Human Resources Taxi Cab Confessionals

I’ve had some interesting cab drivers this week at the 2011 Annual SHRM Conference in Las Vegas.  Hiccuping cabbies, drivers spewing obscenities while we navigate the crowded streets due to the Brittany Spears concert in town.  Let’s not forget (although I want to) the cab driver who interrogated me with some unmentionables that I’m even not comfortable mentioning or speaking of ever, ever again.  It’s Vegas.

In the field of human resources we experience and encounter stories, situations, and events that are often personal, unbelievable, and just plain out of the ordinary.  The stories HR has could fill the pages of thousands upon thousands books.  What we encounter and the situations we are involved in are often very private and personal for the employees in the organizations where we work.

Human Resources Taxi Cab Confessionals

There’s a popular hidden-camera documentary called Taxi Cab Confessionals that profiles cabbies in New York City and  Las Vegas.  It’s amazing how strangers share personal stories and expose their personal vulnerabilities while riding around with strangers.  One cabbies I chatted with this week told me a sad story about a young woman who drank so heavily here that she passed out inside the cab muttering the word, “pirates.”  My cabbie went on to say that this was at 5:00 AM earlier that morning.  He drove her to the Treasure Island Casino and promptly called security.  He spoke to me about parents, his own family, and the secrets that are shared over a cab ride on the Vegas Strip.

I realized that this is not unlike our industry.  Corporate HR pros’ offices serve as the Taxi Cab Confessionals of their organizations.  Employees waltz into our office and bear their souls.  They trust us with their most private medical information, vulnerabilities exposed, and secrets of family members or themselves entering rehab. These are the things I am reminded when professionals call on me to ask about breaking into HR.  They’re a People Person they say, and I’m sure they are.  But HR is not always a happy shiny place.  We’re more than party planners, award orderers, and the flip flop police.  We’re organizational confidants plotting strategy serving as the stage manager behind the scenes of the popular show on the Vegas strip.

We are the HR Taxi Cab Confessional.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. David says

    As a taxi driver in Eugene I couldnt agree more with this post. Crazy things happen in taxis, but its all in the name of fun and good times.



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