Monday, October 15, 2007

Office Space

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 had to look up the dialogue on the Internet because this part of the movie really stood out to me. The question I am generating is based on the above quote from the movie: What happens when employees have little power and are not respected?

My answer to the above question is narratives of resistance to domination. Employees create narratives or dialogues like the above quote that show their resistance to an overbearing and dominating hierarchy. When Peter says "that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired," he is resisting a dominating boss who does not appreciate him or his work. He does not have the motivation to do his best work because of a lack of support and poor working environment that the top level bosses created. If there was not a need for domination of low power employees by high power employees, there would not be a resistance. That would mean that low power employees, like Peter, would have more motivation and thus produce higher quality work.

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