Elysium: Even 140 years in the future, there is bad #HR

by Matthew Stollak on Saturday, August 10, 2013


Note: Minor spoilers about the movie "Elysium" are revealed below, though there is nothing that isn't already revealed in the trailer above.

As the trailer above indicated, "Elysium" takes place over 140 years in the future in 2154.   The 1% live on a space station orbiting earth where there is no war, no crime, and health care eliminates all illness.  Meanwhile, the 99% on Earth are living in Rio de Janeiro-like favelas, scraping to get by.

What sets the movie in motion?  A case of poor supervisor-subordinate relations.

Matt Damon plays Max De Costa, a small-time criminal, trying to get his life back on the straight and narrow.  As noted in the trailer, he works in a huge factory assembling robots.  As he loads the pallet of robots into a chamber to be irradiated, the door gets jammed, and production stops.  What occurs next could have happened 90 years ago.

The supervisor tells Max to go in the chamber to fix the problem.  Max is hesitant.   The angered supervisor threatens Max, "either you go into the chamber or I'll find someone who will."  Of course, seeing no other choice, Max goes in, unjams the door, the door closes, and Max gets exposed to radiation, and only has 5 days to live.  And, the rest of the movie proceeds based on this singular incident.

Why wasn't the manager trained to engage his employees more appropriately?  Why weren't better safety procedures put in place?

Even 140 years in the future, we will still be dealing with bad HR.

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