Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Life in Office Space

Recently a co-worker and I were just talking about the movie Office Space.  He made a joke about us having 3 bosses and I just had to laugh. His comment immediately made me think about this quote from the movie:
Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.
Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?
Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?
Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.
Bob Slydell: Eight?
Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.

I think it's hilarous that Bob is absolutely astonished when Peter tells him he doesn't care. I wonder how many companies would react in the same situation.
At my current job I do not feel that I am living in this movie but at my last job I sure did. I had TPS reports (I kid you not), and I literally had 12 different managers. And truly... my only motivation was not to be hassled or to lose my job. As Peter says, that'll only make you work just hard enough. That's just sad.  By the time I left I was so disillusioned with my work place that I took all my personal business from them and wrote a scathing letter to the HR department on my exit interview form. The employees that are still there are miserable and I feel sorry for them.

I think it is incumbent on companies to make sure that their employees are satisfied.  I'm not going to say happy, because I firmly believe that a person's happiness is a choice we all make every day. But a company should be concerned with their employees.  Employees who feel job satisfaction worked harder and generally more efficient. Not to mention the loyalty factor. I mean really, which one would you rather have... an employee who is engaged and cares about their work or one who literally just shows up and couldn't care less? If employees feel valued most of them will work hard for you.

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