Wednesday, April 29, 2020

"A Day in the Life of a Middle Manager" by Joshua Fluke (turning filmmaker, in Utah)

2002 Winter Olympics flame

Joshua Fluke is a 30-ish Youtubber from Utah (read, brought up in the LDS Church, probably, and used to be conservative) who has explored his personal and tech workplace problems over the past couple of years, before the Covid crisis.

So now he turns to short film, and may be thinking of moving into film with more deliberation.
He presents himself in a little monologue: “A Day in the Life of a Middle Manager” (“Reflecting on Life at the Office”)  Other taglines:  "Just checking in" and "You do the work, I get credit".  Bad karma. 

Most of the film is shot in a parking lot next to a low-rise office building with the Wasatch range in the background (think about Sundance in January 2021, 50 miles away and 9 months into the future). He makes one foray upstairs to an empty dark hallway.  Since he is alone, he is honoring social distancing. Then he gets on his workstation (alone) and monitors employees handling customer tickets while working from home – like he was managing a hosting company (Bluehost is in Utah). 

He also makes fun of the euphemisms for getting fired.  You get groomed for management, which is then no-mans-land and vulnerable.  It was the engineers who can really fix the production problems who were the most valuable during my own career.
Fluke offers an unusually personal video April 20 on his channel. 
This little short sounds like a parody if the 1999 satire “Office Space”.

In a news item, the Oscars announced today they would consider films shown only online, because of the Covid crisis, for the 2020 year awards. 
Reid Ewing ("Modern Family"), who has made some interesting videos in the past, seems to be looking pretty good in Utah right now judging from Instagram (look at media_reid).  There are recent pictures of him near Great Salt Lake (alone, social distancing). 
Picture from 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, click for Wikipedia (embed) photographer attribution under CCSA. I watched this from a hotel room in Fresno, California (while becoming ill with something that sounded like SARS, 8 months early – I fought it off by myself and completed the trip.)

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