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Let's Talk About Star Wars In the Workplace

Have you heard there's a new Star Wars movie hitting theaters? Of course you have, unless you've been living underneath a space rock. Star Wars is everywhere.

The media are abuzz today with stories about Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and from every conceivable story angle. Even business journalists are trying to capture some Star Wars stardust by writing stories that seem to be, shall we say, reaching a bit here and there. Here is a small sample of online headlines:

"One Company's Workplace Rules For Seeing 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'" writes Forbes.

"Over 50% Of People Think Women Are Controlled By Hormones At Work," trumpets Business Insider. (A large photo of Princess Leia accompanies the story.)

"What Star Wars Teaches Us About Employee Relations," muses a writer for Workforce. (Hint: HR can look sort of like the Death Star, when you really stop to think about it.)

"10 Excuses To Use To Play Hooky For 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'" bleets Buzzfeed in an effort to help employees with a new hope: Slipping out to catch a showing during work hours.

"The Force Awakens -- And With It, Our Workplaces," declares Ozy. Good, because we were about to doze off during this morning's PowerPoint presentation.

The hype is huge, and workplace Star Wars fans are revved up to watch the movie as soon as humanly possible. Some employers are even taking all their employees to see the movie. It's already a blockbuster.

But what if you never went to Blockbuster to rent a movie, or (gasp!) you've only seen the first Star Wars movie, with maybe a few scenes from The Empire Strikes Back on basic cable thrown in for good measure?

Get the popcorn ready, because your co-worker is suddenly talking about "Ren" and "Kylo" and you have no idea what he means. Mixing non-movie goers with blockbuster mega fans of any genre is where the workplace water cooler conversation gets interesting. What do you mean you've never seen Star Wars?! Take it away, Bill Murray.

It's hard to believe the Star Wars movie franchise is nearly 40 years old. I mean, that's some serious cultural touchstone cred right there. Our Star Wars-watching work peers have been waiting a long time for this movie, and now it's finally here! Today is their day to remember raising their Millennium Falcons over their heads as kids and saying, "Pew! Pew! Pew!" while they ran around in circles.

Now this co-worker is a cool 40 and just as much of a fan. I, for one, think it's awesome to still love something so much. This movie is a big deal. Look at it as an opportunity to ask about the Star Wars meme he or she included in this morning's PowerPoint presentation, because it flew right over your head. We can all learn something new. May the workforce be with you.


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