Nerd Guru

Because technical people need good soft skills to get ahead.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Watch This DVD: Office Space

Having a case of The Monday's? Let Mike Judge help.

The same man that brought you clever humor in the form of Beavis and Butthead and King of the Hill focuses his comedy acumen at the technology workplace in Office Space (Netflix, Amazon). Through the eyes of Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston), we see Judge's dead on depictions of late 1990's software engineering life that invokes the spirit of Scott Adams, including:
  • Being caught in traffic so dense that an old man using a walker moves faster
  • Pointless paperwork through infamous TPS reports
  • Mid-level managers who pay more attention to their coffee than their employees
  • Demented network printers that unleash their annoyance at will
  • Intricacies of ultra-perky coworkers and their anti-social counterparts
  • The ratio of people-to-cake never being correct for workplace celebrations

But then something magical happens to our good friend Peter. Prompted by a hypnotic accident, he simply decides not to care any more and does all the things we all wish we could do, like:

  • Embracing a new dress code of flip flops and jeans
  • Taking apart his cubicle walls in order to improve his view
  • Inadvertently convincing the consultants who came in to lay off everybody that he is, instead, worthy of a raise and a promotion
  • Blowing off his boss, proclaiming to be busy while playing Tetris and eating Cheetos

You can't possibly watch this movie without thinking, "That's just like something that happened at my work" multiple times. Whenever I have an especially frustrating stretch at work, this is among the first titles I reach for when finding salvation. Keeping your mental batteries recharged is a key component to a long technology career and this movie certainly helps when that's what I need.


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posted by Pete Johnson @ 6:18 AM   0 comments

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