Now I don’t know how many of you watch The Office as religiously as we do, but I’m convinced there’s something in there for everyone to identify with as long as they’ve been apart of a group in the working world at some point in their life. It very accurately depicts work life amongst a group of widely different personalities and work ethics. Most people watching probably can’t figure out which one is most like them but they can pinpoint who they work with that fits the profile of a particular character or combination of characters. This is because it calls attention to the flaws of everyone and none of us have flaws that we know of right??? At least not when we’re at work. It’s all the people that we work with that are crazy or have peculiar habits or aspects of their personalities that either grate at our nerves or make us feel superior to them in some way, shape or form.
For example I’d say I’m like Jim at least his sense of humor. But I don’t play childish pranks on my coworkers. Although sometimes I fantasize about it. And when I was a kid, I wasn’t opposed to playing a good prank now and then. I even orchestrated one or two in my day. But mostly the various crazy co-workers I’ve had over my working years have done a good job of humiliating themselves without my help. So maintain self-control for the sake of being a good worker bee in the hopes of moving up is what I’ve always resorted to. I’m sure my coworkers could probably identify me with one of the not as cool characters like Phyllis or Dwight. But I’m not the one in the office constantly kissing the ass of my boss, so I would argue against being Dwight.
Anyways so I will call attention to my biggest peeve in the office that the show so beautifully depicted. Parties, birthdays and miscellaneous. So Angela is obviously the party planner. I’ve worked with people that waste so much time planning parties that you’d think it’s their full-time job. I know I’m not the only one who gets riled up at this. It’s so non-productive to spend a day and a half decorating or getting decorations ready, or shopping for decorations, or even having a meeting to talk about decorations. Don’t get me started on asking for contributions to pay for these decorations that we’ll turn into a “gift”. Tell you what just, skip the party for me, and don’t bother. I don’t want your stupid decorations as a gift anyway. I didn’t even want the stupid party to begin with. I would say the thought was nice but really it was selfish on your part. YOU wanted to waste time. YOU wanted to make yourself look good. YOU wanted to find anything to do but actual work that you are now over-paid to do in my book.
Of course there’s the other side to parties. Wanting them to happen in your honor so badly that you will go out of your way to make all the arrangements. I love how The Office depicted this dilemma of having individual parties or combining them. Luckily I now work in a group that is so large that they do a monthly celebration and if our individual sub-groups feel like doing something they can. I work in the low-key lunch only group. Anyways the mass group celebrations went from a potluck style competition to see who could bring the best store bought food, to cake and ice cream only. Thank God for that!!! But you’re condemned to the depths of hell if you mistakenly think that you can combine 2 celebrations into one if one of those is for a holiday like…oh say…Thanksgiving and the other is for a birthday. Simple solution. Don’t designate both celebrations on the same day if you’re going to gripe that no one did anything for your birthday. Well no we didn’t do anything extra because we brought dessert for the Thanksgiving feast. You now also expect us to have cake and ice cream again an hour or two later!?!?!? REALLY?? Is it necessary to stuff our faces twice in one day??? Ah now I see the difference between fit people and not so fit people. It’s called portion control!!!! And don’t comment on how much ice cream I’m eating!!! Because I know I will run, walk, dance, play, or whatever it off when I get home. You, I’m pretty sure you won’t. So keep your comments to yourself because I hold my tongue.
Finally let’s not forget that The Office also covers the high-strung employee with inappropriate, often rude, comments at inappropriate times, as well as the creepy guy or girl in the office. We all have at least one or both of these people as a coworker. At least at some point in our life. And those people aren’t always in our department. But often they are. They are rude in the name of “that’s the way I am,” or they are creepy in the name of naivety. Hmmm….should those really go unchecked? Well maybe it does go checked in the form of being non-promotable. It’s so difficult to know when and what’s appropriate to be a whistle-blower/complainer on.
So there it is boys and girls. Watch The Office. You will come to like even the most hated characters because you can identify them in a real live person you know.