SpongeBob and The Human Resources Guy

How employee’s view HR

I recently caught an episode of SpongeBob that made me giggle. “Selling Out” is an episode where Mr. Krabs sells the Krusty Krabs to a franchise.  They are a big corporation and make a bunch of big changes and hilarity ensues.  Watch a clip here.

First, I love SpongeBob.  In fact when people ask me to describe myself in one word.  I say “SpongeBob.”  He’s funny, happy-go-lucky, a bit kwirky, sometimes obsessive, and not afraid to be himself.  Boom – that’s me in a nutshell.

Another thing I love about SpongBob is how dedicated he is to his job.  He revels everyday coming to work and being the best damn fry cook he could ever be.  It’s true joy.  He’d do this job even if he weren’t paid and sometimes (due to cheap Mr. Krabs) he isn’t. An on going gag in the show is that Squidward hates his job and even in the Krusty Krabs training video it’s often repeated “Don’t be a Squidward!”  (Something I’d love to add to my own policies, but alas, the workforce hasn’t caught up with the trends.)

How HR views ourselves

In this particular episode, Squidward is used to the old fashioned management style of Krabs, where he can be a piss poor employee with a piss poor attitude and still get paid. However, when the franchise comes in, he starts to feel the heat.  A “psycho manager” that uses a passive aggressive style to intimidate Squidward.  There’s so many learning lessons in this one episode.

At one point the manager threatens Squidward with a talk to the “Human Resources Guy” which at this point made me burst out into laughter (as Spongebob episodes normally do).  Out comes this strong-man mobster looking dude who menacingly pumps his fist making Squidward nervous.  And it’s here that I started thinking…

HR Reality

Spongebob is full of great little nuggets like this.  Here’s the employee’s view of HR from the satirical cartoon.  We’re bullies. They see us as people who can affect their pay, their job, their livelihood.  Regardless of how smiley or nice or friendly we are, when it comes right down to it, the Squidward’s of the world are always afraid we’ll “beat em up.”

The perception of HR hasn’t really changed from the employee perspective, even though internally HR tries hard to battle it.  When it comes down to it – we’ll always be the bullies, because we’re the enforcers.  We try to pretend we’re the change makers, the cheerleaders, the go-to-gals… but let’s face it, HR, we’re the intimidators. As long as there’s Squidwards, there will always be HR.

One thought on “SpongeBob and The Human Resources Guy

  1. I enjoyed your article, but I want to bring your attention that the clip is no more working. If you can fix this problem it will be great.


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