Saturday, October 2, 2010

Office Space and the red stapler

Anyone who has ever worked in the office environment, especially one that is lined with cubicles as far as you can see, will appreciate this movie. You must see this movie if you've never seen it and have worked in one of these places. You'll see someone you know in every one of those characters. Then there's the guy with the red stapler . . . too funny.

I've seen this movie so many times, and never get tired of it.  Watch it if you've never seen it and want to laugh . . . especially if you have worked in a dysfunctional environment!

This movie needs to go in a time capsule!

An excerpt from Wikipedia, click here for the whole page on the movie:

"The film depicts a group of employees at Initech, a company plagued by excessive management, and the everyday annoyance of office work in a cube farm setting evocative of the Dilbert comic strip. Soon after the movie begins, two consultants (John C. McGinley and Paul Willson), nicknamed "The Bobs" since they both have the same first name, are brought in to Initech to help with cutting expenses. The workers at Initech are then interviewed in order to determine which employees will be downsized or outsourced.

Peter Gibbons (Ron Livingston) is a software engineer who spends his days updating bank software to remedy the then-expected Y2K disaster. His co-workers include Samir Nagheenanajar (Ajay Naidu), who complains that no one in the US can pronounce his name correctly; Michael Bolton (David Herman), who is angry that he shares his name with the real-life singer whom he hates; and Milton Waddams (Stephen Root), a soft-spoken, fixated collator who mumbles to himself incessantly (most notably about his co-workers borrowing his stapler) and is repeatedly harassed by management, especially the callous vice president Bill Lumbergh (Gary Cole). Lumbergh is Peter's nemesis — a stereotypical corporate middle-manager (reminiscent of Dilbert's Pointy Haired Boss) who spends most of his time wandering the office with coffee mug in hand, wears white-collared shirts, suspenders and a belt (considered a fashion faux pas), and emotionlessly micromanages his employees while engaging them with superficial small talk.

Peter finds himself stressed, burnt out, and ineffective, and will likely be on the Bobs' downsizing list. Fortunately for him, something unusual happens during an occupational hypnotherapy session urged upon him by his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend Anne. The obese "occupational hypnotherapist" Dr. Swanson, portrayed by Mike McShane, suddenly dies of a heart attack before he can snap, or "unhypnotize", Peter out of a state of complete relaxation. The newly relaxed and still half-hypnotized Peter finds out that Anne is cheating on him but takes the news in stride and doesn't seem to care. He announces that he will not work anymore (although he won't quit either), instead pursuing his lifelong dream of "doing nothing", and finally asking out Joanna (Jennifer Aniston), a waitress he's long wanted to date.

In a parallel story, Joanna is experiencing a similar frustration with her boss regarding trivial issues, notably the "flair" on her uniform (catchy slogan buttons that supposedly contribute to the "fun" atmosphere of the restaurant). Although she wears the required number, 15, she is constantly harassed for only doing what is required (although it is never explicitly stated that she should wear more).

Meanwhile, during his interview with the Bobs, Peter opens up for the first time about the absurdity of his job and of how Initech is run, including the issue with having too many managers and not having any real motivation to work except to avoid hassles. The Bobs interpret Peter's candor, easy-going attitude, and lack of regard for his job as evidence that he is unmotivated in his current position and thus a prime candidate for a managerial position. Much to his surprise, and Lumbergh's dismay, Peter receives a promotion while his friends Samir and Michael, two of the department's best employees, are scheduled to be layed off.

At a bar with his two friends, he reveals that his strange behavior is not so much because of the residual effects of hypnotism but because watching the hypnotherapist keel over in front of him gave him a new perspective on life; not to waste it on pointless activities.

In order to get back at the company, the three friends decide to infect the accounting system with a computer virus, which will round down fractions of a cent from accrual of interest and transfer the leftovers into their own account over a period of years, leaving them with a cash windfall undetected by the corporation (see salami slicing). Peter, when questioned by Joanna about what he and his friends had been celebrating, attempts to diminish the sense that he is doing something illegal by comparing the theft to taking the pennies from the penny tray at a convenience store.

The plan however backfires when a bug in the virus program's code causes it to take $305,326.13 in one day. The three friends are certain that such a large amount going missing in so short a time period will be noticed and result in their arrest. After a crisis of conscience, Peter decides to write a letter in which he takes all the blame for the crime. Peter slips an envelope containing the letter and the money (in unsigned Travellers cheques) under the door of Lumbergh's office when Lumbergh is not there, expecting to be arrested soon afterwards."

Click on the Wikipedia link for more about this movie . . .

The opening clip of the movie . . .
for adult audiences only (crude language)

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