Movies are the best. They are fabulous and entertaining. And I think they’ve taught me a lot about work and how to be an effective employee!

But even though movies can sometimes offer some insight into the workings of an office, they often get so many things wrong. In my opinion, here are some of the biggest misconceptions:

  • We don’t all work in advertising. People in movies do work in a variety of fields. But an overwhelming number of them seem to be advertising executives. And they always need to make a BIG presentation to an important client by some impossible deadline. Drama!
  • We don’t all hate our desk jobs. In the movies, if people don’t work in advertising, they probably work in a cubicle at some crappy desk job, and they hate it. But hey – I’ve worked in a cubicle before, and I thought it was fine! And I bet there are lots of people who feel similarly satisfied with their desk jobs. Desk jobs often provide consistency and cubicles can be very cozy!
  • We don’t all have horrible bosses. Movie bosses are the worst! They’re petty, shallow, demanding, and cruel. Maybe some of you are currently working for a person like this. (If so, you have my sympathy!) But I bet there are plenty of people who feel just fine about their bosses. Personally, I like mine a lot.
  • We don’t all have an office romance. In the movies, a person is either dating his or her scummy coworker (when the perfect person is right around the corner), or dating some other scummy person (when the perfect person is actually his or her coworker). Either way, romance is in the air! Now I suppose that office romances do happen occasionally. But they definitely don’t happen with the amazing frequency that they do in the movies.
  • Sometimes, we actually have to do work. People in movies never seem to actually do work when they’re in the office. (The same phenomena can be seen in movies about college students – they never study or go to class.) In reality, work isn’t all about bantering with your coworkers. Sometimes, we do have to be productive!

So there you go – a brief list of things that movies get wrong about work. But I’m sure I’ve left a lot of important items off this list. So please feel free to provide your suggestions in the Comments section below!