People, rightfully, like to point out that HR isn’t really there for the employee (excepting very low level stuff), they’re there to protect the company.
I think this is a combination result of the ugly side of bureaucracy and corporate culture. A company that actually, legitimately prizes the well being of it’s workers seems like it would have a much better HR department although I sadly cannot speak to this. I’ve worked for some good companies in my career (more not so good ones) but never what I would call a great one. Additionally, the best ones were very small (without being obnoxiously startup), and I could go to my then boss with anything and get support. HR wasn’t really part of the equation (the HR person was only doing that as part of their duties; at 20 something total employees everyone tended to wear more than one hat).
I developed really bad anxiety in 2015. I was urged, by a number of well meaning people, to disclose it with HR at my then job. With a 2500+ sized company that was as corporate as corporate comes. I didn’t suffer for that but Ididn’t get anything from it easier. When I sat down with HR, I had barely finished explaining that I had developed an anxiety disorder and was getting treatment when the first thing she said was “are you seeking an accommodation”. I wasn’t, the only accommodation I could imagine helping at the time (some work from home) wouldn’t have been allowed. She didn’t ask what had caused the anxiety and I didn’t imagine she would. As the decidedly sole factor was my actual boss at the time, I’m not clear how that discussion would have done anything except made my position more precarious.
The irony, I suppose, is that companies that treat their people better will do better in the long run. But a long list of reasons means that frequently it’s not priority 1 (when it should be), and this is the sort of bullshit that becomes regular.
I got written up. The main thrust was that I had royally screwed up phase 1 of something (a sprint’s - 2 weeks at that company - worth of work). Everyone took the Dev Manager;s word. when the architect finally sat down to review the code, his words to me were “I don’t think Scott [ who, it must be said, haqd a “development background” and liked to talk about it frequently] understood this at all, you appear to have done everything right to me”. But nothing changed, because that company’s culture was such that you kept your head down for safety, and sanity’s, sake. The architect was empathetic but it only goes so far.
Alls well that ends well. I was informed I was being written up again 6 months later (the “30 days or else” deal). It was largely bullshit too. I stopped the conversation, said “Scott, you’re the reason I have an anxiety disorder, you are the worst boss I’ve ever had, this job is a train wreck thanks to you”, the HR Lady said “you’re going to get a chance to talk”, I said “history here has proven it won’t matter, I would rather quit that have to listen to this bullshit. I would be glad to type up a letter of resignation right now”, which I excused myself and did. When I returned to the conference room Ole Scott was visibily shrunken in his seat and looked like he was about to vomit, although I can’t imagine anything serious came from my “outburst” (he could easily spin everything). God it felt good though.
I got cheered at two separate doctors offices when I announced I’d walked off the job, and got a hug from a nurse.