In the movie version of your life, which actor/actress would play you and the significant players in your life? What kind of movie is it (e.g., made-for-TV, action, emo/indie, etc.)? What would be the major plot points, and how will it end?
I spent a fair amount of time pondering if I would do this prompt.Â Truth is, I am completely entertainment industry illiterate.Â There are very few actors I recognize, let alone know anything about.Â It’s an affliction of mine.Â I can tell you the plot of a movie/show, sing you a song, and tell you what happened in the latest book I read.Â But chances are I will not be able to tell you the titles of the movies/shows or who acted in them, who sang or wrote the songs, or the authors or titles of the books.Â It’s quite bizarre really, and makes it quite difficult to have an intelligent conversation on all and any of the above.Â So coming up with an actress to represent me or anyone else I know is like finding a needle in the proverbial haystack.
So after a little reflection I decided to choose a character that represents (or rather represented, since I’m no longer in that situtation) a portion of my life; Alice from the Dilbert comic strip.Â Alice is the highest paid engineer in the rather dysfunctional company she works for, and she’s rarely given recognition for her accomplishments.Â She has what’s called the “Fist fo Death”, which is responsible for numerous deaths in the company, for which she was given an award for by HR for her cost-effective methods.Â She has fourteen patents, and was the first engineer hired in her company.
There are a number of parallels between Alice and myself.Â I was the first engineer hired back many years ago for a cable company that shall remain nameless.Â For a long time I busted my backside making things happen without backup, going the “extra mile” (or 5), giving up the rest of my life for the company, yadda yadda yadda.Â What did I have to show for it?Â Not a whole helleva lot.Â My issues were rarely with my coworkers, but with management and their blatant desire to work all of us into an early grave.Â I felt I was constantly fighting a battle with upper management, trying to infuse some level of reality into their inflated expectations and insane goals.Â Of course, the more I bucked the system, the more I was labelled “disgruntled”, “not a team player”, blah blah blah.
For a long time I was able to get away with being the black sheep, maybe even made a difference here and there, when I was the only engineer with expertise in our particular networking platform.Â But once other engineers were hired and the technology changed, I lost that power to the workaholics of the company.Â After 10 years, it reached a point where it was impossible to manage both family and career there.Â 80-90 hour weeks were now the norm, goals were outrageously unattainable with someone (other than the boss) getting blamed for their failures, and everyone was just plain pissy with each other.Â I held my stance to the end, when I noticed a fictitious paper trail was being created, I suspect to justify releasing me after 10 years of service (immediately after I informed my boss of my pregnancy, I might add.Â You can make whatever deductions you wish about that…) .Â It was at that point I left the company, which overall was one of the best decisions I could’ve ever made, for my life and career.
I’ve always loved the Dilbert comic strip, with it’s humorous view of an all-too-accurate representation of corporate life.Â So, if I had to make a movie on my life, I think I would pick this one area of my career life to focus the plot line and make it a cartoon, primarily because it’s the only thing in my life I can think of that holds enough drama to potentially hold an audience’s attention for more than 10 seconds.Â I think there are characters all through Dilbert that could represent many of my former bosses and some coworkers on different levels.Â I know exactly who would be played by the pointy-haired boss, but I will refrain from naming names (makes me chuckle to think of it though).