HR Strange But True!
July 19, 2007

The next time an employee violates a break schedule or leaves the coffee pot empty don't worry about reminding them--just let the office linebacker "give out the pain" to those who don't obey the written and unwritten rules of the workplace.

If being blindsided by a linebacker seems a little excessive, that's because it's not the latest trend in policy enforcement but rather the theme of a series of Reebok commercials--and now videos on YouTube--that a contributor on the HR Forum alerted us to recently.

Playing off the lack of etiquette in the workplace, the commercials feature "Terrible" Terry Tate, a football player who works as an "office linebacker," tackling anyone who violates company policy. In one episode, Terry tackles a man who has left the coffee pot empty shouting "You kill the joe, you make some mo!"

The episodes show interviews with the CEO of the company who claims his office has never been more productive and that however unorthodox it may be, having an office linebacker is a morale booster. Terry claims that pain is the name of the game, but he also believes in intimidation, like when he forces an employee to recycle just by standing--ready to tackle--in the doorway.

Terry's hilarious reprimands include: "You can't cut the cheese wherever you please!" and "This ain't your home, so don't use the speakerphone!" Terry wastes no time identifying a violation and bringin' the pain, reminding us that he doesn't discriminate, "I'm an equal opportunity hittin' machine, baby!"

In your workplace, suggesting that your company hire a linebacker to enforce office etiquette rules will probably get you benched, but using a funny video or memo to remind workers of acceptable behavior might score a touchdown.

Check out all the episodes featuring Terry Tate: Office Linebacker at

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