Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Resources - "Human" Resources

In school we have all read geography where we have read about natural "resources" like minerals and metals (verum kallum mannum than). It was not until I joined office, did I hear of people being referred to as resources. Yes, I have heard of the word 'Human Resources' but the way these people use or should I say abuse the word resource makes me want to cry.

The first time I ever heard this word(in this context) was when I overheard a conversation between my Team lead(TL) and my Project Manager(PM)

TL: I have requested for more resources for this project
ME( silent spectator but actively thinking :):Oh! he must be asking for comps for us..
PM: Okay. Have you logged a call on the xxx site requesting the new resources?
ME(thiking): Thats nice! they even have an internal portal to get stuff they want .. cool!!
TL: Yes, Sir I have
PM: Okay then. I will approve it and I think in about a couple of weeks or so the you will get your new resources

After this we had a team meeting where my TL announces,"we will have two new resources added to our team in the next couple of weeks or so. SO now our head count will be 5!"It was only then did I realize that he was refering to people and not computers!!!
Well I guess it is alright to refer to people as resources. But to me it sounds like they are refering to another piece of office stationary. Say a pencil . A pencil is a resource and it can be a Steadler or a Nataraj. Same way, these "Human" is a resource and he can be a java resource or .Net resource. It is pretty demeaning to be called some resource when you are more than just a resource. Dont you think it would be nice to refer to people as people instead of resource. After all we contribute more than a pencil!!!

Another time, I heard two people discussing -
Person 1: Hey you have a resource whoz working on abc stuff, right?
Person 2: Yes, why do you ask?
Person 1: Well I just wanted to pull this resource into my team
Person 2: I wouldnt allow you to do that. I am already running short of resources for my project. If you want him then you need to give me one from your team
Person 1: Oh! Not an Issue(this is another term that was added to my corporate vocab)
This sounds like a a deal! Doesnt this remind you of the 'joote do paise lo, paise do joote lo' song..

I tried asking people ( even some APMs) as to why they use the word resource. Their answer was that resource refered to a new or reserve supply. So anything or anybody who has something to offer is a resource. But the very sound of that word puts me off.. Then again, I guess I gotta get used to it as the entire industry is refering to its "man-power" as resource.

So, are we all just resources .... nameless faces working diligently to get some other resource's brain wave working with the aid of other dumb resources(read computer)!!


Ashwin said...


Have a look at this...U might change ur mind.. ;)

gils said...

hahaa...interesting thot...dont worry...with more experience one day u mite repeat this PM-TL conversation verbatim to someone