Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I Hate Beauracracy: Office Space Linked to Marx/Weber & On Being Strange at Work

I just read a great article about Office Space: "How the Movie Office Space Exemplifies Weberian and Marxist Theories."

Please click on it and read it, as I want the article to speak for itself. However, at my last job I began to realize that big companies care less and less about their employees as people... which relates to 'impersonality,' one of the six characteristics of beauracracy. That element is the one that got me the most upset about working for a large company. Second, the 'written communication' is another characteristic of beauracracy, meaning talking to employees is not important. Memos and paper trails are. People aren't important. Numbers and paper and reports are. Right before I resigned from my last job, us SALARIED employees had to fill out time sheets with when we took our lunches, and also my department had to write down every single call we made on a sheet that was set up with lines by the hours. We had to use tally marks. I felt like a child. I didn't work hard in school to become a salaried, career employee to waste my time filling out unnecessary forms. (Hello- the rest of the world is becoming paperless & GREEN!)

But I digress.. This article brought me back to Dr. Garr's Sociological Theory class at Wilkes. Loved that class and loved learning about Marx and Weber. It's pretty cool how these theories can really be seen in our everyday life, but I think most people don't know they exist. I mean, they are only taught in depth in the upper level sociology classes. People laugh at movies like Office Space, but they don't fully know why. They don't understand that there is madness going on, and people are too worried about losing their jobs to worry about it. That's why I LOVE Peter Gibbon's in Office Space. He becomes aware of the corporate maddness and begins not to care.

I hope that other people begin to realize how bad beauracracy is and begin to revolt and make people pay attention to people again. Did I mention again that I am stoked to start at a new company on Monday?

Going along with this, I just read another blurb today about a brand new book from the Wharton School of Business. It's about creating a strange workplace. It's called Change to Strange: Create a Great Organization by Building a Strange Workforce. I didn't read the work yet of course, but from the reveiws and press I've read, it's favorable. And the theory of management has GOT to be good coming from the Wharton School of Buisness. I think building a strange workforce is something worth looking into. Going along with what the movie Office Space made fun of, and the problems I personally know people encounter in beauracracy, it sure would be a cool thing to do-- to pay attention to the quirks and creativity of people and captilize on that! Instead of a carbon copy world.

Even though I am not a manager or business owner, I am ordering this from Amazon now because I am uber fascinated by this. I knew it was okay for me to be strange. I always knew it! No wonder I never fit in at certain places I've worked. The radio station was probably the best place I've worked, because well, media people are strange by nature. But you know what, every media person I've met in the country have similar traits-- and yet the media is a multi-billion dollar industry with very successful products. So, being strange works. The rest of corporate America needs to catch on.

If you didn't read my last blog about Office Space, please click around to find it. I'd LOVE your comments on this post. Please comment.


Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? Time sheets at a salaried job? You did the right thing, girl. They are totally Big-Brothering you.

Anonymous said...

Donna- if I know you like I think I know you, you deserve somewhere that will embrace your creative qualities. I learned a long time ago not to give your heart and soul to someone/somewhere who doesn't value you. And that's why I'm on the road now (you know who I am).

Anonymous said...

Office Space kicks ass. Have you seen my stapler?

xcodex said...

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Donna T. said...

thanks guys