An Ode to “Office Space”

Recently, the movie “Office Space”, had its 20 year reunion. Cheers and thank you Mike Judge for this fantastic cult classic.

I still remember watching the movie Office Space with my buddies back in college. It seemed to get funnier every time we watched. I had yet to even set foot in a cubicle, but somehow a truth about life seemed to resonate with us even as students.

Little did I know how well this movie exuded so many of the truths of working life.

I’ve never been one to know all the lines from a movie, but I think I can recite the whole script for this one. So many good nuggets in the movie Office Space and many relevant to Financial Independence.

“Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.”

Peter Gibbons in the movie Office Space

Peter laments that we need to spend our life sitting in cubicles often doing ultimately meaningless bureaucratic paper pushing. The truth about how vapid company mission statements are to the majority of rank and file employees …

And of course Bill Lumberg’s iconic…”umm yeahhhhhh”. So perfect.

Somehow I find his character more devious and even funnier knowing that Gary Cole, the actor behind the Lumbergh character, actually played a family killing mass murder in a tv mini-series back in the 80’s. The TV movie was called “Fatal Vision”. I recall watching annually with mom and always caught up in the horror drama. Sometime back I went and revisited the movie and it holds up fairly well for being an 80’s horror drama based on a true story. Check it out if you can.

And then of course, there is Milton. Milton’s stapler was the pen name I used when I started this blog and some of my posts still show it. Somehow most offices seem to have a Milton.

What would you say you DO here?

“Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late. I use the side door – that way, Lumbergh can’t see me. After that, I sorta space out for an hour…I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I’m working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I’d say, in a given week, I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual work.”

Peter in “Office Space”

We Need a Reboot

A current retrospective

Times have changed. Many office workers are now no longer sitting in cubicles but instead lined up like pigs at the trough in a trend that should have died out called “open seating”. An Office Space reboot could should the daily struggle of working alongside our peers that may or may not have good hygiene.

““So, I was sitting in my cubicle today and I realized, ever since I started working, every single day of my life has been worse than the day before it. So, that means that every single day that you see me, that’s on the worst day of my life.”

Peter again in “Office Space”

I’m doubtful that reboot would ever happen but I’ve heard that the TV show Silicon Valley is in some ways the followup to “Office Space” for the modern times.

Lastly, we’ve got to hand it to Milton Waddams played brilliantly by Steven Root. The squirrly mumbling guy that is slowly building up rage. Here’s to you Milton.

And then Mr. Lumbergh told me to talk to payroll, and payroll told me to talk to Mr. Lumbergh and and and I still haven’t received my paycheck and he took my stapler, and he never brought it back and then they moved my desk to storage room B and there was garbage on it, and I really don’t appreciate garbage…

Milton Waddams in Office Space

So in honor of Milton, why not pick up a red Swingline stapler? Ah yeah I guess who staples things anymore.

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