Wow…in a very brief time period, we have had some amazing examples of stupidity/dishonesty as it relates to people we held in high esteem.

Manti Te’o – Good golly, is there a stranger story than the All-American Notre Dame linebacker who claims to have been “catfished” for over a year by a fake (and dead) girlfriend? Believe him or not, Manti sat at the Heisman ceremony waiting to receive College Football’s premier award knowing his story was a complete fraud.

Lance Armstrong – Biggest non-story this year for Texans, but obviously a crushing blow to most of his supporters, Lance Armstrong “admits” he was guilty of blood doping, drug-enhancing, lying, cheating, etc. I say non-story for Texans because he’s more of a known quantity here, it was a matter of “when,” not “if” Lancelot finally took the bullet for his crimes. “Everyone was doing it” seems a lot like the line of reasoning most of us had as children, yet here was America’s most celebrated cyclist telling us just that. That’s a whole lotta yellow bracelets sold on a lie.

Oscar Pistorius – Considering his triumphant appearance at the 2012 Olympics, this was a true heart-breaker, and a terrible tragedy. As this story reminds us, human indecency is equal-opportunity. An inspiration to his country and to people around the world, now spouting a flimsy alibi about a burglar locked in his bathroom.

HR-jaded-scandal-employeesAvid baseball and football fans have become numb to the lies and deceit of professional athletes as they deny drug use (or obstructing justice in a double-homicide). Politicians? Fuhgeddaboutit. “Reality” TV? Pull the other one.

The point? This is what a lot of HR people deal with as a career. So, if you ever wonder why there are a few snarky wisenheimers in this profession….There is less of an “HR Lesson” than a “human lesson,” but that’s just quibbling, really. The fact remains, people are a leaky vessel in which to put your faith, and there’s never a shortage of lessons available to HR Professionals.

Of course, the flip side of this is that without these lovable screwballs, we’d all be in Accounting.

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder of the HR Hardball™ movement. Straight talk on complicated issues and steroid-free.