Office Space written and directed by Mike Judge
Office Space is not just a wonderful comedy, it is a cult movie for some and it seems to enjoy a tremendous reputation among the multitudes that work in similar circumstances and Office Spaces with the protagonists of this excellent comedy-, which is to say almost all those working for the enslaving multinationals?
The under signed must confess of a certain- or is it a strong bias? - given his few years of working for AT&T, which paid for a – too?-long period only $ 250 per month, but expected top representation, someone wearing suits and, in a word, a slave doing the work for them in what they must have considered to be a country where a few bucks would simply buy the president’s palace.
Initech, the evil company in Office Space expects its American employees to work on Saturdays and then- why not?- on some Sundays too, if they want to keep these jobs- again, are they jobs or position as slaves?
Peter Gibbons aka the excellent Ron Livingston is the hero of this motion picture and he hates Bill Lumbergh aka another top actor, Gary Cole, who asks for the moon from those he supervises and is ready to fire, after receiving the green light from the two consultants hired to evaluate the work done by the personnel at Initech.
Michael Bolton and Samir Nagheenanajar are the friends of the main character, the former is always teased because he has the name of a famous singer- that he loathes- and the latter has a name that nobody can pronounce and what is more important, people do not seem to even take the trouble to try.
Peter has a sort of epiphany, or a revelation that would have occurred to him if he had had the chance to consult positive psychology studies or watch the Harvard courses online, wherein Professor Tal Ben Shahar speaks about the importance of finding your calling.
People who work in various domains tend to be divided into three groups- first, those who are interested in the paycheck only- Peter and his friends-second, those who want a successful career, third and most important group is of those who have found their calling.
One can find one’s calling by identifying what one likes, is good at and has meaning and where these three domains intersect, that is the Calling.
Finding there is no meaning in his work and being fed up with his always-abusive boss, who is not satisfied with work on Saturdays he now wants Sundays as well, the hero decides he would not have any more tolerance for this.
He comes to work with a funny, wonderful, serene attitude, not caring in the least about the evaluation, answering the two Bobs making the investigations with a Nirvana air, stating even that he does not care, he works a total of 15 minutes per week- or thereabouts- he stares at the window and he is offered no incentive- what if the company sells more? There is nothing in it for him.
The two consultants are so mesmerized by this honest, floating, straight, open talk that they promote the young man, offer him a higher salary and a position where he has four other people under command.
Alas, at the same time they let him know that his friends are going to lose their jobs and they also intend to solve the problem of Milton, a hilarious character that had been sacked, before the advisers have arrived, only through some glitch in accounting, Initech has continued to pay the man.
Lumbergh tries to get rid of Milton by abusing him- it appears the only management “technique” he masters- making the worker move hi office in impossible locations, up to the point where he is finally relocated to the basement and he reaffirms the intention- which he might actually fulfill- to set fire to the headquarters.
Peter invites the friendly, attractive, smart waitress Joanna aka Jennifer Aniston for lunch and they find they have so much in common, up to the moment when the hero explains the operation they had planned and are executing of rounding up sales figures and transferring (multitudes of) pennies into an account set with his friends Samir and Michael.
The clever woman sees through the defense used by Peter, who tries to diminish the importance of what he is doing by talking up the… smallness of the fractions and the sums that would land in their account, and calls the game by its name- “so you are telling me you are stealing”.
Indeed, a huge sum is gathered after a shorter period than the software engineers had expected and they are scared by the few thousand dollars that have been added in matter of days instead of the planned years and the hero is thinking about his guilt and with remorse, he decides to confess and take the blame.
Peter has a clash with Joanna, but it is not over the intention of getting Payback from the abusive company by sending tiny fractions into a personal account, but it is caused by the admission that the girl has slept with Lumbergh- it was anyway before she has met the hero and who is he to act in this manner- the man is so disgusted by the abhorrent boss that it looks like he would vomit any minute.
However, he is very wrong, not just because this incident had happened before he could say anything to the beautiful girl, but it was not this Lumbergh.
Without mentioning what happens, there may a solution- or a few- to the issues and crisis that have been generated by the virus which collected too much money, the jealousy and the mistaken identity, the Wrath of Milton not of Khan, the revenge taken on Initech and the answers might include, if not Calling, Meaning in a job, at least some activity in the open, under the sun.