Office Place

Have you ever thought that maybe there really is a massive universal consciousness, and it has a really sick sense of humor? Like, it just loves to torture you in the most banal ways, so that if you complain, everyone around you just thinks, “What’s he complaining about? He’s got it easy!”

Just in case you ever wondered how realistic a picture of corporate America that old comedy movie “Office Space” was, let’s start with one of it’s main comedic props, the “TPS Report” (a clearly useless, low-information document with ridiculous formatting requirements that had to be produced weekly by every employee to monitor work progress):

I, right now, twenty-some years later, am required on a bi-weekly basis to produce an “ESR Report”. It is a presentation-formatted powerpoint document that must conform to a complex standard. It takes 30 to 45 minutes to produce. It must be manually uploaded to a special folder in a “Box” share that has no relationship to any other work-product storage schemes or company reporting systems. It contains approximately EIGHT SENTENCES of information.

Let’s continue on to how I am also required on a weekly basis to use a byzantine HR system to report my hours worked with unbelievably fine granularity as regards both project and work-type reported. If I use the wrong work-type code, it is flagged as a “defect”. If the code I need hasn’t been added to my permissions, I have to request it be, or I can’t file without a “defect”. The request can take up to ten days to complete, so you miss filing your report, which is, say it with me, a “defect”….

Then, consider that I must spend a half-hour of every single morning in an “agile”, “stand-up” meeting for my primary project. On top of that, I spend an hour every other week in a “team meeting” and have 90 minute “All Hands” meetings at least once but as many as five times a month…

To quote Peter Gibbons: “I’d say in a given week, I prob’ly only do about 15 minutes of real, actual work.”

Did I mention I have five bosses? “Five?” you ask? Five, Bob…

Well, five bosses until last month, when about 30% of my team was “right-sized” out of existence, and my actual direct boss went with them. Of note? We were specifically told that the decisions on who to fire were NOT based upon performance or experience. What were the criteria, you ask? They aren’t allowed to tell us, other than to say it was “strategic”. A strategy that doesn’t require attention to the performance or skill-sets of employees to implement… I suspect there was a D12 involved!

“Office Space” wasn’t satire, it was a fucking ROADMAP!