How to Care for Yourself When it’s Your Job to Care for Others

I was almost done in by a job I held in healthcare. Literally. The scene in my comic novel, Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager, where the main character conducts an exit interview with a chef wielding a bag full of knives is based on my real-life experience. My book was a mere exaggeration of my own state of mind at the time I started writing it.

People wouldn’t stop coming into my office and bawling. They shared their sad stories. I had 3,000 employees looking to me, and me only, for solace and solutions to situations ranging from sexual harassment to a guy in the next cubicle who wouldn’t stop burping. I gave them my best counsel. I investigated their grievances. And after a while, I realized that I needed someone to listen to me and my problems.

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Janet Garber
After a 30-year career in HR, Janet Garber, retired CHRO, has published an award-winning satirical novel, Dream Job: Wacky Adventures of an HR Manager. Please visit her at
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