This weekend I watched the movie Office Space again. It’s been FOR.EV.ER since I’ve seen this parody about working in an office. The whole thing brought back memories of my old job. I shared with you about my time spent in the corporate world in this post here.
The characters in this movie are based on real people. They have to be because I had co-workers who acted just like them. Remember this line? Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays.
We had that perky chick who sat up front and answered the phones. Everything was always ‘super’ and she dotted her I’s with hearts. I swear, if she knew that expression existed, she would have said it every Monday morning to the rest of us who trudged in counting the hours until Friday.
And we had all the techy-geeky programmer guys. They spent all day in their cubicles with their headphones on listening to alternative rock and their heads buried in their computers. Most of them had more than one computer in their area so they moved back and forth between them, working on who really knows what.
One of them drove me crazy every day. He sat in the cubicle right next to me and I could hear him banging on his keyboard all day long. And get this – he would email me when he had a question. Sometimes, I wouldn’t reply back and force him to talk to me. Come on, if you just rolled your chair back a few inches, you’ll see me and you can ask me your question like a normal human being does.
But you can’t say that kind of stuff. This is the corporate world. Everyone has to be politically correct or you’ll get written up and they’ll put a warning in your file.
Before I accepted my place in the land of cubicles, I worked in radio when everything was cool and real rock stars roamed the building. Everyone stood around in the halls and talked to each other. Happy Hour started at 4pm on Friday and the managers called it the “Employee Appreciation Party.” Some days, I was surprised we got anything done and stayed on the air. But things changed when the corporate machine came in and took over.
At the end, it turned into this dialogue from Office Space:
Peter: And here’s something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob: I beg your pardon?
Peter: Eight bosses.
Peter: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That’s my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.
That was me.
Truth is … I was close to getting fired. After a long series of events, I went rogue. I made a few non-approved decisions that pissed off a couple of my many managers. Not one to face a firing squad, I took off for my 10 day paid vacation time allowed in my contract.
When I returned, I met with the top manager in my department and turned in my keys and my letter of resignation. Our final conversation went a lot like this one from Office Space:
Bob: Looks like you’ve been missing a lot of work lately.
Peter: I wouldn’t say I’ve been *missing* it.
Photo credit: Joy in Cubeland