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Memo to Human Resources: Don't Try to Look Cool

Every major employer wants to recruit great interns, and part of the process is making your workplace look like a hip and cool place to work. But what happens when HR tries too hard to look hip and cool? Ugh. Let's talk about Microsoft.

Yes, Microsoft. In an effort to become every intern's BAE** (Before Anything Else) company choice, Microsoft recruiters apparently went online and invited a bunch of young people to...hang and get lit at an upcoming San Francisco intern recruitment event. The message said there will be "hella noms, lots of dranks, the best beats, and...Yammer beer pong tables."

Dranks? That's exactly what we need to hear HR saying, because watching HR people try to look cool is like having our dad come to our middle school dance wearing hammer pants and an over-sized, rhinestone sombrero while working it out to a sick beat on the dance floor. It's the stuff of nightmares. No, Dad. You can drop us off a block from the school's front door, because we don't want our friends to see you. We will walk ten feet ahead of you in public at all times and nothing you say will be even remotely cool until 12th grade, at which point we will realize we need you to help pay for college. You're the coolest, Dad!


I'm being facetious, sort of. Human resources isn't cool. Never has been. It's like our dad -- or at the very least, like a workplace overlord that works on behalf of the corporation and is never to be trusted. At least, that's what the cool kids say. Ahem.

So how should we react when HR tries to look all BAE and epic or whatever along with a curious use of emojis? Bottom line: it looks awkward and embarrassing in a professional context, like HR is trying way too hard.

Besides, today's Millennial interns probably do not want their potential employers to adopt their texting slang in job-related posts. It's weird. The workplace is where grown-ups hang, and they use decidedly un-cool slang words like "amplify" and "insight as a service." (Don't worry, college students; half the adults at work do not know what these terms mean, either.)

Is Microsoft human resources having a mid-life crisis (hey, the company did turn 41 in April, so it's possible), or are Microsoft's recruiters largely Millennials in their 20s who think it's cool to use the phrase "hella noms" in a hiring context? Urgh. I don't know. Two words, Microsoft: Hammer pants.

Just be yourself, HR. Ask for our references, and tell us to fill out another form instead of offering us a drank. Please keep in mind that you are Jared Dunn from Silicon Valley, not Erlich Bachman. Sit in your office with the door closed, making the rest of us wonder nervously what you're up to in there. Go over the details of a new office policy with our team, and make sure to use boring HR terminology or we might wonder what's wrong with you.

Go ahead, HR. Embrace your utter lack of workplace cool. And don't blame us if we still walk ten feet ahead of you on our way to the company cafeteria like we don't know you.

** Is BAE supposed to be capitalized, or not? Hey, I never said that I was a cool workplace blogger!

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