As a DBA I don’t know whether to laugh or cry…

Last week while in NYC, I was lucky enough to see Ricky Gervais on stage at Madison Square Garden. He's the "tubby comedian" (he hates that label) from Britain who starred in the hit UK TV show "The Office".  Steve Carrell stars in the subsequent US production, also a big hit. Both shows are shot like pseudo-documentaries giving the impression that you are watching employees in a real office. When office politics get out of hand, you are left feeling uncomfortably embarrassed for the people involved; until you remember you are only watching a TV show and it's not real at all. Both programs are very funny. A lot of the things that happen are exaggerated events that really happen to people like you and me in our offices. Events like layoffs, harassment, promotions, new bosses etc. So what's your favorite office sitcom?

From Britain's Channel 4, there is "The IT Crowd", which highlights a Help Desk support team within a large company. "Have you tried turning it off and on again?" is always their first question. "Are you sure it's plugged in?" is another. The team has a manager that knows nothing about computers.

Of course, who can forget "Nick Burns, Your Company's Computer Guy" with Jimmy Fallon on SNL? He fixes your computer and then makes fun of you in front of your colleagues. "Was that so difficult?" - his arrogance is so over-the-top that he always has to thank himself by leaving with a sarcastic: "You're welcome!". One of the employees always opens with: "I don't like that guy".

Do you remember the movie "Office Space" with Jennifer Aniston?  That's a classic. It's about a software company where everyone is fed up with their jobs. A common retort is: "Didn't you get that memo?".

And of course, Dilbert is now an animated cartoon.

All these comedies are popular because they contain more than an element of truth. They allow us to laugh about situations that otherwise might make us cry.

I wonder if we'll ever get a sitcom for DBAs? I think I need one...

Later

Brian

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