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"I prefer to think of myself as Director of Disgruntled Cat Toys"

Human Resources (no, not that kind) is a department with a very bad press -- perhaps no wonder, seeing as they're almost only ever shown firing employees. When it comes to any of their other responsibilities, they're nowhere to be seen. This character comes in two flavours:

The Evil Director Of Human Resources: This is a permanent employee of a company, who takes perverse pleasure in making the employees as miserable as possible. As well as axing people, he is responsible for such terrifying scenarios as job interviews and raise requests, and will revel in the fear they thus inspire. See Bad Boss.

The Hatchet Man: a Hired Gun who goes from office to office coldly cutting out the dead wood. While he can't be judged for disloyalty, being unaffiliated with the company, the flipside is that firing downsizing rightsizing Parent/Child Quality Time Enhancement is all he does, thus balancing out the evil. This character is generally portrayed as more apathetic than outright sadistic.

See also George Jetson Job Security, No Such Thing as HR. Not related to Human Resources.

Examples of type A:
  • Catbert, Evil Director Of Human Resources, in Dilbert.
  • Subverted by the U.S. version of The Office, as Michael Scott acts like Toby Flenderson is one of these, but Toby is really just doing his job, and is in fact one of the sanest and nicest characters in the show.
  • Grahame Coats in Anansi Boys often fires employees after 11 months for the sole reason that once they've worked there for two years, they're legally entitled to a severance package. In contrast, when someone hacks into his computer and threatens to expose his embezzlement, he gives him a raise and two weeks paid leave. And then frames him and calls the police.
  • The G La DOS-esque narrator in the Sockpuppet song Sorry to Inform You
  • Eva Popoff in Tron 2.0. Insanely greedy, and possibly just insane. Is all for proceeding with the Datawraith project and hang the consequences or safety of the people she's shoving into the digitizer. Kidnapping Alan and threatening his life (along with Amoral Attorney Crown), casually dismissing the Fate Worse Than Death Thorne undergoes as just another stumbling block in the plan, and finally getting turned into a half-digital "creature" by ignoring the safeties.
  • Dale became one of these in an episode of King of the Hill. He started out nervously telling someone to get out, then later went mad with power and started firing people left and right for shits and giggles. He even threatened to fire Nancy and Joseph from being his family.
  • Barney's evil Mega Corp employer in How I Met Your Mother hires Ted to build them a special "firing room" that will put soon-to-be-former-employees in the kind of mindset where they won't leap over the desk to strangle their boss.

Examples of Type B:

  • Office Space has The Bobs, a two-man team of these.
    • Hilariously, one of them is none other than Dr. Cox.
  • George Clooney in Up in the Air.
  • Subversion on Cheers, where Norm was briefly one of these, because he wasn't cold about it. He empathized with the firee and often took the firing worse than they did. Then came the time he had to fire himself...
  • In Better Off Ted human resources actually has a militaristic strike team for getting rid of people.
  • Anthony Hopkins plays one of these in the Australian comedy film Spotswood.
  • The Damocles consulting firm in the Tim Dorsey novels exists purely to write reports that recommend that their clients lay off the amount of employees they want to lay off in order to up their stock prices. They effectively are there so that the managers can blame the layoffs on the consultants. This gets screwed up by Jim Davenport, who had a nasty habit of writing reports recommending that the managers fix actual problems.
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