Heinrich Lohse is a manager at the "Deutsche Röhren AG" who increasingly tends to lose control. After ordering a 40-year supply of typewriting paper and erasers, his boss forces him to retire. Confronted with this new situation, Lohse's family reacts in shock. It turns out Heinrich's wife Renate and his son Dieter were quite comfortable with the absent husband and father and don't want to see their situation disrupted. Heinrich, however, refuses to allow his career to end and immediately begins to rearrange the Lohse household based on his questionable managerial skills. This leads to a steadily increasing series of conflicts with his wife, son, and friends that get more and more bizarre. Starting out with buying a ridiculous amount of mustard to get discount, Heinrich finally invites a film crew to shoot a TV series in the Lohse household in order to impress his wife. The more he tries, however, the worse it gets, and Renate seriously questions her marriage. In the end, both visit the birthday party of Renate's mother which brings to light conflicts of other family members that seem even more dramatic than those of Heinrich and Renate. In realising this, both accept their new situation and try to find together again as a couple. The last shot shows Heinrich and Renate playing a flute concert in their living room in front of their son Dieter and Frau Kleinert, their housecleaner.