What’s the Thing You’re Known for at Work?


September 3, 2009

Ok, so every once in awhile I am not on the cutting edge (insert chuckles here).  One thing I know is that I never seem to have time to watch television shows when they actually air for the first time.  It may be because I have too many irons in the fire, but I love my DVR and I deal with it.

Well, earlier this week I was watching a re-run of “How I Met Your Mother” that aired last spring.  It was an episode that focused on several things; Ted had started his own business, Barney was in love with Robin, and the story of Marshall and his role at his company (Goliath).  It was Marshall’s story that caught my attention from a human resource perspective.  The premise was that different people at Marshall’s company had their “thing” they were known for.

Having a “thing” you’re known for at work is the way keep off the chopping block according to Barney. So, at Marshall’s company they showed some of the things his co-workers were known for.  There was the Creepy Backrub Guy (you can just imagine what he looked and sounded like), the YouTube Guy who played all the video clips as co-workers gathered around his desk, Fantasy Guy who walked around in a long bluish/purple robe, and Food Guy.  toy-guy

The funniest one to me though was Toy Guy.  Toy Guy was the Human Resource executive.  His office was filled with toys and when Marshall and Barney walked in to hear about the new overtime policy (which was a HUGE manual), the HR guy whipped out Wolverine claw gloves and played while he went over the boring policy.

Just once I’d love to be like Toy Guy at work.  Can you imagine, someone comes to HR for some “coaching” and I come at them blowing a whistle, clipboard in hand, drawing plays and next steps on my white board?  That would be great.  I’m now Coach Girl!

Seriously, there are people in every company that have strange “things” they are known for.  I’d love comments that share some of the funny ones from your workplace.


  • I’m two things at my office, tech girl and ‘the listener’. Someone accused me yesterday of being an excellent listener, I asked her to call my mom and tell her. I love technology, I love tinkering with it and finding new ways to do old processes more efficiently with said technology.
    I’m still trying to figure out what my coworkers ‘things’ are. We have the former football player, the dude that drinks too much red bull, the annoying woman (everyone has one), the over dramatic, the quiet guy. I cant really pinpoint their thing though. Hhmm, thanks for giving me something to think on Trish.

  • Don’t laugh, but I was known for being able to lay people off in Europe using existing works council frameworks and without violating the terms & conditions of the union agreements.

    Yup, I’m that awesome. Seriously, what a skill. Can you believe I walked away from that?

  • First, I am known for always wearing heels. My ee’s can always hear me coming. I am also known for reducing policy change or argument down to the simplest common denominator – finding the most intuitive and simplest way to make something happen.


  • I’m known for saying what other people are thinking but too afraid to say out loud. You can imagine how that works out for me I’m sure ;-).


  • Right wrong or indifferent, I’m know as “The Hammer.” Not sure if I should be proud or that or scared, especially since the person I work for is the one who started it. That’s what happens when you come in and make a group of people who have had no organization, actually come to order.


  • Everyone in our HR dept knows me as the guy with a 2L of Diet Mountain Dew behind his desk. 🙂 And the one with chocolate. And the one who can cook.

    But being a guy in HR is sort of weird, anyway! Good post, Trish.

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About Trish

A former HR executive and HCM product leader with over 20 years of experience.


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