Synopsis:New York investment banker Abby Parker is the best at what she does. And it's ruining her life. Perpetually exhausted and woefully underpaid, she’s surrounded by inferior colleagues who cruise (and sometimes booze) through the day before leaving early at night, making her tiny, socially abrasive boss, Stan Kingman, more than happy to routinely take advantage of her skills, not to mention her time.
But none of that matters to Abby on this day - a day that has been marked on her calendar for months - the day that Stan, for the first time ever, has agreed to let her leave early so that she can attend her parents' joint retirement party. Everything is progressing in its normal fashion – i.e. Abby plows through piles of assignments while her colleagues do next to nothing – before Stan drops the late-afternoon bombshell that a round of layoffs is on the horizon. Yikes. On top of that, just as she is about to depart for her parents' party, Abby is saddled with yet another project, which, despite her protests, Stan bullies her into completing by threatening her job security.
Showing up to her parents' house well after the party has ended, and carrying a box of homemade cupcakes half-eaten by her inconsiderate co-workers, Abby breaks down, telling her mother that she's not sure what she wants to do with her life, but she knows it's not this.
The next morning, just as she has reached rock bottom, Abby finds her possible escape route in the form of a confidential memo that outlines the layoff process, complete with a description of the more-than-generous severance packages that will be offered to the “unlucky few” who get the ax. On the spot, Abby decides that she will be one of those few.
With the aid of her officemate – the hard-partying, nap-taking, penis-art-making Chelsea Pierce, whose job is only safe because her father used to help the CEO get laid back in college – Abby embarks on a mission to become the worst employee possible without getting fired. After a slow start, she settles into a real groove, shirking responsibilities left and right and testing the limits of workplace decorum, all the while pissing Stan off to no end.
Unfortunately, while all this is going on, Chelsea finds herself having to do something she never signed up for: real work. The same thing goes for Ben Dunn, the lazy, roguishly handsome team V.P., who, in Abby's absence, often stays late (and plays late) with Chelsea. Together, they decide that they have to stop Abby from being laid off or else face a future in which they, yuck, actually have to earn their livings. Thus, they begin to sabotage each one of Abby's maneuvers, making her look good (or at least trying to make Chelsea look worse) every chance they get.
Appalled by Chelsea's disloyalty, and seeing her dream slipping away from her, Abby takes the final, fateful step of destroying an important investment proposal the night before Stan and the CEO are scheduled to present it to a potential new multi-billion dollar client. Not surprisingly, the meeting is a disaster. However, just as Abby is ready to accept the blame and, hopefully, a professional death sentence, the worst-case scenario occurs. Not only does she not get credit for her misdeeds, but Ben and Chelsea take the sinister step of blaming everything on the team's young analyst, Zach, a guy with whom Abby has a budding romantic relationship and who she knows would be a fantastically capable employee if Stan and Ben would just give him a chance to shine. Zach is fired, but not before laying into Abby, telling her how much he used to admire her and how disgusted he is by the selfish person she has become.
Destroyed, Abby finally realizes just how misguided her layoff attempt has been. By focusing solely on herself, she's ruined her friendship with Chelsea, her potential relationship with Zach, and, very likely, the future of the company. Job be damned, she knows that it's going to take all of her skill...all of her determination...to make things right…if there's still time.