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Headscratchers: Office Space
  • If Michael doesn't know the credit union software well enough to install the virus that he wrote, how the hell does he know it well enough to write a virus for it in the first place?
    • Maybe an intentional misstatement, perhaps it was he simply didn't have the access privileges to the computer network to do so? This seems more plausible since Peter did it himself - After getting his promotion, and corporations like that would more than likely have such access controls in place, however the average Joe probably wouldn't understand access controls so perhaps they 'dumbed it down' a bit by saying he didn't know how.
  • How does Tom manage to gain a seven-figure settlement in only a few days following his accident? In real life the case would be tied up for months or years.
    • It's never actually said that he had already received the money, it's just implied the money is incoming and a sure thing. Also note it was Drew the office idiot that tells them the story, so maybe the situation wasn't exactly as he says.
    • You may be confusing a settlement with money awarded by a court. Whatever entity was liable for Tom's injuries may have elected to settle with him immediately before there was ever a court case. This is actually much more common than movies and media make it seem... the majority of insurance claims, even potentially large ones, are just handled fairly quickly to get them over with, especially if Tom's injuries were confirmed by reputable medical professionals (as they would have been if he had to go to the hospital). An adjuster would have interviewed the other party, interviewed Tom, gone over the medical records, suggested a figure to the company, the company would have gone to Tom with that figure or a similar one and said "You can sign this waiver that says you won't sue and get this amount", and if Tom liked the figure he would probably get his money by the next Monday. (Companies often like to cut checks on Thursday or Friday.) The only real reason it would have been tied up for a ridiculous amount of time would be: if there was suspicion of fraud, if there was doubt as to liability, if Tom didn't want to settle for the amount they offered him and chose to pursue a court case instead, or if for some reason there was a truly stupid amount of money involved (as in "it's going to affect the entire company's profit reports for the fiscal year" amounts).
  • How does no suspicion fall on Milton following the immolation of the Initech offices? He's never been particularly concerned about keeping his mumblings to himself, so surely someone should have thought that the guy who's constantly talking about committing arson might warrant some investigation? We never even see him brought in for questioning, and given that he's last seen in Mexico, a country with which the US has an extradition treaty, simply fleeing across the border wouldn't have helped him. Plus, it's remarked upon more than once that he doesn't seem entirely stable. Finally, unless Milton is phenomenally good at covering his tracks, an investigation (which I'm pretty sure is compulsory in these cases) would most likely have revealed that the fire was set deliberately.
    • Nobody paid any attention to Milton. Sure, he wasn't hiding his 'threats' to burn the place down, but that's because nobody was listening. Everyone's attitude toward him was along the lines of, "Oh ignore him and he'll go away." So when it came time to figure out what happened, if anyone had suggested, "What about Milton?" the response would've been, "What about who?"
    • It also isn't specifically stated as Mexico, just a country where the locals speak spanish. It could have been Costa Rica for all the viewer knows.
    • Technically, Milton has a great alibi if he knew he wasn't on the payroll right before the fire. They'd have to show that Milton was working for weeks/months without being paid which might cost them more from fines and lawsuits than just rebuilding from a fire. It's been a while, but was the fire shown to be intentionally set or implied? I'm sure he just skipped town after finding several million dollars in an envelope while trying to steal back his stapler.
  • After his epiphany, Peter spends what must be a matter of weeks completely blowing off his job—not showing up, wearing casual dress and vandalizing company property when he does, not doing the job that he's fucking paid to do—and yet Lumbergh doesn't fire him, or even write him up. Hell, he even gets promoted, which surely Lumbergh should have had enough pull with the higher-ups to put a stop to.
    • Lumbergh WAS about to discipline/fire Peter... but then finds out that Peter has an 'in' with the Bobs. Since it was made obvious that the Bobs were a threat even to Lumbergh's job, Bill decides not to mess with someone they've deemed valuable.
    • Some of the satirical elements of this movie are meant to poke fun at the fear of confrontation held by people in management positions. The most clear-cut example of this is when the Bobs say that they won't be firing Milton directly, having "fixed the glitch" that was giving him a regular paycheck and preferring to "let it work itself out" (i.e., they expect Milton will stop coming to work if he's not getting paid). Other examples aren't quite as explicit, but the way those in management speak and their inability to be direct with their subordinates (e.g. Joanna's boss at Chotchkie's trying to get her to wear more flair without actually telling her to do so) is another, more subtle, use of this theme. It is shown to an extreme with Peter's insubordinate behaviour, taking what could arguably be Truth in Television to Refuge in Audacity for the sake of comedy.
  • Why does the movie let Peter, Michael and Samir get away with committing felonious theft? Seriously, no punishment at all. In fact, Peter's better off than he was before. Maybe Peter's just that awesome, but it still bugs me.
    • Losing the money isn't that big of a deal? Also: why would it bug you? That's... insane. Even if they hadn't lost the money. "Oh no, poor soulless corporation." It wasn't even that big of a sum for a friggin' comedy movie.
    • Because the protagonists freaking out over getting sent to prison is a lot funnier than them actually getting sent to prison.
  • Most companies keep a duplicate of their records off-site for exactly this sort of contingency. Merely burning the place down wouldn't have saved Peter; the evidence of what he and the others did is still around, unless Initech is so monumentally bad at what they do that they only kept one set of records. Not bloody likely, even in 1999 when the movie was released. Plus, his bosses may be evil, but evil =/= stupid.
    • While companies that don't have their heads up their asses do regular backups, Initech looks like the type that would stretch out backups beyond what would be reasonable just to save money. So it could have gone unnoticed in the span of two business days.
    • They're having Peter work 7 days a week to add "19" manually to the year number of individual entries; there's no way a shell couldn't do that. This place is falling apart IT-wise.
  • When Peter withdrawals funds, he gets traveler's checks. Isn't the point of traveler's checks that if they are stolen, lost or destroyed they can be replaced? So after the building went down in flames couldn't he have reported them stolen or destroyed and got all the money back scot-free?
    • He might have just been glad to be rid of it at that point. He just got away with committing fraud and avoided federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison; he might have figured that trying to get the money back would be tempting fate just a little too much.
    • Also he doesn't want the money, he just thought it was a good idea at the time because he was so relaxed.
  • Why is the virus on Michael's computer? Wouldn't it be better to have copied it over to a floppy before they even got to work? Unless he programmed the virus at work it shouldn't be on his computer at all.
    • That does seem to be the implication, that Michael programmed the virus at work, in his cubicle, using his company-issued desktop. Either he doesn't have a computer at home (which, considering it was 1999 and Hollywood is often slow to catch up with the times, might have been the case) or there's something in his work computer he needs to program the virus that he can't download to a disk and take home with him (no idea what that might be though).
    • Why wouldn't he program the virus at work? He already loathes his job as much as he's physically capable of doing...
  • You'd expect that a good programmer would think to name his virus something that doesn't have the word "VIRUS" in the file name, but apparently not.
    • They probably thought that no one at Initech would notice, or care. And they were probably right.
    • Also makes it clearer for the audience. If the file said "Additional Initech Y2K Update Software" some of the folks watching would've wondered if Mike gave him the wrong disc.
  • Why do their PCs run Mac software?
    • (From IMDB): "When Peter shuts down his computer, it shares characteristics with both Macintosh and DOS-based computers, including a hybrid Mac/Windows GUI, an A: drive and a C:\ prompt. The movie is set in a generic, universally-identifiable world, and the hybrid computer is clearly a carefully-planned gag based around that theme, rather than a goof."
    • Two in-universe possibilities:
      • 1. Michael built his own computer from whatever he could find, thus the aspects of both Mac and PC (which is completely possible IRL).
      • 2. Initech is so cheap, they grab whatever hardware and/or software they can get at the lowest price, be it via begging, borrowing, or stealing, and let their employees sort it out (this kind of merges with the 1st possibility).
      • 3rd possibility the Mac os Star Trek project made it to a finale release and wine or software like Executor was made for it. (mac os star trek had a dos based boot up just like windows 9X)
Ocean's ElevenHeadscratchers/FilmOlympus Has Fallen

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