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The difference between HR and Personnel.

When HR departments were called “Personnel”, before humans were just “resources”, they seemed much kinder and more concerned about employees’ welfare. In the 90s, I worked for an ad agency with a wonderful Head of Personnel. One day, she made me bring in my Post Office savings book and, appalled that there was only about twelve quid in the account, she confiscated the book. Then every month, without my permission, she’d transfer chunks of my salary into that account. Imagine “HR” doing that now. Two years later, I begged for it back. “Pleease. My girlfriend’s pregnant and I want to buy a house”. Reluctantly, she handed it over. There was £3,500 in there. I hadn’t even missed that money and it completed the deposit I needed. We still live in that house and, over the years, I think it’s earned more than I have. Which is why I’ll be forever grateful to Personnel.

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