Monday, April 18, 2011

Are you a people person?

I don't have a job, so other than going back to school and taking online classes, my days are filled with looking for what little jobs there are. This makes me wish that Google would hurry up and accept my Adsense account so, maybe I can get a little cash. But, that's not what I am going to write about.

What I am going to write about is the human resources people and that one question that has no application to the job I am trying to get. "Are you a people person?" I hate that question. Inevitably I say yes, but they can see through it. HR people have taken psych classes and such to look out for signs.

The problem is HR people have been trained to look for certain things, what the applicant's experience or education is, if they can offer a lower wage or salary than the average for the area, and if the applicant is a "people person".  This question is generally asked to weed out any potential problems that may rise between coworkers.

In the HR person's mind there are only two types of people, the "people persons" and the others who show antisocial behavior who may pose a problem in the future. In the real world (under this type of thinking) there are four; the people person, the personable person, the manipulator, the antisocial.

Not antisocial, it just seems that way
The people person is the employee that does his work but as soon as he is not being watched he will strike up a conversation with anyone around, if this is not possible the cell phone comes out and under the table tapping begins. Yes, he will get along with just about everyone, but production could be better. The personable person is not the people person, he is personable, but does not focus his efforts on people, his focus is the work. The conversations are usually short, not dragged out like the people person, and cell phones are emergency or break time only. The manipulator is the one that can act like a people person but really isn't, his conversations are usually to collect ammunition against people and then talk about you as soon as you leave. The antisocial one are not necessarily the type of person the shrinks say are bad, those are dissociative people, I am meaning the people who separate work friends from other friends. They probably never or rarely see or talk to coworkers outside of work and usually remain private individuals, this does not make them bad it just means they like to compartmentalize their life, they have work, then they have others. Typically it will go farther than that with work, family, friends, church, school, etc., and rarely if ever will any of them meet.

The manipulator's view of HR.
In only looking for one type of person, this creates a type of work environment that lowers production. If HR people only look for people persons then everyone will want to chat whenever they get the chance. They ruin production for the sake of everyone getting along well and having a social environment. Another issue is that the manipulators usually end up in this category because they make themselves look like a people person. But the manipulators are the worst of all, they make others look bad in order to make themselves look good, even though they really suck at their job (they usually make their way into an undeserved position of power and still refuse to take any responsibility). The personable people, are usually considered antisocial because they end up being short with people, even though they are nice and pleasant. They don't carry on long conversations after the initial start, they know that they are here to work, not to be part of a social club. With the antisocials the big difference between them and the personables is the compartmentalization of their friends, although to any single group it looks like he has few friends but then he may have many groups. Also, the antisocial may be a little more of an ass along with being short with people.

Myself, I fall somewhere in the antisocial/personable range, I can get along with just about everyone until I realize that someone is a manipulator, then I will do whatever it takes to stay away from them. And, no, I am not going to school as a psych major, I just observe and group (compartmentalize).

Hope this may be of some use to those who follow me. I am going to watch some Tom and Jerry now.


  1. I've been asked that question myself, also I was asked just the other day "What do I do for a living." Which sparked obviously a lot of thought.. because there's so much more to the answer than just a one line answer that somebody expects you to give..

  2. I also hate that question; everyone gives the same answer. It's a poor question to ask in my opinion.

  3. i'm a personable person i guess :O

  4. Its ok to be antisocial. I am.