How often have you found yourself stranded on a desert island with no food, 15 sociopaths, and a full television crew? Or what about that one time you lived for 3 months in a gorgeous penthouse apartment shared with 10 other people, all of whom were delusional, suicidal, homicidal or all three?
I love reality shows, but I want one that’s more, well, reality-based. Lots of people work in offices, and I’m one of them. The closest thing to a reality show we’ve had was The Office. Neither the British nor American versions made anything up; they just took what was actually there and exaggerated a bit. There are millions and millions of us who spend the majority of our week days working in an office environment, and I think we deserve a reality show that depicts our life. So I’ve created one. Here’s my pitch for a new, guaranteed to be a success show. If you are an executive producer, please contact me and we can discuss terms.
Elevator pitch: The Office meets Survivor. A competitive quasi-reality show in which contestants are forced to work their way through office politics and shenanigans until one person emerges successfully as the winner.
Description: Teams compete weekly to achieve meaningless goals. The losers nominate 2 people each to go to Human Resources (HR), where one or more people are selected for right-sizing.
The season begins with 3 teams of 8 people each. Teams include these types of members:
- Aging Boomers who complain about everyone younger except when they need help accessing emails
- Someone who never seems to do anything but still gets the credit for other people’s work
- A few people who gossip and trash talk everything and everyone
- At least one person whose main skill is derailing every effort at organization and competence
- A few Millenialls with loads of enthusiasm and energy coupled with a complete lack of people skills and knowledge
- Several people with mad skills in one area only, and no interest in doing anything else
- A sociopath who wants to take over every everything and doesn’t care who gets destroyed
- A nurturer who spends all their time planning parties and pot lucks
Each week consists of 2 challenges. The first is at the individual level, with scores ranked by team. The winning team will receive a reward or be given an advantage in the final team-based challenge.
Individual challenges are based on office skills and situations. For example, a memo-writing challenge would have each person handed a new, 2-page policy with 90 minutes to understand it and write a memo explaining it to staff. Judging is done by a panel of office experts looking to see who can write in the most boring and unreadable style, and for the ability to white-wash negative information. Other individual challenges could focus on stealing office supplies, staying awake during HR training, or creative back-stabbing.
The main challenge each week pits the teams against each other as they try and accomplish a strategic initiative. Teams have 2 days to complete each challenge, and can divide up that time between planning and execution in any way they want. There are some defined milestone deliverables where points can be won or lost, but the majority of points are earned at the end when the project is complete.
It is exciting to watch as one team may spend a day and half arguing over project scope and roles, and then have only a few hours to actually do what was requested. Another team may jump right into executing the project, and discover at the very end that they’ve successfully completed the wrong work.
What makes Project Survivor stand out is that the teams change every week. After HR has decided on the right-sizing, remaining participants are reshuffled with a weekly reorganization into new teams based on no logic or rationale discernible by anyone outside of HR. This upending makes the game new every week, and will keep viewers on the edge of their ergonomically designed office chairs.
The core audience is expected to be the millions of people that work every day in an office environment. A strong secondary audience will consist of telecommuters watching streamed versions of the show from their home offices while they are pretend to work. This show is bound to be a hit. Please, contact me as soon as possible to discuss terms. I desperately want out of office work, and am hoping this is my ticket out.