Discuss about the Workplace Bullying in Office Space Movie.
Bullying is a serious issue in the workplace. Workplace bullying does not only hurt those involved but the entire workplace resulting in lost productivity which costs organizations dearly. Bullying is a common issue in nearly all organizations as about one in six employees have been bullied. Workplace bullying may entail verbal, social, physical or psychological abuse by an employee to another employee, employer to an employee or vice versa. In most cases, bullying is usually carried out to undermine an individual through humiliation. The movie Office Space is a perfect example of various variations of workplace bullying.
Workplace bullying in the movie is highlighted when management decides to eliminate Michael and Samir’s job without informing them (Judge et al., 2002). They learn about the elimination through their colleague, Peter, who relays the news to them. Milton who is a loyal employee also gets bullied by the management when the management decides to lay him off without informing him. The management even decides to move Milton’s office into the basement and decides to cut off his paycheck without warning. This is a workplace bullying situation. Milton's boss is deceitful by not informing him that he is being laid off. The decision by Milton's boss to move his office to the basement is a deliberate move aimed at hurting Milton's feelings. Finally, Milton's boss shows no remorse for what he does to Milton because he knows that the boss-subordinate relationship he has with Milton makes it hard for Milton to confront him.
People who are bullied often experience serious psychological and physical ailments which can adversely affect their work and home life. They tend to feel scared, stressed and depressed. Bullying can also make people lack confidence in themselves as well as take away their happiness which often make people irritable and results in bitterness. In the movie, Michael and Samir who are being bullied by the management are probably feeling irritated and bitter. Together with their colleagues, Peter, they decide to take revenge by infecting the organization's accounting system with a computer virus designed to channel a small fraction of the company's money to a bank account. The fraction channeled although small would result into a substantial loss in the long run. Michael and Samir also react to being bullied by stealing the organization's frequently malfunctioning computer and smashing it in a field as a way of venting their frustrations.
I think the bullying behavior offers the bully satisfaction in their ability to attack others while it also makes the bully feel more powerful than others. If I were in the situation of being bullied, my response would be to approach the bully to tell the person that the behavior is unwanted. If I witnessed a colleague experiencing workplace bullying, I would befriend the colleague and advise the person to document all the bullying incidences then approach the bully to tell the person that the behavior is unacceptable. If the behavior continues, I would advise the colleague to report the person to management for intervention.
As a manager, if I witness a bullying situation among employees, I would address it the right way while following the company's guidelines for addressing workplace bullying. If I reported a workplace bullying situation and am not taken seriously, I would document everything then speak out and seek help from outside my employer. I would support a colleague who reported a bullying situation by offering them moral and practical support. I would also offer them political support by using my power and influence within an organization to help them tackle the problem.
Judge, M., Livingston, R., Aniston, J., Root, S., Cole, G., Naidu, A., & Herman, D. (2002). Office space. Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment.