How Much Math Is Needed To Be In Human Resources He Dropped Itching Powder From the Ceiling at The Auction

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He Dropped Itching Powder From the Ceiling at The Auction

Why should you hire someone with a sense of humor?

Well, let me tell you a story.

Recently, I was interviewing a gentleman who had made some strange claims on his resume. His last job was working at an auction house and he claimed he was able to increase the company’s revenue by over 5000% in one year. That seemed a little questionable, so I challenged him on this notation on his resume. I started by leaving him an “out” and asked if it was a typo, and if he meant 5%, 50%, or was it 500%. He acted horrified that I didn’t believe the 5000% gains in the income figure. He told me;

“Well it was 5000% and it may have been even higher!”

At this point I had to hear his secret. He said;

“It was simple, during each auction session, he would attach himself to the rafters and very lightly sprinkle ‘itch dust’ on the crowd below. Bidders couldn’t help themselves and kept scratching their hair, heads and shoulders. – and every time they did it the price went up because they were seen as gestures to go higher.”

Well, this is a creative solution indeed, but was it real? And how did you quantify it? He explained the numbers and the increases and yes, it was close to 5000%. Actually a 4960% increase when I did the math. I never knew if he actually did or not, but he was the most interesting person I had ever interviewed and I was hiring for a position in the R&D department, the title was Director of Innovation, in charge of the whole team of innovation leaders

He made his statement with such a sincere face, I still wonder if it was true. If he made that up, that’s funny and should be a cartoon in Barron’s or the Wall Street Journal. If it’s real – “Wow, that’s a business story.”

It’s good to have fun people in your company’s innovation center; having interesting people who think outside the box is also very good. Sometimes as HR professionals we take ourselves too seriously. We don’t treat people as people. We don’t see the human side and how certain personality traits can be much more important than basic knowledge, college degrees or years in an industry.

Unique people are valuable to an organization, but if you don’t agree, maybe you should hire a bunch of robots and call them Robotic Resources instead of Human Resources. Oh, and while you’re at it, why not save your company some money and hire a robot to replace you too? Who needs a dull, boring human in HR, we’ve got enough. Surely that is why we have the problems in this sector that we have today! Think about this human.

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