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aussiejohn
659

As I recently started my 74th orbit around the sun, the time has come for me to retire.

I have been a member of the CiteHR forum since 2006, over 17 years. Not a bad innings, but it's time to pull up stumps.

It has been an interesting 17 years to say the least. I would like to think I have made a difference, and many of you have taken the time to thank me and appreciate my posts. For that I am truly grateful. To the half dozen or so that did not like my posts, that's ok. You are entitled to your opinion - even if it is wrong :-)

Some may feel I have been overly harsh at times, and maybe that is true. However, I don't mince words, and I say it how it is. I do not pander to people, and sometimes people need to be told to get of their backsides and help themselves. I will never spoon-feed anyone. No-one learns, or grows as a person with that attitude.

I have learnt a lot over the years, particularly about Indian HR, and more importantly, the long list of problems that bedevil HR in India. Most of you will know my biggest bugbear has been the constant stream of people who are appointed to HR jobs and know nothing whatsoever about HR. Second only to that is the constant stream of people who know nothing, have no intention or inclination to learn anything, and just come to CiteHR so that we can do their job for them - without pay. The third bugbear is of course the fact that every single day we continually re-invent the wheel with the same questions over and over again.

To the members who just sit back and spoon-feed posters with the same answers time after time after time, may I remind you of an old proverb - "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime"

It is up to those of us here who are so-called "seniors" to teach our younger colleagues HOW to find answers to their questions, not give it to them. We need to use our skills, our knowledge and our experience to encourage, guide and train those following behind us.

Sadly we now have a new trend where some members are not giving us the benefit of their real world experience, but just regurgitating AI generated text without providing a disclaimer that AI was used, nor checking the sources of this material. This is a new and dangerous precedent.

Now don't misunderstand me, AI COULD well be a useful tool in the future, but a lot more work needs to be done on it. All the experts agree that IT SHOULD NOT BE RELIED ON FOR TRUTHFUL ANSWERS AT THIS STAGE. If you do not believe me, google "AI hallunciations" and that will tell you exactly what I mean. I am currently working with AI in a different context, and both my colleagues in the same field and I see daily the mistakes it makes.

Unchecked, and unsourced AI generated text also opens up a minefield for inexperienced and naive freshers who do not have the knowledge and experience to know if what they are being told is correct. If they make decisions based on information generated y AI, and something goes wrong, it could have far reaching, and possibly disasterous consquences for both themselves, and their organisation. There is also a minefield of ethical considerations to be taken into account, particularly as HR people are dealing with confidential information, and breaches of privacy will also have very serious consequences.

As I said above, my CiteHR journey has been interesting. However, it saddens me to say that I am no longer interested. I have grown increasingly tired of some of the nonsense I read here every day, and the refusal of people to make use of the vast resources of the forum via the Search facility. There is so much accumulated wisdom here just being wasted. The answers to many questions are already here. And then there are the people who make stupid decisions without thinking things through, and researching thoroughly first BEFORE committing to something which then turns bad, and they then expect us to solve their problem. But I am mindful of the fact that NONE of us here can truthfully say we haven't messed up something. However, there are those of us who own our mistake, do what we can to try and fix it, learn from it, and move on.

And finally, like all websites unfortunately, we are constantly battling spam, especially the new trend of hiding spam links in seemingly helpful posts. I waste too much time every day weeding that stuff out to protect members who could click on a dangerous link and create problems for themselves or their organisation if they are using a work computer. I now leave it up to you to protect yourself.

To the friends I have made on CiteHR, I thank you most sincerely. I have learnt so much from you and always valued your advice and wise counsel.

To Sid, the owner of this website, thank you for allowing me to be part of CiteHR, and for according me the honour of being a Moderator. I really appreciate that.

Good bye and good luck.

From Australia, Melbourne
Dinesh Divekar
7863

Dear Mr John Heath,

Your message came out of the blue. A handful of members have remained with Cither for a long time, and you were one of them. Apart from the Chief Administrator, Sid, and Mr Narasimhan K, you are the oldest member of Citehr. Sometimes every association comes to an end, and so is yours with Citehr. Yes, a time comes when a person thinks the time is appropriate to hand over the reins to the juniors. While taking the reins, I hope they will be able to continue with your legacy.

Your stint with Citehr will be remembered for your straightforwardness. You did not shy away from demonstrating your personality trait even in your parting message. But then this forum is dominated by members from India, and they badly needed someone to give an unambiguous and direct message.

You retired from your professional life as such. In your post-retirement period, you were guiding the members of this forum. Now you wish to end this secondary activity as well.

I wish you a healthy and peaceful retired life. Please convey our regards to your family.

Regards,

Dinesh Divekar

Postscript for the Chief Administrator: - One need not read between the lines to understand the anguish expressed by Mr Heath. Probably his retirement is more out of anguish than the physical infirmity arising from old age. Though he has not directly stated so, one can infer that he is quitting Citehr due to the poor quality of the posts or the discussion itself. Additionally, he has expressed his concern over copying and pasting the AI-generated answers. Mr Heath was providing genuine and authentic replies. When members like him quit, it is a great loss to Citehr. We need to curb this trend sooner rather than later. The HR professionals cannot have transactional relationships with the employees to manage the talent. This is true for this forum as well.

From India, Bangalore
CHR
660

Hi John,
Thank you for being a part of CiteHR. Thank you for your time, your patience and for sharing your years of experience. This is the core of being a great human being - where you share selflessly and for the benefit of all. It is the reason why civilisation remains civil and life is worth living. So thank you - you made the world a little better.

About AI - every new technology feels like the end of the world and it is in a way - it is the end of the way things are done - and a new way emerges. What remains constant is the fact that human beings are communal beings and they will always need the support and guidance of their seniors (elders) - the day that changes the fundamentals of human life will change.

So, while I agree that the repetition of queries is an issue that is very difficult to solve - as people will never really do their research properly (not all - sometimes the query is just slightly different and may have a different context) - we have the duty and the privilege to guide them. And that is why CiteHR exists and we are working towards using AI to find people who are the best fit to answer a query and give that support and kindness to help others grow.

I wish you a happy and peaceful rest and hope you will remember everything fondly.

Regards,
Sid [CHR]

From India, Gurgaon
vmlakshminarayanan
929

Dear Mr.John,

Thank you for your 17 years of tireless journey with CiteHR, mentoring many young HR aspirants. I used to read all your replies, which used to be very direct and not a sugar-coated pill. Of course, medicines will be bitter, but we take the same for our physical well-being. The same way, though some might take your replies as harsh, they are for their own betterment in their careers. I request that you visit CiteHR at least once a month and share your expertise. Belated wishes on your 74th birthday! Many more happy returns of the day! Wish you a happy and peaceful rest and happy times with your family.

From India, Madras
Madhu.T.K
4207

It is not the number, the number in years, but the contributions that we value. Therefore, we do not feel that you should retire and abstain from giving valuable support of guidance to people like me. I am considered as a senior member or rather a seasoned professional, but still, I take a lot of lessons from people like you in particular and CiteHr in general. Therefore, i can't appreciate your post of taking retirement from the forum.

Regarding the AI and the comments copied and pasted from the ChatGPT kind of sources, I had the same impressions like that you shared here. Not knowing it is generated through a system, in the past, I used to comment over it also. I think it was you John and Mr Lakshmi Narayan who told me that the comments are from AI only. Then I just left them as such. As Sid has rightly said, let this new technology feels like the end of the world as it desires, but we shall do whatever we can do with our human touch. In areas where I prefer to post and comment, anyway the human element rather than AI assisted ready made solutions do not hold good. Therefore, I just ignore them and go in search of real life examples for my solutions and for the solutions required by my buddies.

Knowledge does not age. Hence you should continue to contribute your knowledge and empoer the HR community.

From India, Kannur
aussiejohn
659

Dinesh,

Thank you for your kind words. I have enjoyed your wise counsel over the years, and learnt a lot from your posts, particularly in our shared field of training and development.

I often remember our meeting in Bangalore way back in 2015. It was a pleasure I look back on with great memories.

Please stay in touch. I enjoy receiving your occasional whatsapp messages.

From Australia, Melbourne
aussiejohn
659

Sid,

Thank you also for your kind words. I have enjoyed my association with you and CiteHR and learnt so much over the last 17 years. One doesn't often have such a long association with one entity such as this, but HR is such an interesting and complex subject, and I am a great believer in lifelong learning. CiteHR filled a need.

I don't feel that AI is the end of the world, I just advocate caution as it is early days yet for this new technology. I can see uses for it in automating donkey work that bedevils all administrative functions, but on other levels, It may end up being better suited in other areas of endeavour than in HR which is a very personal and hands on field.

There is currently a lot of work going on with AI in genealogy research. We are now teaching AI to read and transcribe old handwritten documents from previous centuries. It is far from perfect as yet, but is the key to unlocking centuries of family historical information very quickly if we can get it right. I have had some success in getting A! to read, and transcribe old wills from the 1700s written by my ancestors. I am embracing the new technology, but as I said, caution is my watchword.

I do not plan to cancel my membership here on CiteHR. I may pop in from time to time to have a look at what is happening, and new changes as you continue to develop the site.

From Australia, Melbourne
aussiejohn
659

Lakshmi,

Thank you. Interestingly, my mother once told me when I was a boy that I didn't sugar-coat anything, I just said it as I saw it. She also said that my tongue would get me into trouble one day! Fortunately that day has not come. :-) On the whole, I think people appreciate plain speaking far more that weasel words that are so common in the workplace, and from our politicians now. However, there are times when I do self-censor. There's a time and place for everything.

As I have said in my post to Sid, I do not plan to cancel my membership of the forum. I will look in occasionally and see what is going on. Anyone is welcome to send me a PM via the site if they feel I might be able to help with something. However, I have other calls on my time, so answers will not be instant.

From Australia, Melbourne
aussiejohn
659

Madhu,

Thank you. I am honoured that you feel I have provided value to both yourself and the CiteHR community at large. Reading many of your posts, and articles on your blog from time to time, you have a depth of knowledge to be envied. I would hope that your blog is read by many of our members as you provide a lot of useful information that they need to perform their jobs and build their skill levels. This is evident in the subjects you have written about for which we get endless questions.

From Australia, Melbourne
raghunath_bv
156

Hi John,

In the dynamic and ever-evolving field of human resources, there are individuals like you who go above and beyond in their efforts to support and advance the HR profession. These dedicated champions are the backbone of the HR community, using your expertise, passion, and tireless work ethic to drive positive change and ensure the successful management of an organization's most valuable asset - its people.

You are one such individual who has made significant contributions to the HR community ,throughout your distinguished career, and has consistently demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the HR field, using their wealth of knowledge and innovative thinking to tackle some of the industry's most pressing challenges.

As an HR leader,you have spearheaded groundbreaking initiatives that have had a profound impact on organizations and HR practitioners alike. your work in the areas of employee engagement, performance management, and workforce development has revolutionized the way companies approach the nurturing and empowerment of their employees. By championing data-driven HR strategies and championing the integration of technology,you have helped to modernize the HR function, ensuring that it remains a strategic and indispensable partner to business leaders.

Moreover, your dedication to the professional development of HR professionals is truly commendable. Through your involvement in HR industry association you have tirelessly advocated for the continued education and growth of HR practitioners, sharing your expertise and insights. This unwavering commitment to elevating the HR community has inspired countless individuals to push the boundaries of your own capabilities and make meaningful contributions to the field.

Beyond the professional accomplishments, you have also renowned for the unwavering ethical principles and steadfast dedication to the betterment of the HR community as a whole. Your adherence to the highest standards of integrity and steadfast championing of diversity, equity, and inclusion have earned by you, the respect and admiration of your peers, solidifying your reputation as a true HR leader and visionary.

In recognition of your exceptional contributions to the HR community, I extend our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation. the tireless efforts, innovative thinking, and unwavering commitment to the advancement of the HR profession have left an indelible mark on the industry, inspiring us all to strive for excellence and to champion the vital role that human resources plays in the success of any organization.I was truly fortunate to have you as a guiding member of our community, and I look forward to the continued impact of your work in the years to come.

I pray God for your long life and serve the mankind. Wish you all the new sphere of your retired life.

God Bless you with health, wealth and prosperity in abundance

Thanks

From India, Bangalore
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