Office Space is a cult classic movie by Mike Judge that came out in 1999, but the quotes from the movie still apply today. One character in particular, Milton Waddams, is known for his hilarious and relatable lines about the workplace. Whether you’re feeling frustrated with office politics, or just having a bad day at work, these Milton Office Space quotes should help inspire your quest to find work-life balance.
Milton Quotes From Office Space on Work-Life Balance
Let’s take a look at some of the best Milton Office Space quotes about work-life balance. We all want to find a healthy balance between our work and personal lives, but sometimes it can feel impossible.
“I don’t see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume.” – Sticking up for yourself
This is a great example of how to stick up for yourself in the workplace. In this scene, Milton asserts himself, citing his right to listen to the radio at a reasonable volume. This is a common pattern with Milton in the movie Office Space. Milton is always willing to stand up for himself. Unfortunately, Peter is the only coworker who respects Milton’s wishes.
“I was told that I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven. I told Bill that if Sandra is going to listen to her headphones while she’s filing, then I should be able to listen to the radio while I’m collating. So I don’t see why I should have to turn down the radio because I enjoy listening at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.”Milton Waddams, Office Space
Here’s the full dialogue between Milton and Peter:
- (Peter tries to read his papers, but a loud radio is bothering him. He stands up and sees it’s Milton.)
- Peter: Milton? Hi. Uh, could you turn that down, just a little bit?
- Milton: Uh, they said I could listen to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven while I’m collating….
- Peter: Yeah. No, no. I know you’re allowed to. I was just thinking, maybe like a y’know, personal favor, y’know?
- Milton: I, I told Bill that if Sandra’s going to listen to her headphones while she’s, while she’s filing, then I should be able to listen to the radio while I’m collating –
- Peter: Uh,huh.
- Milton: So I don’t see why –
- Peter: Ok.
- Milton: I have to turn down the radio, becuase…
- Peter: Yeah! All right!
- (Peter sits down.)
- Milton: I enjoy listening to the radio at a reasonable volume from nine to eleven.
Standing up for yourself in the workplace is crucial for gaining respect and recognition. You should always set clear boundaries and communicate your needs effectively. However, it’s also important to do so in a professional and respectful manner. Avoid getting defensive or confrontational, and instead focus on finding a solution that works for everyone.
“I believe you have my stapler.” – Showing persistence
- Bill Lumbergh: Milt, we’re gonna need to go ahead and move you downstairs into storage B. We have some new people coming in, and we need all the space we can get. So if you could just go ahead and pack up your stuff and move it down there, that would be terrific, OK?
- Milton Waddams: Excuse me, I believe you have my stapler…
The famous Office Space quote, “I believe you have my stapler,” is a fan favorite. But it’s also an example of Milton’s persistence. Milton’s obsession with his red stapler might seem silly, but it’s actually a reminder that we shouldn’t drop the workplace issues that truly matter to us. Sometimes the little things are what keep us up at night.
“If they take my stapler, then I’ll set the building on fire…” – Setting boundaries
- Milton Waddams: (talking on the phone) And I said, I don’t care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I’m, I’m quitting, I’m going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they’ve moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were merry, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn’t bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler, and it’s not okay because if they take my stapler, then I’ll set the building on fire…
Committing a crime, like arson, is never a good idea. However, if we take this quote less literally, it’s an excellent example of setting personal boundaries in the workplace. In the movie Office Space, Milton is constantly being pushed around by his boss and coworkers. He is moved from desk to desk, his stapler is taken away, and he is generally treated with disrespect. Finally, Milton snaps and threatens to set the building on fire if they take his stapler.
While Milton’s reaction is extreme, it does illustrate the importance of setting personal boundaries in the workplace. Everyone has a right to feel safe and respected in their work environment. If you are being treated unfairly or if your boundaries are being crossed, it is important to speak up and set things straight. You shouldn’t threaten to set the building on fire, but you do need to make it clear that you will not tolerate being treated poorly.
Remember, you have the right to be treated with respect. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and stand up for yourself.
“The ratio of people to cake is too big.” – Showing fairness and respect
Milton has a history of being treated unfairly at office birthday celebrations. He has missed out on getting a piece of cake in the past, and he has a feeling it’s about to happen again.
As Milton glances around the room, he realizes that “The ratio of people to cake is too big.” In other words, not everyone will get a piece of cake. And unfortunately, it does happen again. Milton doesn’t get any cake. If his coworkers, like Nina, were being fair, they could have made sure Milton got a piece this time.
- Nina: Now Milton, don’t be greedy, let’s pass it along and make sure everyone gets a piece.
- Milton Waddams: Yeah, but last time I didn’t receive a piece. And I was told…
- Nina: Just pass.
- Milton Waddams: (muttering to himself) The ratio of people to cake is too big.
- (While the cake passes Milton mutters – eventually everybody but Milton gets a piece)
- Milton Waddams: (muttering) I could set the building on fire.
“OK, that’s the last straw.” – Knowing your limits
After missing out on getting any birthday cake, Milton retreats to his desk in the basement. But he isn’t alone for very long. His boss Bill walks downstairs and asks Milton to “take care of the cockroach problem” while still eating the cake that Milton missed out on in the previous scene. Milton protests, and reminds Bill that pest control isn’t really his job. Bill then walks back upstairs and turns off the basement light, leaving Milton alone in the dark. That’s it. Milton hit his limit. He mutters to himself and says, “OK, that’s the last straw.”
- (Scene Milton’s new “office” – the basement. Bill enters with a piece of cake.)
- Bill: Milton?
- Milton: Yes.
- Bill: What’s happening?
- Milton: I wanted to see you because –
- Bill: Say, you know what would be a great idea?
- Milton: No…no.
- Bill: Since you’re already down here, it would be great if you could get a can of pesticide and take care of the cockroach problem we’ve been having in here.
- Milton: I…I…that’s really not my job and I haven’t received my –
- Bill: For now, why don’t you get a flashlight and a can of pesticide and –
- (Bill goes upstairs and turns off the light.)
- Milton: Excuse me? Excuse me? OK, that’s the last straw.
Like Milton, it’s important to know your personal limits. It’s never a good idea to repeatedly exceed our personal limits and push ourselves to the breaking point. How long can you work without a break? How much sleep do you need per day? How much stress can you handle?
Don’t be afraid to prioritize your mental and physical health. By taking care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of office politics and dynamics.
“He took my stapler, and he never brought it back…” – Keeping a record of your HR issues
- Milton Waddams: Mr. Lumbergh told me to talk to payroll and then payroll told me to talk to Mr. Lumbergh and I still haven’t received my paycheck, and he took my stapler, and he never brought it back, and then they moved my desk to storage room B and there was garbage on it…
In the movie Office Space, Milton is constantly being pushed around by his boss and coworkers. He is moved from desk to desk, his beloved red stapler is taken away, and he is generally treated with disrespect. Milton tries to talk to his boss about these issues, but nothing ever gets done. If Milton had kept a record of his concerns, or filed formal HR complaints, then he might have been able to take real action to resolve them.
Keeping a record of your workplace concerns is important for a number of reasons.
- It can help you remember details of the issue, which is useful if you need to discuss it with your employer or file a complaint.
- It can provide documentation of the issue, which can be helpful if you need to take legal action.
- It can help you to feel more in control of the situation, as it can give you a sense of having a paper trail.
If you are experiencing workplace concerns, it is important to keep a record of them. You can do this by keeping a journal, sending yourself emails, or taking screenshots of relevant conversations. It is also important to keep track of the dates and times of the incidents, as well as the names of the people involved. If you ever need to take action, having a record of your concerns will be invaluable.
How To Apply These Memorable Office Space Quotes By Milton To Your Own Work-Life Balance
Despite being constantly overlooked and mistreated, Milton never lost sight of his worth and potential. So, how can you do the same?
Take pride in your accomplishments and don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself in the workplace. Whether it’s negotiating a raise or speaking up when someone never returns your red stapler, remember that you have valuable skills and insights to offer.
It’s also important to remember that your job doesn’t define your entire life. Pursue your passions outside of work, whether it’s taking up a new hobby like rockhounding or volunteering for a cause you care about. By focusing on the things that bring you joy and fulfillment outside of work, you’ll be better equipped mentally to handle challenges at the office.
Use these Milton quotes to inspire you to recognize your worth and potential, pursue your passions outside of work, and find humor in the daily grind.
What did you learn from Milton’s experiences? Please let us know in the comments.
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