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Desmond Hume – Employee of the Month

September 23, 2011

Never let it be said that the HR Schoolhouse is not topical.  Today’s post references my favorite show the greatest show ever on TV.  The series finale aired on May 23, 2010. Yeah.


An HR friend here in Baton Rouge (and faithful reader of the blog) posted a comment the other day with a LOST reference.  Naturally, I went off on a tangent and realized… I have yet to write anything about my favorite show the greatest show ever on TV.  Well, this makes sense – the HR Schoolhouse didn’t open for business until September 2010 – 5 months after the heart-wrenching spiritual most wonderful season finale ever.

So I got to thinking about Desmond Hume – he of The Hatch.

For three long years, Desmond lived to do his job – and do his job well.  Every 108 minutes (24/7/365) he did as Kelvin Inman told him and sat down at a computer and entered the numbers.  He didn’t ask why.  Was he doing penance for his bad choices?  Was he remorseful over his lost love?  Was he plotting revenge against Charles Widmore?  Perhaps all of the above.

But nevertheless, Desmond donned his Dharma jumpsuit and did his job.  Initially, of course, he had Kelvin to share the load.  But then Kelvin died.  So Des had to handle the duties all by himself.

Which sucked.

But Desmond persevered.  Every-108-minutes-entering-the-numbers-to-THE-freakin’-COMPUTER.  Because, of course, that’s what he had been trained to do.  And he had been told it was necessary.


But one day John Locke arrived and knocked on the door of The Hatch.  And roused Desmond from both his stupor and his despair.  (And, per the wonderfulness that was LOST, set moments into motion…but that’s another post).

So Desmond, who wore a company-logo’d jumpsuit and did what he was trained to do, was set free.  Set free to do wonderful world-changing, life-altering things.

There’s a lesson in there isn’t there?  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m just floating along in the reverie that overcomes me whenever I think of LOST.  Or maybe not.


Hmmmmm. Set your employees free?  Let them do wonderful, marvelous things?


2 Comments leave one →
  1. HRBR permalink
    September 23, 2011 10:18 am

    LOVE THIS POST! I miss LOST, too.

  2. September 30, 2011 12:29 pm

    Robin, one of the most important things HR can do is to allow employees the space and freedom to achieve their best and develop passion for their jobs. Unfortunately, Human Resources professionals are often mired in really inefficient software processes. When we remove the burden from HR, we allow them to be more strategic and useful to employees like Desmond.

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