I’m changing a lot of details here to protect my friend Ed’s privacy, but, the most important detail — that he’s working so hard at being a human resources manager that his vision is getting blurry — is true.
Anyhow, Ed is a very nice, responsible guy who’s gotten all of the credentials necessary to be a successful, instantly employable HR employer.
Whether you want to hire people, fire people, or simply get the paychecks and the notices required by various government agencies sent on time, Ed’s the guy you want in your personnel office, and not just because of the bowl of sugar-free (but delicious) licorice on his desk.
He has a new job at a company with offices in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Winnipeg.
He has to understand the federal benefits and leave laws, state benefits and leave laws, the payroll system rules, the policies of the private benefits providers his company works with, and how to make sense of the completely different laws and rules that apply to the company’s 15 employees in Winnipeg.
Every office in the company is governed by leave laws that are just different enough to make him long for a mental health day.
Many, many disability insurers and benefits administration firms would love to help midsize companies with their benefits and leave administration responsibilities, but Ed has to do everything himself, with the help of one harried administrative assistant.
He’s so busy learning and managing the ropes that he’s barely had time to skim through his own benefits packet.