I will put my hand up now and declare that I really enjoyed this recently released movie. Why? Because it reminds me that it’s okay to be human at work, to have heart as Mark C. Crowley would say.
For those who have seen this wonderful movie from Nancy Meyers, will know it’s about Ben, a former senior executive, who in retirement, decides to embark on a senior intern program with an online clothing company.
Ben has the years and vast experience to know when to pass on pearls of wisdom to his coworkers (and his boss), how to tweak and improve matters in the workplace, and generally provide support to those around him.
As the movie progresses we get to know and see that Ben was a former vice-president of a now defunct phone book company. In this role, he oversaw the production of the phone books, and knew the operation of this business inside and out.
This experience allows him to advise his much younger boss Jules, the owner and main creative talent for her business that:
- No one else will ever know your business like you do;
- That it’s okay to take time out and reflect on where you are at; and
- It’s your dream, and you deserve to be happy.
Many problems are presented throughout the movie, both on a work level and on a personal level. Ben in his role as the intern, is the quiet observer, rebutts ineffective or incorrect suggestions, firmly but politely, and provides advice on how to handle tasks and problems even handedly.
Ben doesn’t over do it. In fact he uses commonsense often and his suggestions form a series of steps on how to achieve an outcome. In particular, he breaks the issue down and tackles each part through enlisting the help of others.
Ben’s whole approach to life is one of caring and support. Not only that, he also learns some things from the younger generations regarding how they support each other through celebrating achievements. Ben also witnesses how his young and innovative boss takes great pride in showing her employees how to take care with the products they produce and despatch.
Ben, who is a widower, ends up in a relationship with Fiona, the company masseuse.
Because of Ben’s supportive approach, his young boss comes to realise that Ben is not nosey or interfering. Jules one night learns that Ben was a vice-president of the phone book company in the building that her business now occupies. She comes to understand that he genuinely wants to help those around him, including her.
By the end of the movie we see Ben, Fiona, Jules, Matt and all the others come together not only as friends, but as an extended family, a reminder regarding what a business can truly be…