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A Day in the Life of Laurie Ruettimann- Punk Rock HR

August 31, 2009

Welcome to another installment of ‘A Day in the Life of…’ Well, we’ve started off with some of the male bloggers out there and I thought it was time to bring some women into the mix.  Who better than a strong, smart, female HR blogger?

Laurie of Punk Rock HRThe woman I’m highlighting this week really needs no introduction.  Laurie Ruettimann IS Punk Rock HR.  Laurie has been dishing out her HR knowledge mixed with sarcasm and sincerity in her blog, Punk Rock HR, for several years.  She’s done her time in human resources in Corporate America and now she gets to be the voice that many of us have inside.  Laurie is a writer, professional speaker, social media maven, and entrepreneur.  She’s also a fellow Webster University alum (along w/my girl Lisa Rosendahl).  Whether you’re new to blogging, or someone who is looking for a great blogger to follow, Laurie is just the bomb! 

So, keep your jammies on and grab a Starbucks……it’s Laurie!

So Laurie, we know you’ve worked in corporate America, and now you are your own boss.  Tell us, do you make yourself get up early to start work, or as the boss, do you sleep in?  I am not a morning person. When I worked in Corporate America, I traveled extensively and never accepted a meeting invitation before 8:30 AM.  In the last two years of my job at Pfizer, I grew my hair past my shoulders so I could take a shower in the evening, wake up at the last possible minute in the morning, and roll into work with my hair in a ponytail. Short hair required too much preparation time.

Now that I’m my own boss, I wake up naturally. I very rarely set an alarm, and I usually wake up around 8:00 AM. My body has its own cycle, and I’m trying to respect it.

I don’t know if you have “typical” mornings with your travel schedule, but what are some things you MUST do in order to get your day started right?   I’m addicted to coffee, so my first big activity of the morning is Starbucks. I get dressed, hop in the car, and hit the drive-thru because I’m lazy. I’ll come home and read the news – but I do it online. I visit CNN, MSNBC, and my local newspaper’s website, The News & Observer.

Where do you work when you’re not traveling?  Do you have a home office, or do you rent space somewhere?  If you’re working at home, do you spend time with Scrubby, Jake, and your other cats all day?  Do they ever try to pull you away from working?   I have a home office with a main computer, an iMac, and I have a Mac Book (laptop) that I bought when I left Corporate America. I work in my home office, on the couch, at the kitchen table, from a chair on my screened-in porch. I have five kitties: Lucy, Jake, Molly, Scrubby and Emma. They are all rescue kitties and they range in age from 16 to 2.  They need attention at certain times of the day and for different reasons. Lucy, who is old, likes to have her face rubbed. Emma, who is a fat little cat, likes to bother me for snacks. They don’t pull me away from working. If anything, it’s pretty neat to write a blog post or an article about work when you have a cat who is snuggling next to your feet.

You’re by far one of the most popular HR bloggers.  Do you have any special “tips and tricks” that you use to think of topics to write?  How about once you start writing, do you have a certain place you need to be in order to write?  I don’t have any special tips and tricks. I read quite a few blogs because I want to learn from the best. I’ve tried to make Punk Rock HRinto something more than just a blog. I like to think of it as a community where we can suss out good ideas and have a little fun about work. After all, most people have real jobs. It’s a universal experience we share regardless of geography, race, religion or gender. Let’s talk about work, explore why we work, and laugh at ourselves (& each other).

How does your day flow?  Do you allow time for distractions like errands or doing something creative? Or, do you keep to the business at hand?  My day flows naturally and is never the same, which is what I like about being a writer and speaker. I use Google Calendar to keep myself organized. I won’t schedule more than two formal business calls/day because I like to keep time free to write and read. It’s also important for me to respond to email messages and tweets, so I need time on my calendar to do that.

When I worked in Human Resources, I had a very rigid approach to calendar management. If it wasn’t on my blackberry, it wasn’t going to happen. This included meeting with the CIO, calling my grandmother, or having a date with my husband. I had specific tasks assigned to specific days, and I outsourced a good portion of my personal life: cleaning, shopping, cooking, etc.

To say that I’ve mellowed out over the past 24 months since I started this journey as a blogger is an understatement. My current job as a writer and speaker doesn’t pay as much as I earned, but every day is a vacation day away from the chaos and dysfunction of Corporate America.

What is the most interesting part of what you do?  Beginning in 2001, I accepted roles that allowed me to see different parts of America and different countries. The mere fact that I was willing to travel so often allowed me to meet different employees and leaders who were very influential in my career.

Unfortunately, there were cities where I didn’t see much beyond the airport, the hotel room, and the corporate office. Now that I’m my own boss, I book a little extra time so I can see the cities where I travel. I went to Mountain View, CA, and drove through the area and visited a local church and religious shrine. When I went to Orlando, a few weeks ago, I made sure to schedule enough time so I could go to Sonic drive- thru for the first time. The cherry slush drink is awesome.

It’s the little experiences in life that make the best stories.

I see you tweeting about Wolf Blitzer once in awhile.  Who are the news people you relate to most and which ones drive you crazy?   I’m a news and political junkie, and I like anchors and pundits who are educated and have interesting personal histories. I love Wolf Blitzer, but I admire a woman like Katie Couric. Very early in her career, a senior network executiv told her that she should never be on TV. She took that criticism and persevered. Who doesn’t love that kind of story? It gives me hope that I can achieve some of my personal and professional goals.

What do you and your husband like to do to relax when you’re not working or writing your blog?  My husband loves to cook, so we’re very big on eating at home and spending time together. Since we are new to North Carolina, we’ve done a fair bit of exploring in our local area. It’s been fun to find new stores, movie theaters, and new museums and gardens. We do eat out a couple times each month because I get sick of doing the dishes. That’s a real treat for me!

If there was going to be a PUNK ROCK HR movie, which actress should play you and why?  Someone short, round in the middle, and not afraid to cuss. By the way, when I’m not wearing make-up, I look like a teenage boy. I’d be okay if an actor played me.

Bonus Question: What is the best piece of HR or business advice you’ve received?  The best piece of HR /business advice I’ve ever received is simple: if you’re doing all the talking (whether it’s in a meeting, an interview, or an impromptu discussion at a cubicle), you’re doing it wrong.

So friends, there you have it.  Thanks to Laurie for participating in this post.  Be sure not only to check her out at Punk Rock HR, but also on Twitter @lruettimann.  I’ll keep highlighting HR bloggers each week as the HRevolution approaches.  If you’d like to be highlighted, let me know.  For more details on HRevolution, check out our HRevolution site.  Love to have you join us November 6- 7, 2009 in Louisville, KY.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. August 31, 2009 7:31 am

    Very cool! It’s always nice to learn more about the all stars of the blogging world! 🙂

  2. August 31, 2009 9:03 am

    Cherry slushies from Sonic ARE very good. 🙂

  3. August 31, 2009 10:01 am

    Nice profile of Laurie.

  4. August 31, 2009 10:36 am

    Very cool interview and a great idea for the series of posts, (not just saying that to try and score and interview, I swear).

  5. Traci permalink
    August 31, 2009 11:48 am

    Great post Trish…I agree with Steve, this is an awesome concept. You nailed Laurie and I can actually (now that I met her) hear her answering the questions. Kudos girlfriend.

    • September 1, 2009 9:50 am

      @Shauna, Ben, and Michael- Thanks for the comments. It was fun to work with Laurie on the post. She’s the greatest. SO giving!!

      @Steve- Thank you and you KNOW you’re next on my list for an interview. Be scared : -)

      @Traci- Thanks for the comment Traci. I can’t wait to meet her now more than ever.

      @Jennifer- Thanks for taking time to comment. Laurie is my HR blogger hero too. Hers was one of the first HR blogs I read and convinced me to jump into this community. You’re right about her brand- it’s more than just her, it’s her whole Punk Rock community.

  6. August 31, 2009 1:12 pm

    Nice job on the interview series Trish! Laurie Ruettimann is my Hero! 🙂 I’ve learned a ton from Laurie as a new blogger and really appreciate her genuine support of others in the HR world and the community revolving around her brand. As someone who’s seen her speak more than once in person, I’m enjoying watching her grow in that area of her career as well. Mark my words – we’ll see and hear much more from Laurie/Punk Rock HR in the future!

  7. August 31, 2009 1:38 pm

    You guys, Trish is awesome.

    • September 1, 2009 9:52 am

      @Laurie- We better both stop gushing about each other or we’ll make people sick! ha ha ha

      @Tracy- Samantha Brown- interesting choice. She’s spunky and cute and loves to be pampered….wow, does sound like a good choice.

      @Karla- Thanks for taking time to comment. It was fun to write too!

  8. August 31, 2009 2:50 pm

    Great post and may I add who can play Laurie: Samantha Brown of the Travel Channel.

  9. August 31, 2009 5:26 pm

    Trish & Laurie, this is a really nice laid back natural interview that was fun to read. ~Karla

  10. August 31, 2009 5:39 pm

    “I’m addicted to coffee, so my first big activity of the morning is Starbucks. I get dressed, hop in the car, and hit the drive-thru because I’m lazy.”

    = AMEN.


    • September 1, 2009 9:58 am

      @Jer- you know, I think it’s a theme that all HR bloggers are addicted to Starbucks. Sounds like we need to make a deal- we blog about Starbucks and get coffee discounts. 🙂 Seriously, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate it.

      @Joan- Hey there! Looks like we’re sucking you into the social media abyss. Glad you stopped by.

  11. Joan E. Ginsberg permalink
    September 1, 2009 7:14 am

    This was a really great read. Since I am new to the online HR community, it really helps to have these types of portraits. Looking forward to more!


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