Can You Survive the Office Culture? Analyzing the Pros and Cons of 6 Fictional Companies from Sci-Fi
As many science fiction fans do, I often imagine how well I would fare in the future. These hypotheticals usually focus on post-apocalyptic scenarios in which the common lifestyle is crossbowing aliens and outrunning nuclear explosions. But I’d like to imagine another scenario with you: How would you fare as a pencil-pusher in corporate dystopia?
- Tyrell (Blade Runner)
Working for the Tyrell Corporation would be a blast. Going to work every day would feel like an adventure if you worked in a giant, bronze pyramid. Also, your job would be to make replicants so you could make a bunch of friends for yourself like J. F. Sebastian did. Plus, if you climbed the corporate ladder, one day you could replace Eldon Tyrell (this might be tough unless your name rivals Eldon Tyrell in bad-assery) and live in a lavish bedroom and play chess all day.
Diversity: While Tyrell does have some female employees, I suspect they are replicants and/or stuck in secretarial positions. After all, this is the company that released the “pleasure model” replicant.
Life Expectancy: Depends on whether you’re a replicant! Are you a replicant? Are you sure?
- Cyberdyne Systems (Terminator)
Cyberdyne Systems used to be a chill, low-key computer parts company in sunny California until a very fortuitous robot arm appeared; then it became the world’s leading producer of military technology! While it might not have the health benefits of Google and working for an artificial intelligence superpower who wants to extinguish mankind can be a drag, at least you could say you were a member of the best robotics team ever! It’s like winning the Science Fair, but, like, way more exciting/frightening!
Diversity: The gender ratio in the workplace is what you would expect at a tech company at the turn of the 21st century.
Life Expectancy: You’ve probably been dead for 4 years now.
- Weyland/Weyland-Yutani (Alien series)
Weyland-Yutani is the best company to work for because it’s pretty much the only company to work for after Peter Weyland established an absolute and universal monopoly and evaded death. One perk of working for Weyland-Yutani is you can visit other planets (that Weyland-Yutani has brutally colonized). The only downside is you might have to spend extended periods of time away from your family – so extended, in fact, that you actually might never see them again.
Diversity: The crew of their shipping vessels are diverse. Don’t let the diversity fool you about the company’s nature, though. The higher-ups do not hesitate to put subordinates’ lives in danger when capturing dangerous aliens with the hopes of weaponizing them.
Life Expectancy: Is your name Ellen Ripley? Then you’re fine.
- Buy n Large Corporation (Wall-E)
As is the case with Weyland-Yutani, you want to work for Buy n Large because it is the only company you can work for. Sure, BnL grew into a maniacal monopoly and singlehandedly caused a consumerist shitstorm that destroyed Earth, but they also gave the people what they wanted: a life rid of hard work and meaning!
Diversity: Since the entire population counts itself as part of BnL, the gender ratio is great.
Life Expectancy: Thanks to BnL’s efforts, you can live a long life as a immobile, thoughtless leech.
- The Facility (Cabin in the Woods)
If you are a fan of horror movies and lack anything resembling human empathy, this is a great gig. Your job is to make your own horror movie! And you get to drive around in a golf cart! Another perk? Work culture is very fun and casual. All the departments often gather and party, casting bets on innocent lives. The only drawback is that you share an office with the most impressive and frightening collection of nightmarish monsters on this earth. But, hey, every job has its pros and cons, right?
Diversity: The Director is a woman, and it’s inspiring to see a woman in a leadership position. But she has to answer to the Ancient Ones. Their genders have not been confirmed.
Life Expectancy: Don’t fool yourself, nobody is getting out alive.
- Aperture Science (Half-Life and Portal)
GLaDOS says that Aperture is the ideal place to work, according to science. GLaDOS is also the best boss; her quick wit keeps the atmosphere light. And ever since she got her Morality Core installed, the company re-instituted Bring your Child to Work Day. They have yet to install restrooms, though. As an employee, you could get the opportunity to work on exciting new portal science. Or you could qualify for the extra special position of test subject!
Diversity: GlaDOS shows that Aperture welcomes women’s voices in leadership. As for human women, that’s more complicated.
Life Expectancy: Finish the test and then we can talk about it.
Chloe Cole is a writer at Dorkly. When she isn’t working and arguing with her co-workers about 80s horror movies, she enjoys arguing with her friends about 80s horror movies. And coming up with crazy science fiction premises – like, what would the world be like if every time you orgasmed, you had a 50% chance of blowing up? Check out her work on Dorkly and follow her on twitter @chlocol!
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