Human Resources Blog - Spark Hire

“The Office” Antics

After a long run gracing our televisions with their lovable and oft baffling paper sales strategies, Scranton’s not quite favorite (if sales are any indication) paper company is turning the cameras off. However, if syndication is your barometer, the cast of the critically acclaimed American-version of ‘The Office’ have formed the most popular paper sales company on Earth. Never enough at the center of the company’s antics is HR rep Toby–who maybe needs to be injecting his voice into the Dunder Mifflin Scranton office just a little more often (although judging from some of his comments, maybe he’s better off staying silent).

As the quintessential made-for-tv dud of an HR rep, Toby Flenderson flails his way through season after season on The Office, taking a beating from boss Michael Scott, being just a tad too obvious about his crush on secretary Pam Halpert (nee Beesley), and generally never smiling as he mopes through each day. He’s what every workplace environment fears–the incompetent HR rep. His lack of control helps propel The Office to hilarity and Dunder Mifflin to mediocrity. Sure, a little jello warfare between office mates might be harmless, and hilarious, but any workplace environment might be a little tense the day after the Dundies.

It’s not just that Toby is apathetic toward his role as HR representative, it’s that he is just as bad an offender. Here he puts a hand on Pam’s leg before announcing his leaving. This offense would normally be brought to an HR rep’s attention. Unfortunately, Toby is the HR rep. He does try sometimes, but Michael Scott, the Regional Manager, decrees he takes the fun out of anything. The two spar regularly, or rather Michael bullies Toby routinely, and the office takes note that its HR personnel can’t control the office.

The Office’s resident HR rep treats viewers weekly to how not to manage a workplace. If laws existed in the world of scripted sitcoms, and let’s be real, they rarely do, Dunder Mifflin would be due more than its share of legal bills. We have a sneaking suspicion though, that our HR professional readers, might have a little bit more passion for human resources than one Mr. Toby Flenderson. You be the judge.

Have you ever cringed at Toby’s HR blunders on “The Office”? Let us know below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by claudiolobos

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.

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