|Office Space character|
|Created by||Mike Judge|
|Portrayed by||Gary Cole|
|Occupation||Vice President, Initech|
William "Bill" Lumbergh is a fictional character, who appeared initially in the Milton animated shorts, and later was portrayed by Gary Cole in the 1999 film Office Space. A caricature of corporate management, Lumbergh is the division Vice President of the software company Initech, and serves as the main antagonist of the film. According to his Employee Personnel file, he obtained a BS degree in Physics from MIT.
Lumbergh is a micromanager who is focused on pointless paperwork, notably TPS reports. He has been described as "the antithesis of the motivational management leadership ideal". He greets subordinates with an unenthusiastic "what's happening?", and when asking an employee to do an unpleasant task, starts the sentence with, "I'm gonna need you to", or "if you could just go ahead and", as well as ending these requests with "that'd be great" and "mmmkay?". A Wharton Journal perspectives article opines that the character "brilliantly exposed the emptiness of linguistic conventions at work." Social historian Joe Moran writes that Lumbergh's "non-confrontational" communication style "masks the reality of management coercion".
The irony of the character's popularity is noted in GQ/Details Men. Style.com, "[T]he guy who stops by your desk and says, 'Mmm, yeah, I'm going to have to go ahead and ask you to come in on Sunday,' is now an integral part of the soul-crushing corporate culture Lumbergh was created to satirize in the first place."
- Green, Doyle (2010). The American Worker on Film: A Critical History, 1909-1999. McFarland & Company. pp. 191–92. ISBN 978-0-7864-4734-3. Excerpt available on Google Books.
- Cole, Douglas (2/12/07). "Why we should remember Bill Lumbergh". Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Moran, Joe (2005). Reading the Everyday. Taylor & Francis. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-415-31708-5. Excerpt available at Google Books.
- Underwood, Paul L. (2007-02-22). "No More Funny Business". Men. Style.com. Archived from the original on 2007-02-24. Retrieved 2007-02-06.
- Bill Lumbergh at the Internet Movie Database
- Best Bosses from Hell discussing Lumbergh, from NPR's Talk of the Nation (July 27, 2006)
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