Office Space is based on the Milton series of cartoons created by Mike Judge. Office Space was Mike Judge’s foray into live action film and his second full length motion picture release (the first being the animated Beavis and Butt-head Do America). The promotional campaign for Office Space often associated it with Beavis and Butt-head.
Peter Gibbons is a disgruntled programmer working for Initech, a company plagued by excessive management. Peter spends his days “staring at his desk” instead of reprogramming bank software for the then-expected Y2K disaster. This movie shows four of the coworkers being repeatedly bullied by management, especially Initech’s callous vice president, Bill Lumbergh. The staff is further agitated by the arrival of two consultants, informally known as “The Bobs,” since they share the same first name, who are brought in to help with cutting expenses, mainly through downsizing. Downisizing is the process by which an organization reduces its number of employees to achieve greater overall efficiency. The most common reason, as shown in this movie, for the decision to cut jobs is the organization’s conclusion that it can “do more with less” (i.e., have greater efficiency with fewer employees).
Do you ever feel like one of the Bobs when you are working on a process improvement project?