Now that I’ve been working in a corporate office environment for over a year and half – it’s become quite common for my coworkers and I to pick up on the funny quirks and hilarities of the so-called “office space”. People’s funny ways of asking for things, people who take themselves very seriously, people who don’t take themselves seriously enough – and those peculiar personalities and situations you’ll never forget – are all perks of being an observant office employee. Now, I really enjoy my job and don’t have an extreme situation like I can only imagine many others do, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes chuckle to myself about people’s wacky work ways.
No movie has documented these (obviously in the most extreme of fashions) more comically then the movie Office Space. This 1999 film follows Peter Gibbons, a disgruntled employee of Initech who’s unbelievably aware of the idiosyncrasies within his hum-drum and toxic working situation. After a failed relationship and a minor wake-up call, Peter and his two peers formulate the ultimate payback plan to cheat the system and embezzle thousands of Initech’s dollars into a shared account. Less about the money and more about the coworkers’ shared hatred of their less-than-satisfying work environment and frighteningly annoying boss, this film was our first introduction to television and film mockery of hilariously monotonous work spaces. Before the days of Michael Scott, Jim Halpert and the rest of The Office’s American and Brit crews – we had Peter Gibbons, Michael Bolton (one of the better film character names of all time) and Samir Nagheenanajar to narrate a story of unfulfilling routine and office dictatorship.
This scene, in particular, will go down in history as a) what we all want to do at the end of a long struggle with technology and b) one of the most outrageous and entertaining film scenes of the 1990s. In this segment, after the three have devised a plan to swindle their company out of money and power, they celebrate by taking their most hated piece of dysfunctional office equipment – the faulty printer – and beating the life out of it in a field – set to the hard gangster rhymes of “Still” by The Geto Boys. Baseball bats, pent up rage and the side-splitting use of gangster rap in this movie make this scene one for the books. Happy Monday, I hope your office has a properly functioning printer.