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February 11, 2016

“Infrastructure: If anything exciting happens, we’ve done it wrong”

Have you seen this parody video on infrastructure yet? If not, I recommend watching it now—it’s hilarious.

The video, featured on John Oliver’s comedy show, Last Week Tonight, is a fake trailer for the non-existent summer blockbuster, Infrastructure. Because, as John Oliver says, “Nobody has made a Blockbuster movie about the importance of routine maintentance and repair

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By comically dramaticizing the jobs of maintenance professionals—“A few brave souls willing to risk everything to make nothing happen”—and making use of corny industry puns, the video does have a sincere and true underlying message. It stresses the following: In the world of facilities management, if something exciting happens, you’re not doing your job properly.

Professionals in this field typically have jobs that are unseen. As a result, the issues they deal with are not always reaching the level of the Board of Directors. For the unsung heros in maintenance and facilities departments, this video must seem even more poignant. In a TIME article discussing the book by David Zweig, Invisibles: The Power of Anonymous Work in an Age of Relentless Self-Promotion, structural engineers were listed as one of the top 10 unseen jobs. And people in these jobs share a few common traits: they take pride in their work being done well, so they don’t care that you don’t know their names…which  is essentially what this video plays off of.

As the video humorously points out, infrastructure is, “Something I never thought about, but….yeah. Sure.” It’s funny because it’s true: if you don’t do the mundane, behind-the-scenes stuff that nobody ever sees and most people don’t know or care about, then things will fall apart…literally. Maybe not for a decade or two, but it will happen. Infrastructure and facilities management are non-glamorous industries in which a “Blockbuster hit” would imply a disaster, but they’re vitally important nonetheless.

All jokes aside, make sure that the “invisible” stuff—routine maintenance and repair—gets done. You’d hate to be the first and only Blockbuster in the realm of infrastructure.

Antonia Eshbaugh
Former Sales Manager Planon North America