2nd Annual Tim Sackett Day – Paul Hebert



Somehow I missed the first Tim Sackett day.

Maybe it was because last year at this time I was coping with a recent move from Michigan to Florida. Maybe it was because January 23rd is the day before my birthday and I’m always feeling too sorry for myself and my fading years to give a shit about anyone else.

But I am here for the second Tim Sackett day. I am here to honor a HR practitioner who does great work but isn’t likely to end up on an arbitrary influencer list.

I’m here because I know and love Paul Hebert.

I met Paul in early November 2009, at the very first HRevolution in Louisville. Paul led what we came to call the “baby blogger” session – the session for people who were beginning HR bloggers or thinking about blogging, or who didn’t blog but who didn’t have anywhere else to go. With kindness, thoughtfulness, and the smartest sense of humor I have ever seen, Paul taught that group of wide-eyed, blogger innocents that it was okay to try, to fail, and to try again. There are several of us from that class who started blogging about HR and related issues after that class – and are still doing so today.

Since then, Paul has been a help to me anytime I have asked him for it – and even if I didn’t.  He showed up at my Twitter #SHRMChat last October when we were discussing maximizing membership, just to be supportive and because he knows everything about incentivizing your people there is to know.


Now he  is inspiring me in a different way.

Paul has cancer, you see. Cancer scares the shit out of me, because three of my siblings have already died from cancer, and my mother had it, too, although her heart quit before the cancer killed her.  To me the big C is more of a matter of when, and not if.

But Paul is facing his cancer with his customary wicked humor and smart style. He started a blog called Peestrong – bladder cancer, so the title of the blog perfectly reflects his smarts – where he details his journey through this debilitating illness. I find myself reading his entries over and over, hoping that I can face my eventual cancer with the same type of thought and graceful wit he has shown me.

Yes, Paul is a force in the online, #trenchHR world that deserves recognition and credit. To me, though, he is much, much more.

Check him out – I know you won’t be sorry.




Get Outta’ My Chair (and Off My Toilet)

Botsford Cancer Center (Michigan). Only a teeny tiny sliver of MY chair is visible all the way to the left (behind the counter).


During my first two years of undergrad I lived in a older dormitory, the kind with a bedroom for two people and community bathrooms and showers on each floor for all residents to share.

The bathroom had about 10 individual stalls, but I always – and I do mean always – used the same one. For two years. If my stall was occupied when I entered the bathroom, which rarely happened, I waited if I could, even if all the other stalls were empty.

Goofy, right?

If you think about it, though, you probably do the same. Maybe not with a toilet, but by using the same chair in your dining room, kitchen, or family room.  Jokes abound about people and their demand for their kids or dogs to get out of THEIR chair. Sitting in a nearby chair – even if the view, seat, or ambience is better – makes most people extremely uncomfortable. And really, isn’t sleeping on the same side of the bed every night the same thing?

A friend of mine who is dealing with bladder cancer recently started a blog about his journey. In his blog he mentioned that he had found HIS chair at the chemo center. I get it, bro’, because I visit a chemo center, too, where I receive infusions for chronic iron deficiency anemia. In two different states I have done the same – found a chair I liked and then sat there every single visit.  Unless some moron was in MY chair.  😉

I have no idea why people do this. Even people who are normally adventuresome, eating new foods and trying new things, will still find their way to the same chair (and probably toilet, but no one mentions that part) in their daily routines.

People like me who blog in the HR/talent management/workplace space are often telling people that they should not let the fear of failure prevent them from trying, because lack of trying is failure itself.

But not when it comes to changing your chair or toilet. I’m with all of you who will not ever consider it.


 Are you brave enough to admit your attachment to your seat?