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American Icons: Bill Lumbergh

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There are still men in this country who believe in a hard day’s work – men who value dedicated leadership, a relentless work ethic, and making a buck the old fashioned way. There are men who, through congenial expression and tireless development of inner-office dialogue, understand that a positive work environment breeds happy employees. They understand the nuances of a productive worker, and that happiness is a vital cog in putting forth maximum effort. I know of a man who basically wrote the book on this. This man is no one-trick pony, though. He’s a man who dresses to a perfect combo of Wall Street dapper power lunch meets casual Whisky Friday in the ‘burbs. His go-to look is the no-jacket/suspender with a mid-part feather slick. It’s a risky power look, and one that maybe only one man can pull off successfully. He can manage me any day. He’s Bill Lumbergh. He’s the divisional Vice President of the leading software company Initech. And he is another American Icon.

We’re all aware of his successful career and endearing personality, but do you know about the man behind the large frame glasses, coffee mug, and white collared dress shirt?

TPS Reports

It was very clear that the software engineers were to begin putting the new cover sheets on all the TPS reports. ALL of them. A well-worded, succinct memo was sent to everyone at the company with this instruction. One particular employee, an office menace named Peter Gibbons, chose to ignore it.

Look, Peter Gibbons was a straight shooter (with upper management written all over him) all the way, but the fact is, he DID have trouble with his goddamn TPS reports – with the TPS memo in hand. After multiple memo deliveries, Gibbons still struggled with this very simple, yet important, part of the process. With his finger on the pulse of the inner-workings of the company, Lumbergh identified the problem swiftly, and he couldn’t let it sit idly by. He flexed his managerial nuts and let Peter know that lack of attention to detail, even the seemingly mundane ones, would not be tolerated at Initech. He isn’t the type of manager to give his employees an inch of leniency. An inch leads to a mile. A mile leads to a failed business structure. This doesn’t jive with ole Lumbergh. Without a cover sheet, what is a TPS report anyway? It’s just a lost, wordless document – a document with no soul. No purpose. No direction. Just paper.

“Hey, I got this TPS report here on my desk. The thing is I don’t know what to do with it. Who put it here? Who’s it for? Where should I apply it?”

These are questions without answers. Why? Because it doesn’t have a fucking cover sheet. It has become garbage.

Motivational Patriarch

Bill Lumbergh is the Shakespeare of motivational office speak. While many mindless authoritative figures we’ve all come across in our lives use intimidating, brash tactics to direct their subordinates, Lumbergh takes a very meticulous, calming, zen-like approach. And he gets results. He should write a book on this. Initech employees love his assertive, yet nurturing, presence. They appreciate him, and they work hard for him. He uses phrases:

“What’s happening?”

“Yeah, I’m gonna go ahead and need you to…”


“Yeah, hiii…”

“Uh, yeah…”

“That’d be great”

and “Mmmmkay…”

Gentle and stern at the same time – only from Bill Lumbergh are you going to get motivation like that. Plus, the guy goes out of his way to make all his employees operate in the most comfortable of work environments, offering Hawaiian shirt day on Fridays. Who wouldn’t want to work for this guy?

His team admires him so much, they’ll work on Saturdays and Sundays if need be, just to make the man happy. How’s that for motivation? Here’s an exchange between Bill and Peter. Classic Lumbergh right here:

Zest for Trim

Now, here is where that dirty dog Lumbergh relates to the non-corporate commoner. He’s no different from any other red-blooded, penis-slinging American man. He enjoys a nice roll in the hay as much as anyone. In fact, he’ll stop at almost nothing to close the deal, even if it means ripping the heart out of an employee in the process – not just any employee though, only if he has it coming. Let’s back up for a minute and broach the aforementioned subject of the office antagonist, Peter Gibbons. Peter was causing a lot of problems around the halls of Initech. It wasn’t just his TPS reports, either. He was showing up late to work, rearranging office furniture, holding private, unannounced meetings with the Bobs, and just generally being a pain in Lumbergh’s corporate ass.

Again dipping into his motivational tool chest and exercising his lust for some strange, he took Gibbon’s girlfriend to the proverbial woodshed. His preferred, go-to sexual position is the wheelbarrow while holding his power coffee mug, and he went to it with gusto.

Thank you, Bill Lumbergh. Thank you for representing the finer side of corporate America, and representing it the right way.

Follow me on Twitter @RogerDornTFM

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Dillon Cheverere

Dillon Cheverere (@DCheverere) is the Vice President of Media for Grandex, Inc. Email:

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