HR Strange But True!
November 29, 2007

Even if you've never watched The Office on TV, you'll immediately identify with Toby, the HR manager of the dysfunctional office of Dunder-Mifflin. He deals with the inappropriate manager Michael Scott, as well as an office full of unusual characters (see Dwight) that make the HR manager's job a difficult one.

If you've ever thought that your workplace experience warranted some attention, the time has come to put your best (or worst) story forward on the show's website, where you can "Tell Toby About Your Office HR Nightmares." People from all over the country and in all different positions in the workforce have submitted their horror stories, and it's enough to make even the toughest HR practitioner cringe.

Participants have the choice to either submit a text version of their story, or to film their own "office confessional" style video to be posted on the site. Some horror stories include:

  • A boss who only eats corndogs for lunch
  • Managers accusing employees of faking funerals, and
  • A lost finger that ended up in the HR office rather than at the hospital ("it was the floor manager's fault").

Before you rush off to to post all about your nightmares at work, consider first some of the repercussions of posting such negative information on the web.

When we asked Lynda Rizzo, a BLR legal editor, about the idea of "Tell Toby" her first response was, "This is a completely bad idea for HR (or anyone in the organization) to get involved in!" She points out that filming on company property, or filming without consent can cause privacy issues along with the fact that a video can be used as evidence of discrimination or harassment.

"Besides all of the legal implications, videos and stories such as this cast the business in a bad light, which can lead to termination or discipline of the employees involved in posting the story online," says Rizzo. So before you send your HR nightmare to The Office's Toby, be aware of the HR nightmare it might cause for you if the wrong eyes see it.


TGIF - It's HR
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