Seventeen stories above Times Square, a man calling himself Office Guy has perched in a glass cubicle for two full weeks. Below him, a billboard blares the words "WORK SUCKS." Appearing live on the Web, Office Guy's routine includes taking phone calls and writing e-mail responses to those who share the sentiment of his billboard. He refuses to come down until Friday the 19th.
A protester of sorts? A deranged lunatic? No, just another Harvard graduate putting his degree to good use.
Aspiring actor Andrew Burlinson '97, is enjoying his first 15 minutes of fame as the promotional personality for the new movie Office Space. Written and directed by Mike Judge, creator of "Beavis and Butthead," the movie features Jennifer Aniston and Ron Livingston (from Swingers) in a comedy about the traumas and boredoms of office-life. The movie premiers this Friday, the same day of Burlinson's release from the glass cubicle. But until then he remains encased from 9 to 5 every weekday, on live feed at www.officeguy.com.
"It's been an interesting study," he says. "A lot of people are really disgruntled and dissatisfied with their jobs." An understanding and witty confidante to such disenchanted workers, Burlinson does not share their complaints. After briefly grumbling about the greenhouse-like glass cubicle, which can get "intensely sunny," he wisely refrains from throwing stones at Fox employers, vowing that he thoroughly enjoys his current employment. "It's an interesting combination of performance art, commercialism, and Internet voyeurism," he says.
Once the president of the Hasty Pudding Theatricals and a member of the On Thin Ice improvizational comedy group as an undergraduate, Burlinson says both organizations trained him well for his role as Office Guy. But in many ways, this lofty stage offers him a role different from any he had as a student. "My grandfather used to tease me, because for the Hasty Pudding I'd be in the media every year dressed in drag--now he's just proud of me for wearing male clothes."
Vent to Office Guy by phone (1-877-WORK-SUX) or e-mail him through his web site, www.officeguy.com.