Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Thoughts on Office Space

I watched Office Space with my girlfriend recently. I realized she needed to see it in order to get some of the jokes I make. I made a reference the other day to a "Federal Pound Me In The Ass Prison" and got a blank look.

I don't think Office Space will ever get old. Although the technology is old (CRT monitors and some DOS based operating system), it's a timeless classic.

Some random thoughts:

Universal Applicability

The first time I saw Office Space, I was a fairly new employee at Lockheed Martin. I hadn't been around long enough to hate it yet. What I saw in Office Space was the Navy, which I served in from '92-98. The military is a mindless bureaucracy, and Office Space nails it perfectly. Now when I watch it, I see just about every job I've ever had. My girlfriend said it applies pretty well to the hospital she works at.  

Age

There's a scene in the movie where Lumberg is celebrating his 41st birthday. I think when I first saw the movie, I was 25. At that point, I considered 41 ancient. Seeing how I'm 40 now, it's well within reach. 

Pieces of flair 

I recently handed in my mid-term performance review. I hate doing my performance reviews. I have to spend weeks going back over what I did and trying to rephrase it into something that might earn me a bonus at the end of the year. That's what I see as the metaphor for "pieces of flair". It's not just buttons. It's whatever your employer requires you to do (besides your job) to stand out and "express yourself".

I've known plenty of people who worked really hard, but got little recognition because they were too busy doing their damn jobs to document. Roosh mentions going through this in his "Dead Bat" book. Then other people, who don't really do anything related to their jobs, get all the awards and bonuses because they in turn are really good at writing up the mindless crap they do into something that sounds heroic to mid level managers.

Conclusion

My girlfriend now gets the "pound me in the ass prison" reference, and has started using it herself. And Office Space is a timeless cult classic.
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