An Essential Tool of HR: COFFEE

by Michael Haberman on April 19, 2010 · 5 comments

HR folks are some of the hardest working (and underappreciated) people I know. Long hours, difficult decisions, difficult people, tons of paperwork (assuming you are a “transactionist”) and a lot of reading (if you are studying for the PHR/SPHR/GPHR or are just being an “environmental scanner” or blog reader.) I know I start my day with a two cup commute at 6:30 in the a.m. and then usually supplement with a mid-morning jaunt out of the office to the Starbucks down the street. Sometimes when work or teaching requires a long into the evening night there will be a 5 p.m. stop as well.

I will admit, I am a caffine fiend, but I am at least not the 20 cups a day drinker I used to be. I will also admit that I am mostly a Starbucks drinker. My son, who worked for Starbucks for several years, even got me to grind my own beans. But I know this will bring scorn and derision down on me by many of you, but I like the coffee and the multiple locations that make it easy to get a cup of the Bold of the Day. And when you need an essential TOOL you need to be able to find it. I have even used some observations made in Starbucks as fodder for a blog post or two. And of course Starbucks as been written about several times for its management lessons. Here is Howard Schultz’s book Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time if you are interested.

I have run across a blog written here in Atlanta that deals with coffee and things around it. Robb Sutton’s Coffee Obsessed does a great job of reviewing coffees, coffee related products and coffee shops where he finds them. I appreciate the latter, in particular, because I am always happy to try out a new coffee shop. I even have occassional thoughts about opening up a shop. It was in reading Coffee Obsessed that I came across a post highlighting a coffee company called Rocket Fuel Coffee. Now that is a name to attract a caffeine fiend! I think I will check them out. I am heading to Greece in late May and I am looking forward to having coffee in the shops of Athens. Any recommendations?

So what is your coffee drink of choice that you find to be an essential tool? If not coffee do you get your caffeine a different way?

BTW, I do realize that beer and wine are also essential tools of HR, but not during working hours, unless  you work for a brewery or vineyard.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

"E" April 19, 2010 at 2:02 pm

I agree 100%!!! Here’s a link to great coffee for a great cause….


Trish McFarlane April 20, 2010 at 5:07 am

My "tool" of choice is iced tea. Specifically, instant iced tea. I can make it as strong and as sweet as I want. If I add Sugar in the Raw, even better. Caffeine and sugar highs get me ever time.


zuzu April 23, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Coffee, for me, is the nectar of the gods. Can't live without it. And I, like you, love Starbucks. (Why do I feel a small wash of shame in acknowledging that to certain people?) P.S. I enjoy your blog when I get a chance to read it.


Michael D. Haberman, SPHR April 23, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Thanks Zuzu.. I guess it is because Starbucks is the "evil empire" of coffee. Most people forget it started small too. So people trash it, much as they do Walmart. But no one ever started large. And most would be thrilled to achieve even a moducum of their success.

Glad you enjoy the reading.


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