Short post today, but infinitely more light-hearted. For one reason or another I flashed back to my early days in Recruiting and got the biggest laugh when I remembered engaging in one of our more ridiculous (and fun) HR Games.human-resources-games

Not sure we ever named it, but the gist of it is this ~ we were a tight-knitted group of 6 internal recruiters, all at a time when the business was exploding. The open requisitions were flooding our desks, candidates were hammering us on the phone lines, and we were putting in 12-14 hour days trying to keep pace.

A little levity never hurts, right? We decided to challenge each other in a game of malapropism. The challenger would pick a word, any word, and the challenged party would have to insert the word into their next interview. So, at various times of the day you might hear “froggypants,” “sasquatch,” or other nonsensical words thrown into the mix of a natural course of conversation ~ these were live interviews, not telephonic, so part of the challenge was keeping a straight face while inserting a complete non-sequitir into the dialogue. You also had to be prepared for the candidate to reply with “I’m sorry…….but, what?” and have a cover word to explain the gaffe. Please don’t get the wrong impression, this didn’t happen in every interview, but there were times when a comedic break was needed.

Being a natural wise-ass, I was pretty good at this game, and even better at offering up inane words for my colleagues to handle. There was one word, though, that almost got us all in trouble, because no matter how hard we tried not to snicker, we became the kid on the back pew, unable to suppress the giggles.

The word? “Spaghetti-O’s”. So stupid, so gloriously funny, so inappropriate for any conversation thread….the perfect foil.

So, if you happened to be interviewing in the late 90’s for a position with a leading Ophthalmic pharmaceutical giant, my sincere apologies if you have continually doubted your recollection of the experience. Yes, you actually were asked if you had “hot dog fingers.”

John “Whit” Whitaker is Founder and OH (Original Hardballer); like this post? Try this one, this one, or even this one….go ahead, don’t be a weenie.