Don't Look to HR to Fix Work, Look to Yourself

Join along as Laurie Ruettimann shares about her new book, Betting on You, and shares her takes on some of the biggest tensions between employees and HR in the modern workplace. And don't worry, we'll talk about ice cream and puppies too.



Please give a warm Start with Who welcome to everyone's favorite...
Former HR Leader. Speaker. Author. Podcaster. And Badass.

That's right, we've got Laurie Ruettimann on the podcast to chat about fixing work and her new book, Betting on You. Dive into this episode to follow along as we talk about...

  • Why we can't count on HR to fix work, and how to start fixing it ourselves
  • Why each of us should be willing to become a slacker at work
  • How to champion yourself and find more purpose in work and life
  • Why managerial overconfidence is so dangerous in an interview process
  • And so much more!

Thanks for coming on, Laurie. We're toasting our Jeni's Ice Cream to you!

Thanks for listening to Start with Who: The Interview Intelligence Podcast! This podcast is presented by Pillar—where we're on a mission to make hiring and interviewing more efficient and equitable. Come check out what we're building, or connect with Grace and Ben on LinkedIn! See you next time!


(Transcribed by robots...sorry for the errors!)

Laurie: Part of my mission in this world is to educate workers that they can control their lives, that they have more agency, and that way they can solve problems at the ground level, and they don't have to bring that to hour. So that HR can then go off and do those amazing things that they want to do.

Hosts: Welcome to Start with Who, the interview intelligence podcast, I'm your host, Grace Tyson, and I'm Ben Battaglia join us on our journey as we learn about talent acquisition, hiring and tackle the challenge of building an amazing team. One interview at a time. We've invited CEOs, innovative people, leaders, talent acquisition experts and DIY movers and shakers as our guides would love to have you join us. Welcome to Start with Who.

Ben: Oh welcome back to the start with who podcast, so excited about today's episode and guest, Laurie, thank you so much for joining us.

Laurie: Well, it's my pleasure to be here. I'm super stoked and ready to talk about all the important things like ice cream and kittens and all the fun things. Right that's what we're here to talk about.

Ben: Yes ice cream, preferably. I would love to camp on ice cream for a while. But first, for those who don't know you, you've characterized yourself as HR famous. Could you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

Laurie: Well, that's an obnoxious way to begin. So I'm just going to preface this by saying other people call me famous or not famous at all, but I am indeed Laurie Ruettimann. I'm a writer, a speaker and entrepreneur. But most importantly, I'm a failed HR lady who decided enough was enough. And took charge of my career and decided to really go after this thing called work life balance. And I've run a business for over a decade now, consulting with all kinds of technology companies. And in my free time, I wrote a book called Betting on You how to put yourself first. And finally, take control of your career. So it's kind of my elevator pitch. What do you think?

Ben:I love it.

Grace: I love it, too. So I have to ask you, though, you obviously could have written about a ton of different subjects. So why this book. Now for you? Why putting yourself first?

Laurie: Sure well, you know, I had dreamed of writing a book for a very long time. I identify as a writer. I've written a self published book, an book. And I was thinking about going down the path of writing the world's greatest book. And nobody wanted that, like nobody cared. So I went out and got myself a book coach and an agent, and we decided to write a book about what it's really like to love your career, love what you do for a living, want to work at the intersection of purpose and passion, but really find yourself struggling in a system that just really wasn't developed for you. Most of us in corporate America work in these jobs that really don't care who does the job, who does the work, as long as the work gets done. So I wanted to speak to that audience without 2 by 2 quadrants, without bullet points. I just wanted to do good old fashioned storytelling. So that's what the book is all about, like how to survive and thrive in your corporate job.

Ben: I love it. I read this book on my latest vacation. I'm not a plant. I really read it of my own free will. And it was wonderful. Their storytelling is hilarious, but it's like brief and digestible and actually fun to read. It's not a boring book, but I left feeling inspired, so Thanks for writing it. I really appreciate it.

Laurie: Yeah, Thanks for being a plant for me. I really appreciate that. You know, it was super important for me to write a book that wasn't homework. And so I wrote the book and turned it in and had about 85,000 words. And my editors were like, nobody is going to read that by the pool back in the days when people really did take a lot of vacations. Right nobody's going to read that on the subway on the way to work. And so we cut it down a little bit. And I really made sure that I wasn't writing about these heady HR concepts like occupational depersonalization and, you know, professional detachment. Nobody cares. But what they care about is really restoring a sense of pride about their work or then getting some rest. Everybody needs to sleep more. So those are the stories I tell in there. And I'm glad you found them entertaining because many of them are born out of my own personal failure. So thank you.

Ben: You're welcome. So I have not read them.

Grace: I'm not a plant. I've not yet read the book, but now I know exactly what I'm going to do right after I get off this interview. So for those of us who have not yet read the book, Laurie, what does it mean to you to put yourself first?

Ben: Well, so often we work in these corporate environments where we become attached to our outlook inbox and we feel like we have to show up. And we misunderstand working at the intersection of purpose and meaning with presenteeism. And I have one fundamental belief, and that is you fix work by fixing yourself first. Fixing work is really an inside out job. And when you devote yourself to well-being and continuous learning and learning how to take better risks and being the CEO of your own life automatically, you're going to have positive downstream effects for your job. There's this old cliche that you can't fill somebody's cup if yours is only half full. My grandma used to say that I'm not my grandma. I just think that nobody ever conquered the world on four hours of sleep. Nobody ever did anything meaningful when they were angry all the time or overwhelmed. And so we fixed that not by looking to HR., not by looking to our boss, but by looking to ourselves. So putting yourself first means really prioritizing your own well-being and trusting, it's going to benefit your job.

Ben: You mentioned here about not looking to HR and you talk about that in the book. And obviously, you are a quote unquote failed HR. Leader, I would think that HR should want happy people coming to work, so where's the disconnect there between reality and what would be most ideal, even for an organization?

Laurie: Really great question. You know, I believe in a world where HR does some good. They move the organization forward. They advocate on behalf of conscious capitalism, where they make the connection between paying people well, giving them a great environment and seeing just unmatched performance. In reality, even when HR departments want to be that, they are still saddled with compliance regulations, employee relations issues. And we never really get to the root cause of that by teaching people to communicate better, by letting legal be legal and finance be finance. We don't do that. We just kind of create this mishmash HR department and say, you guys figure it out. And if you do great work, that's amazing. And if you don't, it's on you. So part of my mission in this world is to educate workers that they can control their lives, that they have more agency, and that way they can solve problems at the ground level. And they don't have to bring that to hour. So that HR can then go off and do those amazing things that they want to do. But there is this tension, Ben, that you mentioned, because as long as HR sits in this really confused place between worker advocate and employer advocate, we're never going to get away from this conversation. Now we're going to escape us. So I don't have a lot of good answers. But I explore that tension and name names around complicity and responsibility in the book. And I just think if we want to free up HR to do amazing things, workers have some responsibility to solve their own dang problems.

Grace: Sounds like preach.

Ben: Yes OK, so where does that start then? If I'm going to say, OK, I'm a worker who recognizes that HR or my work is failing to provide me the purpose, I think it should, where do I begin?

Laurie: Well, there are, I think, two or three really important. And interesting places where you could begin. Right there's no road map for everybody. But one place you can begin is your own individual well-being, because if you are taking care of yourself, if you are detaching from work and trusting that, you know, they're not going to know the difference, if I work 35 hours versus 45 hours and you start to do things that feel really good, you invest in your underdeveloped personal life, you're going to find that some of the stuff that bothered you about work is not that big of an issue. You've got priorities elsewhere. So a lot of people say, well, how do I do that? I'm afraid if I say no or set boundaries, if I start to claim time for my own, I'm going to get fired. I'm going to end up in his office. No matter what. And the answer is you can test this out. You can practice in the small moments to nail it. In the big moments, you can say no to those annoying messages and requests that pop up all day long. You can just ignore it. You can tell a colleague this meeting is going on too long. Let's wrap it up. You can practice in these smaller moments and take back pieces of your time. You can also do an exercise that I love called the premortem, where you think, OK, I might get fired if I do this. Well, let's test this out. Let's flash forward into the future and see what would happen if I set a boundary. So you set a timer for a minute, and you just brainstorm all the ways you're going to fail? Well, if I set a boundary and I'll go to this meeting, I'm going to get fired. I'm going to get laughed out of here. My boss is going to be mad at me. And then after a minute, you look at your list and you think, OK, what's real? What's the fear? And if there's something real in there, you fix it before you actually do it. So that's one way I think of intersecting this problem and really trying to take back control of your time and your life.

Grace: I like it. And it's something that I am constantly working on is setting better boundaries and saying no to things. I'm not good at that, I want to say yes to everything actually has taken me reaching a breaking point in terms of bandwidth to say, even though I'd really like to do this x, y, z thing that I care about, it feels nice to do for someone else. I actually can't do it. And I have to say now. So to me, it took learning the hard way basically to start setting those boundaries. But I, I love that. And actually, I mean, I wouldn't be mad about someone doing that saying like, hey, respect my time. This meeting is a waste of it. That's good.

Laurie: And then there's a nice way to say that greece, you haven't been fired yet. That's an amazing thing. No one's fired you for saying no. So many times we have these stories in our head that if we say no, the worst is going to happen. I'm not advocating you walk into your CEO's office and say, take this job and shove it. I'm not doing it anymore. But there are ways to be kind and empathetic. You don't have to say no. You can suggest alternative ideas, different strategies, like there's a way to have a conversation. So you can get to in a way that feels good for everybody.

Ben: Yeah, I was thinking, like, a lot of. That pressure is some of it is organizationally imposed or imposed by a boss or something like that, but a lot of it is self-imposed, too, like a large percentage of that pressure that I'm imagining is in my head or my own desire for myself. And so I'm just thinking back to this chapter of the book that I really liked. You talked about being a slacker and you encouraged people to be a slacker. And as a high performing VP of Marketing, being a slacker is not something I identify or want to ever be seen as. But you reframed it as professional detachment. Yes which I really liked.

Laurie: So it's really all about making sure you see your job as a client and you choose to be there. And if you treat your job as if it's filled with clients and colleagues, not with family members or weird people that you have crazy attachments to, you can have more executive level conversations where it's less heated, it's less emotional, you know. I also think that there's a thing that goes along with taking back control of your career, and it's part and parcel with learning, because all the studies out there, show that if you make time for learning just 10 or 15 minutes a day, informal learning, formal learning, going to talk to someone outside of your department, taking a course somewhere, whatever it is, just 10 to 15 minutes a day, you are a happier and more emotionally regulated employee. So if you're happier. And more emotionally regulated because you're sleeping better, you're eating right, you're taking care of yourself, you're not overcommitted on meetings and you're learning. I think some of the things that we think about as problems in the organization aren't going to be that big of a deal. But many of us come to work inflamed. We come to work agitated. And even if we love what we do, we're mad about the things that have happened to us over the past 30 years in some capacity. Right so I just want to calm that down. So people can see that work is not that big of a deal. Work is not your total identity. In fact, your work is not your worth. Your worth in this world comes from a lot of other places, from being a good parent, being a good partner, being a good sibling, and that the work you do is, in fact informed by all the other stuff that happens outside of the office. So let's make that stuff. Great And that's how we make work great.

Ben: Yes, I like that a lot. This is what I get stuck on because I asked you this earlier, but I feel like talent teams and people teams should realize what you're saying and say, great, we want to do this. We want to create healthy people in benefits or flexible workplaces or whatever, have started to address some of these issues or provide solutions here. But I feel like there's still this tension of like, hey, we're giving you just enough to keep you on the chain. Maybe I mean, how does HR begin to act different. So that work feels different or is it really just we can't count on HR, got to do it yourself?

Laurie: Well, it might be a little bit of everything, but I think there are some fundamental problems with the people who do the work of h.r., because they're my colleagues, they're my coaching clients, and they come to me burned out and exhausted, you know, whether they're in learning and development or they're in compensation, they're tired. And I just keep asking one question. If your own employee experience sucks, how can you fix it for someone else? You need to fix your own employee experience, HR professional. And again, you will have such positive downstream effects for the entire enterprise. You will change the game. But if you start at a programmatic level, you're diving back into all of these broken systems, broken relationships, broken policies. And part of the reason why all of this is broken is because our fundamentally is a group of mostly women and minorities and people of disaffected communities who've kind of come together and found a way into corporate America, but haven't really been able to break through their own individual ceilings. So if you've got a team of HR professionals who are 80% women, which most of them are, they're victims of the wealth gap. They're victims of the wage gap. They're victims of all sorts of things. How can we really expect them to fix anything? So these are huge systemic problems, which is why it reminds me of the advice my mother gave me when I was younger. She's a retired Chicago police officer, and she said, whatever you do, stay out of the police department, never get arrested because once you're in there, it's rude, like you've got a record and people know you never get arrested, just avoid it. And I think, my god, if employees can do anything, never go into HR, I just try to fix it yourself. You're going to get a lot further. And the only time you ever really want to go into HR is when you have something to offer, like you're interested in a promotion and you want to get a mentor or, you know, you want to take on more responsibility and you're looking forward to. Maybe partnering with HR, go do that, otherwise steer clear of that mess, it doesn't do anybody any good. I blew that story about my mom, by the way. She's going to be like, what are you talking about? Don't tell my secrets.

Grace: But hopefully you've been able to honor her advice.

Laurie: Yeah, I have never been arrested.

Grace: Excellent so I hear a lot of what you're saying around the responsibility on the individual to care for themselves, to set boundaries, to sleep a lot, which I love, by the way. I love sleeping. So much. So I love it. You're saying are so important. I'm curious, though, as a CEO and founder of a younger company, we haven't had a lot of time to mess it all up yet. What do you advise at the company level in terms of fostering that? Like, one thing you mentioned already was the if you learned 10 to 15 minutes a day, you're more regulated emotionally. You're happier. Like, I would love to incorporate that or encourage it, but what advice do you have for us before we get it wrong?

Laurie: Well, I love the fact that you're prepared to blow it in a couple of ways. It always happens, right? That's a sign of growth in any company. In fact, the more mature you get, the more mistakes you made. And it's almost like a badge of honor. You've existed long enough to make mistakes. Let's just not make the same mistakes over and over again. And one of the mistakes that new companies make is that they like to tell employees what. We've given you this program. We've given you this. We're going to do this. We're going to do that. And not that we're all hippies living in a commune here, but in as much as you can involve your workforce and really setting policy, setting climate, getting involved, telling you the direction they want to go in, the better off you're going to be down the pike because there are so many executives out there, so many leaders who assume this mantle of CEO and they act like father figures. And I use that word specifically instead of coaches or mentors or colleagues. And I think there's just this thing where leaders at a certain level believe they have to have all the answers. They can't be vulnerable. And the best of the best among us ask the workforce to solve their own problems, to come up with solutions. I think that's the healthy way to approach this. So right away, I mean, checking in regularly, having honest to goodness communication and conversation, really doing some great management training is another thing. You know, back in the day, we used to do leadership and management training. We don't do that anymore. So I know you guys do. You're passionate about that. This is core to who you are in your DNA. But for any new entrepreneur out there starting up, nobody learns how to be a leader overnight. This is something that requires development. So investing in that is also really helpful.

Grace: HMM, that's great. Thank you. I really like that.

Ben: One other thing I wanted to ask you about that may play into that same conversation is you mention the importance of relationships, a lot in the book, not only from building healthy relationships outside of work, but that relationships inside of work can be immensely valuable to. How would you advise someone who is not doesn't feel like they have that relational capital in their work to start to cultivate that?

Laurie: Well, I learned this lesson in a very hard way. Years ago, I started a job at just a small pharmaceutical company called Pfizer. Like nobody's ever heard of them. Right and I thought I would come in and tell everybody. What And I didn't care about relationships. And my VP of human resources said, you know what? In your first year at any job, you're not good at that job. You just don't know anything. Like, you kind of do some stuff, but you really don't know anything in your first year, you ought to focus on relationships. And I was like, no way, that's dumb. You know, why wouldn't people love me anyway? And they're going to love me even more if I get stuff done. I was totally wrong. I should have come in and asked really good questions and not questions about the job, but questions about the people in front of me, like, what are you all about? What do you like to do? You know, what's your family like? How do you celebrate the holidays? Do you celebrate the holidays? Just getting to know them on a human to human level, because people do work with other individuals they like, know and trust. So if you're not liked by people or known by people, they're never going to trust you and they're never going to give you permission to do the cool things that you want to do. So you're stuck in a place like I was where you didn't have any friends at work. Nobody liked you. The way to fix that is to own it and say, god, I'm sorry, I'm kind of a dork. I'm not good at the stuff. And then be to ask really good questions. I love a book out there called the Coaching Habit by my friend Michael Bungay Stanier. And in there are just good questions that coaches should ask. But I give that book to people who are struggling because it's questions that anybody can ask anybody to get to know them a little bit better. So the Coaching Habit is something I've probably sold like 1,000 copies of that book. I hope to sell 1,001 with this podcast. It's still helpful to really get to the core of human behavior and motivation, which is what all relationships are built on.

Ben: HMM.

Grace: Yes, asking questions is maybe the only thing that has gotten me where I am today. It's so core. And knowing when you don't know, that's another gold Nugget of what you said.

Lauire: Grace, wait. What don't you know? You know what you don't know.

Grace: Oh, my gosh, I, I can't even begin to cover. There's so many things. I don't know.

Laurie: I mean, I don't mean to take over your podcast like on the podcast now, but I do have that because I know I'm terrible with numbers, like conceptually I'm just very bad at them. So I ask for a lot of grace and space around like dates and appointments and times, because I'm going to flub it up. And I just know this. So I know that I'm bad with spreadsheets, I'm bad with appointments. And as long as I'm honest about that and communicate it, that makes my life. So much easier when I try to power through that stuff. It's messy. It is so messy.

Grace: Yes I think it's what is it, strength, finders or something about leaning into what you are good at and your people empowering them to be better at what they're already good at, what their superpowers are, versus trying to get people to overcome their weak spots. Financial modeling, big, weak point for me for sure. I mean, I could go on networking. I have to do it. So much because my background is sales. But I really I'm super uncomfortable with it. And I don't like it at all, but I still do it. Yeah which is great for a CEO right now.

Laurie: You're reading into it and you're admitting it. And I think there's something really beautiful and interesting about people who can say I'm not any good at this, I still do it, I have to do it. But I also surround myself with experts or I work on it all. All of that is really humble. And I think there's something really appealing about a humble leader.

Grace: We all have our things that we're not that we don't know. OK, what a pivot. A one off question for you, Laurie. That's something that we're really passionate about because we're talking about questions and asking great questions. And you know that we're super obsessed with interviews and interviewing excellence at Pillar. So I would love, if you have, I don't know, one or two general suggestions for how interview processes hiring could be better.

Laurie: Oh, my God. Just one or two or ten, whatever. well, there's something that we've been trying to fix for ages, which I don't know if we'll ever fix. And that is really managerial confidence and overestimation of their skills. And we have technology now. We have ways to check this. We can look for biases. You're working on solving all of these problems. But how do you tell a manager, you really don't know anything? You know, you really don't know this person. And you need to rely on expertise. You need to rely on systems. You need to rely on platforms. How you fix the overconfident manager, I have no idea. But it's still something I see regularly. And it's dangerous, right? It puts organizations at risk. It makes them hire the wrong candidates or overlook talented individuals that impacts diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. But managerial overconfidence is like the thing that gets me every time. And I don't know. I mean, maybe it starts with training a younger crop of leaders and really having them lean into empathy and compassion. I'm not sure what it is, but, man, these overconfident managers drive me crazy. I have one thought for 10 after that. Oh, great, great.

Ben: My first thought is, I feel like there may be a high level of statistical correlation between an overconfident managers and white men. As a white male, I think that I was trying not to say that.

Laurie: Yes, or white women as well. You know, I can't tell you how many women. I work with, who look just like me to human resources, who really value their history and their expertise, especially around hiring, even though they know better, they still value it at a gut level. And I'm like, I'm not saying throw your history out the window, but just because you worked with someone before who exemplified these characteristics doesn't mean, it's right or it's wrong. Like this is a new day. It's just a new day. So I think white male, white woman, older maybe, but could be they come out of a certain University system and they just have a bias towards their own beliefs. I don't know. It drives me crazy.

Grace: Yes, we see that and hear that all the time. I have experienced it firsthand. I have also overly relied in the past on my own judgment in the hiring process to my detriment. So I just completely agree. Something I hear all the time is from hiring managers. I just I knew within the first two minutes, I knew within the first two minutes of talking to them whether they be a fit. I have said that when I was a new hiring manager, I literally said that. Not good. We have to cut that out. We don't anyway. I could go on. But yes, I just I completely, wholeheartedly agree with you.

Laurie: I love. That question, though, and I and I love this discussion, because what you get in there are all these statements like we had a connection. I knew within two minutes. It's like, would you marry that person? Would you partner with them for life based on that? No heck, no. But they would hire them. I mean, it's just such a weird, weird thing to say, right? It's such an important decision on. But when the rubber meets the road, I'm in the room with a lot of executives, a lot of ceos, and they're like, yeah, I still have to like the person I'm going to hire. I still have to absolutely feel a connection with them. I'm like, all right. So I don't know how to overcome that. But I think you're talking about it. Educating people and having really good checks and balances within hiring software is really important. And I know that's what you're passionate about.

Ben: Yes Yeah. We spend more time evaluating software purchases than we do, who we hire candidly, in most hiring scenarios where it's like, oh, I'm going to go through a long due diligence process and fill out this long checklist. And then we go with our gut, which comes to shove when we hire a person

Grace: because we're so smart, because we know everything we always know.

Ben: Yeah managerial overconfidence. I'm going to take that one with me to some stress this evening as I think about my own managerial overconfidence. So thank you for that. It's good. It's all right.

Laurie: I guess there's your white paper topic. The next.

Ben: Yes, exactly. I love it. Well, thank you, Laurie. This has been a wonderful discussion. We want to close with a quick speed round just to get to know a little bit more about you. You can also read the book if you want some amazing Laurie stories. 10 out of 10 would recommend for the life stories of Lori. I was going to ask you to tell a few on this podcast, but it just didn't happen. So they'll have to buy the book if you want the good life stories.

Grace: Oh, that's a great little teaser, though.

Ben: I'm intrigued by marketer. I'm just drawing people down the sales from OK, first thing is, what's one thing that brings you joy outside of work?

Laurie: Well, I really enjoy animals. And so I foster both cats and dogs. I'm a new dog, foster. I'm learning a lot about it, but so much fun. Yeah, I'm learning more about myself through fostering dogs than the dogs themselves.

Grace: Can I ask what's one thing you've learned?

Laurie: You're really well, I'm hyper verbal and dogs don't care if you're talking to them and telling them what to do, especially they don't know you and they're new in your house. I'm like, why are you going to the bathroom over here? You know, we've got this beautiful area for you. And they want to pee on a pile of pine straw, you know? So I don't. Well, I'm learning that you can't just talk to a dog, just motivate them, say

Grace: I love that. I totally have conversations that fall on deaf ears with my dog. So I don't know why I keep doing it, but I do. What is one thing that you hate about lockdown and one thing that you actually have loved about lockdown?

Laurie: Well, I really enjoy traveling, so I've hated being home. And I don't mean that in some way. Like, I don't love my home, but I miss being out in the world and seeing things. But I also love the fact that I've kind of reconnected with my home, in my neighborhood, in my community. I never saw my neighbors before and mostly just made fun of them, you know, in their weird lives that I imagine they had. And now I know they're weird lives, like infinitely. So it's been kind of nice to get to know people around me.

Grace: That's nice.

Ben: That's all it is. That's definitely true of my neighborhood. As an author, you mentioned, you've always identified as a book person or an author. Do you have an author, title or an author wannabe?

Laurie: Oh, yeah, tons of them. So, you know, from Indiana, homegrown boy, Kurt Vonnegut is one of the I admire the most. I've actually met him a couple of times before he passed away. So Kurt Vonnegut was the master of writing short, concise sentences that packed a punch. So he's one of my idols.

Grace: Oh, yes. Kurt Vonnegut is great. And it's been a while since I've read anything by Kurt Vonnegut, so I might need to revise those, get this off the shelf.  What is one little luxury that has been helping you get through the pandemic? So for me, I really love green tea, mojie. Kind of random, but that's my little dessert treat at night or maybe a restaurant or specific dessert or drink or TV show game, whatever.

Laurie: So the one thing I've discovered is my love of gourmet ice cream. I mean, I knew I had it, but I am only in on Jenni's ice cream. We're in the swap today. And we get it delivered to the house because we don't have a store here in Raleigh, North Carolina, where I live. So Jenno's ice cream is the luxury I've been giving to myself during the pandemic.

Grace: Oh, it's so good.

Ben: Jenny is phenomenal. I'm friends with their social media manager, so I'll send them this clip. Maybe you can become like an influence or something. Oh, my. Got Jenny's influencer.

Laurie: I am a stalker of their social media, so I'm surprised they don't already know me and have me on a blacklist. Welcome to all. You should you should become a janez influencer.

Ben: But follow up question. Do you have a favorite Chinese flavor? Because I think there's a correct answer to this, but I'd love to hear what you think.

Laurie: I have many favorites. So the one that I'm like having the most these days is there lemon blueberry parfait. It's so good. And I'm not normally a fruity ice cream lady, but I also discovered their new chocolate chip that was made for Joe Biden and that is the bomb. It's like no chocolate chip I've ever had. It's almost like a malted vanilla base. It's so good. I'm in love with that White House chocolate chip.

Ben: I have not had White House chocolate chip, but I'm ordering some right after this. Grace, I'll send them to your house.

Grace: Yes, please do. Yeah, expensive.

Ben: I personally believe that the brand blueberry crisp is at the top of ice cream flavors.

Laurie: Oh, for what it's worth for sure, any fruity kind of gennies ice cream also pairs well with her darkest chocolate. So give me that darkest chocolate any day and I'm in love. So clearly, I need to go scoop ice cream at Denny's. Now, that's my.

BenL Yes, I'm perfect. OK, last question. We ask everyone who comes on the podcast. This Laurie, do you believe that aliens exist? Why or why not?

Laurie: I have two answers and it's like you're going to have to edit this out. If I get it wrong. And I don't make you happy. I think if aliens existed, we would know by now. On the other hand, we haven't been around very long in the relative span of the universe. So I don't know, maybe I'm not giving it enough time, but I don't think there's some sort of grand conspiracy keeping aliens from us. And one day at some point, if humankind continues on, we're going to find out the answer.

Grace: Yes,

Ben: there you go. You know, grace and I disagree about this. I'm not yet on the alien train, so I feel like you placated us both with you left the room.

Grace: You have the door open, and I feel I'm happy with that.

Laurie: I want to make enemies on this podcast.

Grace: You have not made any enemies here.

Ben: Amazing modred, to finish this up. If people want to learn more about you, if people want to get the book, they can obviously go to Amazon. But where else can they follow along with you and your adventures?

Laurie: Sure I'm all over the internet. I've been around forever. So the easiest way is to go to punk rock dotcom, which is the name of my podcast, and you'll fall into my eco-system right with animals and dogs and cats and gennies ice cream. And I know, maybe a little bit of career advice, you know, from time to time.

Ben: Perfect I love it. Punk rock, HR. We will be there. Thank you so much for coming on start with you. We appreciate it.

Grace: Thank you, Laurie.

Laurie: Appreciate it. Thank you.

Hosts: Thanks for joining us for another episode of start with who, the interview intelligence podcast presented by Pillar. Find out more about Pillar and how to do the best interviewing of your life and build an amazing team, all starting at And if you like this episode, leave us a review or shoot us a note. We'd love to hear from you. Thanks for listening. We'll see you next time.