‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’: 4 Lessons that Apply to Work and Life
We’re such a nerdy and geeky bunch here on the QLP Blog Squad, and I wouldn’t have it any other way! Whether you want to nerd out with someone about the Avengers and learn how to perfect your brand at the same time or squeal with delight over Leslie Knope’s awesome attitude and how you can be a great leader like her, we have a blogger on our squad to geek out with.
Excellent companions to a Friday or Saturday night
To further contribute to the geek-fest, an article about “Mystery Science Theater 3000” (or shortened for those awesome hard-core fans, “MST3K”) needed to be added to the mix. For you fans out there, great news! You should continue watching your MST3K DVDs because this hilarious show provides not only great entertainment value but also gives some great workplace advice at the same time.
They’ve been off the air for thirteen years (Sorry, I didn’t intend to make myself or anyone else feel old with that remark. Ouch!), so here’s a refresher for everyone: In the not too distant future, Dr. Clayton Forrester and his assistant Frank, two scientists at the Deep Thirteen Research Center, get bored one day and decide to send Joel, who is a janitor there, (and in later seasons Joel is replaced with Mike) into outer space on the Satellite of Love. While he’s there he builds two robot friends, Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo so he doesn’t go crazy from isolation. As if being up there wasn’t torture enough, Dr. Forrester and Frank send up bottom of the barrel, grade “Z” movies that they force the gang to watch. How they respond to the movies is what makes this show amazing and a cult-classic!
Okay, okay. We’ve got all the administrative stuff done and over with. Let’s see how you can rationalize all that knowledge from the show and apply it to your work life!
Don’t stress out, your boss was just asking how your weekend was!
Learn to Effectively Think on Your Feet: The gang has to endure horrible movie after horrible movie, and because of this their ability to come up with witty remarks on the fly has been sharpened. You may not have to think of funny or sarcastic remarks at the drop of a hat, but being able to think on your feet is a skill everyone should master. When your boss asks you a question, instead of stammering a barely audible noise, take a deep breath and relax. Repeat their question and organize your thoughts as best you can before rambling on for twenty minutes to a yes/no question. For even more tips, check out this great resource on “Thinking on Your Feet”.
Keep Your Friends Close: Friends can help you get through anything, even robot friends that you create. Crow and Tom Servo may not meet the typical criteria for friends but they do help the guys stay sane. Talk to your coworkers and see if there’s someone or a group of them that you enjoy talking to on other topics besides TPS reports. Eating lunch with a group of people will help you stay sane as well because it’s time away from your computer screen and a two-way conversation to enjoy.
Never Take Things Too Seriously: Being able to laugh at your situation instead of stressing out about it will do a lot more good for you than pulling out your hair. The MST3K gang up there has a great sense of humor and they all get along which makes those horrible Z-movies a bit easier to watch. Yeah, sure they could freak out about the fact they’re up in space for God only knows how long, but instead they focus on having a good sense of humor about their predicament and getting through it.
Eh, things could always be worse.
Make the Best of the Situation: If you’re stuck in a crappy place where you don’t want to be and no way to change your situation, make the best of it. The guys don’t just mope around waiting for a shuttle to come pick them up to take them back home; they make the best of their new reality. Trust me, I bet your work situation can’t be any worse than being forced to endure crappy movie after crappy movie with the only form of entertainment being what you or your robot friends create. Reward yourself when you get some painstakingly annoying task completed, like ten minutes on your favorite social network site or a treat-sized Kit Kat bar from your desk drawer.
I doubt the creators of the show intended to pull any sort of in-depth analysis of it. In fact, they cover all possible questions about “science facts” in their theme song: “If you’re wondering how he eats and breathes / and other science facts (la la la), / Then repeat to yourself, “’It’s just a show,/ I should really just relax’”. However, life lessons can be seen in almost any situation (good or bad) so take a deep breath, be ready for anything, and make the best of your current situation. Lotsa luck!
Can you identify with any of these life lessons? Do you have any other life lessons that can be pulled from ‘MST3K’? Who did you like best: Joel or Mike? Sound off below!