Lumberg! (was Ruffled Feathers)

Subject: Lumberg! (was Ruffled Feathers)
From: Andrew Plato <intrepid_es -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 Mar 2001 16:20:07 -0800 (PST)

Ever see the movie Office Space? If you haven't go rent it this week. Its a
great movie. A highly underrated satire on office life.

There is a great scene where the boss, Lumberg, is angry with an employee,
Peter, for not showing up at work the past weekend. Lumberg is standing in a
hallway as Peter walks up to him. "Peter!" Lumberg says. Peter looks right at
Lumberg. Lumberg begins to admonish Peter for not coming to work. Peter walks
right around Lumberg and out the door without saying a word. Lumberg stands
there in awe as people nearby laugh.

I think this is the only effective way to deal with bureaucracy tyrants. You
don't make a scene, don't argue, and don't apologize - just walk right around
them. If you acknowledge pettiness you grant it credibility. If you just ignore
it, you rise above it. People who are in power need your acknowledgment and
consent to support their stupid little processes.

If you just walk around them, you make a statement without saying a word. This
petty crap is just beneath me. You also place the burden of pettiness on them.
You force them to initiate a scene, thus making you look like the good guy or

Its no different from bullies in the school yard. Bullies rely on fear and
consent to control people If you ignore a bully, you ignore his/her power.
Bullies look for easy targets. Somebody who ignores them makes for a bad

Well, this is probably more psychology than necessary. Suffice to say, if you
want to reduce bureaucracy at your company, start by ignoring those that
enforce it.

Andrew Plato

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