Friday, January 7, 2011

The Importance of Friends, a Sense of Humor, and the Movie Office Space

As previously mentioned, I work in the German corporate world. I’m coming up on my sixth year of living this life and some days I admit I get a little arrogant and think: “Okay, after this nothing can surprise me. I’ve now seen or heard it all: the surprising, the inspiring, the shocking, the embarrassing, and the soul-damaging.”

And then something happens to prove me wrong. Recently that something happened to me. For reasons like professionalism and confidentially agreement and the like, I can’t share the details here on my public blog with some 200 readers a post. Just know that this something really rocked my little boat and threw me for a number of loops.

So I turned to the three things that you absolutely must have to survive working in the corporate world: friends you don’t work with; a sense of humor; and the movie Office Space*.

Friends that you don’t work with are critically, critically important. The friends you work with are just too damn involved and will get all emotional discussing the something. You don’t need that. I mean, you do at some point – but not at that moment of survival. If you’re lucky you’ll have friends, but in the worst case scenario, you gotta have one. When the something happens, you need to pick up the phone and give that friend a call and you need to share the story (obviously respecting the confidentially that your company deserves). That friend should say things like, “that’s crazy” or “that’s great” or “fück!ng ‘eh!” that shows you that you aren’t that something and your shock/awe/damaged soul is totally normal.

But then you also need to bring your sense of humor to the conversation and to work in general. I will not and you will not survive the insanity without a sense of humor. It can be black humor, childish humor, German humor (yes, it does exist)…but you gotta have one. Seriously. Because if you can’t start laughing at the something while talking to your friend – or even, better while the something is happening - well, you’ve got quite a problem. If your sense of humor is starting to slip, then your friend needs to help you bring them back (which is why friends are the most important of the three).

When all else fails, the something has happened and thrown you for a loop, your friends are all out of town or too crazy to help you out – then you gotta solve the problem yourself. To do so (or just to help you out in that moment of need) you need a copy of the movie Office Space. Not NetFlix or LoveFilm or your local rental place or at your friend's place. You need a copy for yourself that you can watch in full or just a few minutes of every time you need it.

And you will need it. Trust me.

When you are really lucky and you’ve managed to balance all three of these things, your friend will not only listen to the something, help you remember and enjoy your sense of humor, but she will surprise you will a red stapler just like Milton's from Office Space for your office.

I’m really lucky.

*The German title is Alles Routine


sonora42 said...

:) I'm so glad that you can sit there and staple things while you're trying not to flip your lid. Have you started asking people, "Have you seen my red stapler?" when they are really sending you through the ceiling?

Teresa said...

=) that's my stapler

Pickles and Onions said...

haven't started yet, but I'm getting super close :)

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