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1. The completely unqualified but often entertaining Wiki answers defines the watershed moment as “…a moment in time where everything changes. A point in time when nothing after will ever be the same as before. To call it a turning point technically is true, but it is an overly simplistic definition of the phrase. The figurative meaning comes from the literal meaning of a point, or division in a river, or stream where the river is split into two distinct paths that will not intersect again.”…So I think that tonight is this site’s watershed moment 1 (which in a weird way ties to red circling – just give me a minute to get there).

Full disclosure - we won't be getting to this until just about the end.

Full disclosure – we won’t be getting to this until just about the end.

When I started this site I made the decision to write about HR every day.

To this point, I knew I’d be out of state this Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and as such my typical after hours blogging hours would be 2. Out of office, but I met some great people, learned some interesting things etc. Excellent start to the week.limited. 2 Consequently, starting at 10 pm Sunday night I attempted to write my Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday posts all in one evening (the intention being to schedule each to appear onsite at the designated dates).

I love it when a great idea comes together. Photo credit: xfinity.comcast.net

I love it when a great idea comes together. Photo credit: <xfinity.comcast.net>

3. …Or not. As a longstanding sufferer of unrealistic expectations, I have a tendency to just jump into things without much consideration of the time and effort it will take to complete them. When I do this it mostly ends in disappointment, but occasionally ends in broken dreams and total disaster (stories for another day).This had all of the makings of a great idea 3… but then my Sunday post became a 1,300 word rant that took me pretty late into the night to complete and (temporarily) robbed me of my writing spirit. I’d have ordinarily slugged through all four posts and paid the price over the rest of the week, but I knew I had a five hour drive the next day.

Instead, I pushed through the Monday post (an absolute priority since I knew I wouldn’t have time to write the next day at all), and decided the rest would work itself out.

Late Monday evening I arrived at my hotel. In my sleep deprived haze I didn’t think to ask the desk attendant if there was a business center (there was – I’m 4. The HTML formatting on a mobile is a nightmare.typing from there now), and instead I wrote the post from my phone. 4

This wasn’t the the site’s watershed moment though – tonight is. I’m not on my normal computer, sleepy (with an early morning tomorrow), not in the mood to write, and I have a long drive back. If any night was going to be a night to not blog it would be this one. So I asked myself:

Rory, are you the chicken or the egg?

This may or may not be going where you think it is. Photo credit: blog.timesunion.com

This may or may not be going where you think it is. Photo credit: <blog.timesunion.com>

I ask this question whenever I come upon various watershed moments in life. For me, this doesn’t mean the same thing as the analogy of the same name. For me, “Are you the chicken or the egg?” begs the question: Are you just involved, or are you committed?

What do I mean, you ask?

One day as I was having breakfast I thought about this: When one has scrambled eggs the chicken is involved in the creation of that delicious breakfast. The egg, on the other hand, is committed to it being a delicious breakfast.

5. Is that too dark?Think about that. 5

I decided that this isn’t just going to be a sometimes thing, and that I’m going to be committed to writing about human resources every day.

…So here I am writing about chickens and eggs and tying it back to HR.

Which brings me (at last) to red circling.

If you can do this red circle rates may not apply. Photo credit: www.mspmentor.net

If you can do this red circle rates may not apply. Photo credit: <www.mspmentor.net>

6. There are always exceptions. Always. Sometimes these exceptions are for good reasons (i.e. a job may be mis-mapped/the company pay ranges may be lagging the market/there may be internal debate on the pay grade/the employee may be someone the company can’t afford to alienate due to his/her value to the business etc). Sometimes “just because” is also the reason.A company (sometimes) 6 red circles an employee when he/she is paid at a rate that is above the established range for the job they occupy. Payscale has a great article on red circling that you can read here, but the question I struggle with is if the policy should be applied at all – and if so how.

A wise man once told me (about something unrelated) that “it depends” (he says this a lot), and I am inclined to apply that sentiment here. Personally, I go back to the question I asked myself about blogging tonight:

Chicken or egg?

Pay ranges are there for a reason – as part of a larger compensation structure for the organization. The question of if those ranges are guidelines or rules should govern an organization’s approach to red circling. 

I don’t have a ton of energy around one position or the other. With that said, I believe that an organization that makes the decision to make the use of pay ranges a guideline (and not a rule) should have clear rules around these exceptions, lest the ranges come (with time) to mean nothing at all.

As always, I don’t have all the answers. Please share your thoughts below.



If you have questions about something you’ve read here (or simply want to connect) you can reach me at any of the following addresses: 

SomethingDifferentHR@gmail.com OR rorytrotter86@gmail.com