Goliath National Bank


….where Barney Stinson works.

If anyone watches How I Met Your Mother, (I am an extreme addict) you know that Barney Stinson doesn’t exactly work for an ethical business.  He spends his days hiring friends, playing jokes on people in adjacent buildings, and well, we never actually see him do work.  But somehow he makes a lot of money.  Sounds like corporate America?  Maybe.  Could it be discussing top executives and their pay?

This link:  features Barney’s video resume, teaching viewers exactly how to present yourself for a job.  The very dramatic video features Barney The video shows Barney performing in many activities that would be seen as impressive to an employer.  It exaggerates him completely as a person highlighting all good qualities and making many up to seem more impressive.  It is very funny take a look!

This link: http://www.cbs.com/shows/how_i_met_your_mother/barneys_blog/109449/ contains a job overview of newly open position at GNB.  Employees wanted are described as busty blondes.  The company description discusses how GNB encourages employees to do whatever possible to make a sale – steal, lie, cheat!  Whatever.  Clearly GNB is an unethical business, although it is fictional it may reflect the unethical activities that some businesses partake in (obviously exaggerated though).

In an episode when Marshall starts to work at GNB he ends up quitting because he cannot work for such a corrupt company.  GNB also puts its own desires ahead of the city it resides in.  In one episode the bank is looking to open a new office building but want to build where an old historic hotel currently stands.  GNB isn’t bothered by the historical value and ignores protestors and complaints because only their needs matter.

This business is clearly unethical and presents the idea of a city male workaholic who works for a corrupt bank.  As we have been reading about the financial crisis and banks that are “too big too fail” I thought this was an appropriate pop culture reference involving G/B/S to post about!

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15 thoughts on “Goliath National Bank

  1. Great videos. I really need to start watching this show. I agree that Barney Stinson definitely well-represents and even exaggerates the roles of CEOs in corporate society. But comedy is supposed to make light of a subject while simultaneously taking a stance.

  2. What is the point of exaggeration in comedy do you think? Is the humor because of course, lying, cheating, and stealing would never happen? Or because sometimes they do?

    Also, you mention, but don’t comment on GNB’s interest in women of a certain body type. Is that part of it’s unethical behavior?

  3. I think that the point of exaggeration in comedy is to make light of a potentially serious issue. By doing something to the extreme, like posting a job overview which describes desired employees as busty blondes, it makes a relevant issue–people being hired or fired based on appearances–into something comical.

  4. In this instance, the exaggeration is used to mold Barney’s character. Out side of the stuff he does do at work that Courtney mentioned, my favorite part is when other people ask him what he does. He responds by laughing as if they are not privy to the information. I couldn’t figure out how to embed a link in this comment so here’s the video: . Overall a great show and a cool thing to talk about for this blog. Comedies often talk about very serious issues by downplaying them.

    • Oh, to embed a video in a comment? Impossible. But a link? I did it for you.

      I think comedy “up-plays” the issue. It becomes a “safe space” to poke fun at power.

  5. I would argue that hiring women based on a certain look or body type in unethical. I recently wrote an article on Hooter’s and how their hiring practices are unethical. I don’t think a person should be able to hire based on looks, just as college applications aren’t supposed to contain a picture. A student body or working culture shouldn’t be defined by who is or is not attractive – it should be based on who is the most appropriate and effective fit for the job.

  6. I like your idea that Goliath represents an exaggerated image of some of the company’s in American big Business today. On the other hand, are there any company’s that truly put the needs of others over their own in a completely unselfish way?

  7. I just read an article for another class about the Tribune Company, with Randy Michaels as the CEO. The corporate culture described reminded me a lot of GNB in that the executives drank, played poker, and smoked at work. Sexual harassment was a norm, and the women who slept around were promoted. This company eventually went under, but I wonder if GNB is a comment on it’s corporate environment to some extent.

  8. Pingback: Biz Ethics. Not. | Business, Society, and Government 4

  9. Wow, the video raises a much more mundane ethical question that you all face all the time. How much should one try to “pad” or “spin” one’s resumes or job letters?

  10. Haha, please. Love HIMYM and Barney, and remember loving the video resume the first time I saw it. With respect to resume padding, I think that attitude amongst our generation is to embellish, but not to the point that an interviewer can catch you. When I was interning at an investment bank, I was told that the biggest trap come when people claim to speak fluent Mandarin- and then can’t say what the interviewer asks. Definitely not legendary.

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  12. Pingback: The Princess Bride: S. Morgensterns classic tale of true love and high adventure.

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