Office Space, is Mike Judge’s 1999 comedy film that tells the story of three frustrated office workers who decide to fight back against their irritating boss. Anyone who’s seen the film will remember his hilariously infuriating habit of saying, “erm ‘kay”, followed by something like, “I’m gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too”.
The fact that a Manager would use “go-ahead” when asking you to do something you don’t want to do is hilarious. It’s also a brilliant insight into the satirical take on office culture. I’m sure we’ve all had Managers who get us to do extra work and pretend it’s in our interest. “Taking on this extra project could really be great for your progression”, or a million other examples. None are quite as emphatic as “go-ahead”, which gives an indication of the quality of the script.
Office Space is the best comedy about the stress of office work. The only other one I can think of was Horrible Bosses, which sadly was nowhere near as clever, funny or inciting. Animator Mike Judge (Beavis and butt-head/ King of the hill) expanded the story of a short cartoon he had done years before and made his first live action film.
The film might seem like an exaggeration on office culture but unfortunately for some, it’s a little too close to reality. We look at the five main similarities between the film and real life.
- The morning commute
We all remember the brilliant opening scene of Office Space, with the protagonist stuck in slow-moving traffic. Many of us also get stuck in rush hour traffic and those in London have to pay the Congestion Charge too! The rest of us take slow, crowded and wildly erratic public transport. Some people cycle to work, and why not if you’re close enough?
- Broken equipment
In Office Space the down-trodden characters are plagued by a printer that doesn’t work, and doesn’t look like it will ever be replaced. We all have to deal with the frustration of things in the office not working as they should. We’ve all wanted to smash up the printer like the three disgruntled guys in Office Space, but it’s probably not a good idea.
- Jokes about Monday
Happy Monday guys. It’s another manic Monday…We’ve all heard our fair share of Monday related puns, greetings or platitudes. It’s not big and it’s not clever. There’s no worse start to a week than someone saying, “Monday already”, every single Monday without fail. After a heavy weekend this is likely to drive you up the office wall.
- The irritating colleagues
No two people are the same and throw 30 people into an office for 9 hours a day and there will always be clashes. But why are some colleagues unbelievably annoying? A colleague in a previous job sighed 70 times a day, tutted 10 times and kissed her teeth 5 times, every single day. And yes, I did count. I used a simple tally chart to document her awful noises, which may have kept me sane. If you’re resorting to measures like these it’s probably time to get a new job.
- The lunch routine
Everyone who works in an office quickly begins to saviour their lunch hour away from their desk. In this film the three main characters usually ate at Chotchkie’s. Being in London, we don’t have many American diner cafes but we do have a fantastic café next door, which is run by a hilarious, septuagenarian Philippine lady. She keeps us thoroughly entertained while we recharge our batteries over a fry-up.