One of the goals of perestroika was to stimulate work discipline. As M. Gorbachev said “What is perestroika? – Do your job earnestly – that is the main perestroika”! In the book “Courier”, which was written right before perestroika, it seems like the work discipline in the editing office where Ivan works could be much better. There are plenty examples of the lack of efficiency at a workplace. In the story on top of of his normal duties as a messenger Ivan does some private requests like to buy some beer and cigarettes or sweets. While in the film “Courier” by K. Shakhnazarov this detail was slightly changed, Ivan’s supervisor tells him that “the duties of courier don’t include doing such private requests as to buy some beer and cigarettes or sweets for tea”.
Ivan’s attitude to work is lax and irresponsible. In the book he decides to watch a movie first and bring the documents to Kuznetsov later. In the film this episode is a bit adjusted to the new youth trends of the late 1980s. Instead of watching a movie, Ivan goes skateboarding with Bazin who has just received the skateboard from his aunt from Estonia.
Another episode shows how bored were the workers in the editing office. When a paper-puncher falls from a closet on Ivan’s head, his colleagues for several minutes forget about their work and discuss if it is possible to kill a person with the puncher. If a fallen puncher takes all their attention, one could guess how interesting and productive is their work.