Yes, you have this right and MUST currently work in HR or are more likely working in HR and hating it. I switched career fields to get into HR (even got the MBA to do so *stupid me*) and I'm sorry I did now.
I agree it's all about getting in with the "club" and staying in good graces with the powers that be. I've seen so many upper-level HR people doing ethically questionable actions just to keep their "good ole boy" image...just goes against what HR is actually supposed to do. I lost a job because I refused to go on a witch hunt to try and fabricate phony information on an area manager that the big boys didn't like...I "wasn't a good fit for the company" was the reason I was given. In other words, I didn't do what I was asked to do and wouldn't play the game so they needed to get me out and get someone who would.
Yeah, the age issue: Of course we all fall apart and become decrepit after age 35, LMAO. That's why at age 42 I must be some kind of freak because I outperform my 20-something and 30-something year old colleagues during company athletic events, right? Yep, I'm probably due to be taken out back behind the shed and put out of my ancient misery since I'm quite a few years past that magical age of 35. Sadly enough though, I have had quite a few hiring managers ignorant enough to tell me not to hire someone because they looked "too old".
Loved your post; you should look into writing satire. Or at least starting an HR blog with some satirical advice!