entrance into the living room.  I humbly acknowledged the (imaginary) thunderous applause as I sobbed uncontrollably and blew kisses to the (imaginary) adoring throngs.

The Beauty Pageant dream died out l-o-n-g ago. Playing Office however, came in handy when I decided to spend 25 years working in Human Resources.  After all, starting at age 6 I wrote memos that no one read, had phone conversations where no one listened, and assumed that ordering people around signaled my authority and influence……….

But you know what guys and gals?

For the next 11 days I get to play Beauty Pageant!!!

OK – I don’t think it’s called a Beauty Pageant anymore; the correct terminology appears to be competition.  And while, obviously, the women who compete are physically lovely the various systems/organizations that run these events have worked pretty hard to make sure the programs also highlight talent and scholarship and accomplishments – stuff that goes well beyond great hair, long legs and super white teeth.

Although I doubt I will get to try on the crown or anything, I will be front and center to the hubbub as an official Social Media Ambassador for the #MissUSA 2014 pageant working in conjunction with Visit Baton Rouge and the Baton Rouge Social Media Association.   This, I have to tell y’all, is quite thrilling.

Naturally, while circling in the orbit of these 51 impossibly beautiful and accomplished contestants, I’m sure I will feel incredibly dowdy and frumpy. I’m already imagining that I will overhear Miss Idaho quiz Miss Wisconsin with a whispered “Who is that woman in the sensible shoes with the Coach bag?  She looks like an HR lady.”

For you however, my dear and loyal HR Schoolhouse readers, I shall persevere.  I shall tweet and Instagram and blog and snap pictures of Nene Leakes (!!!) and Larry Fitzgerald. I shall, if allowed, provide coverage of every flute player, baton twirler and opera singer I can find. My intent is to explore and assess the HR/work/talent related dynamics of the whole event and organization which I find incredibly mysterious and fascinating. I’m willing to bet that I can find a whole new spin on ‘authenticity’ and ‘brand’ in the pageant world.  Just a guess.

I also intend to give you a glimpse of the cool things that are going on here in Baton Rouge. So be warned – if you are following me on the twitterz you will see all sorts of stuff with the hashtags #MissUSA #goBR and #krewedecrown.  Roll with me.

Plus, even though I totally do not meet any of the qualifying criteria anymore, I might still get the inside scoop on becoming the next Miss USA!

Not sure though if my flannel nightgown would still be suitable for pageant competition.

The Road Untraveled

The Road Untraveled

Discovering unchartered territory is not an easily accomplished task.  Setting out on a pathway in either a bustling urban landscape or in the solitude of a remote location usually means encountering the artifacts left behind by those who came before.  Who amongst us has not set out in peaceful seclusion on a windswept dune, confident that a human traveler had not trod the same isolated path for decades only to step, quite unceremoniously, on a discarded beer can?

The thought we had when setting out into the pristine isolated wild that we were the first human to make the trek is dashed.  We feel let down and saddened that we cannot avoid the inescapable evidence that we are not the first person stepping in uncharted land.

We like to think that our choices – the paths we view ahead and upon which we choose to walk – are unique.  We search for importance and meaning. We don’t want our decisions to be trivial; we want the weighty choices in our life to have significance.  And it’s part of the human condition, isn’t it, that we inevitably find ourselves wondering at a later time “what if I had…” “Would it have meant more if I had done…?”  “Why didn’t I…?”

Yet we are forced to make choices.  We must determine which road we shall go down even when we have neither guidance nor enough facts upon which to base our decision.

But choose a path we must.

There is, at the end of our days, no need to look back (perhaps with a sigh of regret) and wonder what we missed.  It’s useless to speculate on the unknown that we never encountered.

While there may not be one right path there is, inescapably, the path we choose.  And then there’s the other path.

Not better.  Not worse.  Merely untraveled.


The Road Not Taken

(4th stanza)

(by Robert Frost)


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;


Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,


And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.


I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference

Happy Mardi Gras!


Cheers to @SourcerKelly – #timsackettday

fireworks3It’s one of my favorite holidays today –  #timsackettday.  A day when we gather together to celebrate someone who kicks butt all year long getting stuff done in the HR and/or Recruiting space.

This year we’re honoring Kelly Dingee someone who most definitely deserves a whole bunch of accolades.  Are you following her on Twitter? Do you have her in a G+ circle? You should. Did you know she’s a member of the Candidate Experience Council?

Kelly’s a proud mom who lives in the DC area where she leads a team of sourcers in her role as Strategic Recruiting Manager for Staffing Advisors.  She’s regularly speaks on sourcing, social media and all things recruiting and is a long time member of the Fistful of Talent blogging team; you can read all her FOT stuff here.

I always enjoy Kelly’s posts and one that stuck with me from a few years ago was was I’ll Tell You Why Your HR Worker Bees Don’t Want To “Engage” With Candidates… Nailed it; as she usually does.

So join me in toasting Kelly today; hoist a glass, send her a tweet, buy her some chocolates.

Then take a look around your office and peer into the mirror.  See some folks who are successfully grinding it out?  I bet you do – so take a moment to commend your coworkers and yourself.

The beauty of #timsackettday is that on the 23rd of January we all get to celebrate our inner Sackett!

Cheers Kelly!!