Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ode to the office

I totally ripped this off from Mindi, but it was so funny that I had to share. I've loved South Park for years, but only recently (as in last season) have I jumped on the Office bandwagon. I'm not a big TV watcher anyway, but most i am most especially not a fan of sit-coms. But last year when we got our DVR, my hubby would record every episode of the Office. Finally, I relented and watched one. I've been a fan ever since. I never expected that one show could be so funny - but it really, truly is. Laugh out loud funny.

So, you know that my DVR is already set for next Thursday's premier.

I think working in an office setting helps me relate to the really awkward situations that Michael Scott puts his employees in. One of my very favorite Office episodes, was the one where they had "diversity training". It reminded me of a similarly uncomfortable episode of my own.

As most of my readers know by now, I work for the local government of a small town - and with small towns typically comes a "small-town" attitude. Over 90% of the town's population is white and Mormon - there isn't much diversity here. The entire workforce of the City at that time was white, except for one African-American police officer (who shall be called Officer Jones, to protect the "diversified"). It was very fitting when our diversity training was done by a man who had grown up here his entire life. During the part of his lecture where he was telling us not to judge people who were "different" then we were, he decided to use a personal example. He told us of how when he first met Officer Jones, he never would have guessed the man was religious by looking at him. But, as it turned out, Officer Jones was not only a religious man, he had even been a church missionary!

The room was silent, and you could cut the irony with a dull knife. No one knew how to respond to the unintentionally racially biased story. It was a classic Micheal Scott-ish moment.

My husband too, has had more than one "Office" experience at his former place of employment (former as of yesterday - wooo hooo). One day last month I was talking to him on the phone while he was at work, and in the background I hear a bell ring, and then a loud cheer accompanied by clapping.

"What was that?" I asked him. "Are you at a ball game or something?"

"No," he sheepishly answered. "Its the new motivational idea at work. Every time someone closes a deal, they have to run to the center of the room, ring a bell, and then we all cheer."

I laughed for days. Can't you just see Andy and Dwight running to ring a bell, while Jim and Pam sarcastically cheer and clap?

Apparently, business has been slow at Ben's former place of employment, and they were struggling to get morale up. The economy had slowed their work by so much, that they were trying to find anything to keep employees busy. It is a pretty "old school" company, where the men are still required to wear shirts and ties. One day last month, work was so slow, that employees were asked to do basic janitorial work. Guys were scrubbing the toilets in their ties. Some of them were asked to clean the pond in the middle of the atrium of the building. Guys were sucking pond scum, with hip-waders over their business suits.

I think we could write a whole episode just based upon his experiences.

13 comments:

Julia said...

I LOVE the Office and am so glad it is back. I thought for sure it would jump the shark when Pam and Jim got together, but I'm still a fan.

My dad says it is sometimes hard for him to watch Michael Scott and the way his employees disrespect him even when he ISN'T doing something silly, because he's sure his own employees are like that with him. haha

Love your stories, especially the bell thing. I may have to try to incorporate that just in my cube.

Ruhiyyih Rose said...

LOL!! Hip waders!! Oh my what a story. My house also loves The Office...oh my those lines and "that's what She Said" is all over the place here :)

"Diversity Day" and "Drug Testing" were two of my favorite episodes!

:P, corrie said...

We are HUGE Office fans! We're trying to watch all of season 4 again to gear up for next Thursday. One Christmas my brother Andrew wanted The Office DVDs for Christmas, so Andy & I 'planted' them in jello and wrapped them up. It was so fun. The Office olympics and the Yankee Trade Christmas are some of our favorite episodes. I'm glad you converted.

Christie said...

Oh - how could I forget about "that's what she said". This is the most common phrase in our household, and it never stops being funny.

carrie said...

I've never seen The Office.... I borrowed Seasons 1 and 2 from a friend once, and we never watched them. I've heard from SO many people how funny it is. I need to get with it, I guess, huh?? :o) I already watch WAY too much TV as it is, but what's one more show to tivo?? ha ha

carrie said...

P.S. Ben's job sounds like it was RIDICULOUS. Poor guy.... I'm glad he's out of there!!

Tiburon said...

Cannot freaking wait for the Office!! The thought of men in suits and hip waders kills me!

Mindi said...

rip away, my dear--the office rules and i love it when i find other people who appreciate it.

Lynita said...

I love the office, although I rarely get to watch it. Every time I do, I am laughing though. Last night I couldn't help myself, I was all alone and laughing out loud. Which sucked cuz then I had contractions, oh well it was worth it! By the way if I were Ben I totally would have taken the stupid bell with me when I left, now that would boost morale!

Heather Keele said...

I love The Office, though I didn't really get into it last season for some reason. Maybe because the Jim and Pam drama was kinda over (I'm such a sap). But, holy crap, I loved the second season particularly. I watch that show and remember when I was a manager for a huge national corporation and I love how they perfectly capture all of the stupid office politics, pointless paperwork and evaluations, menial tasks, and corporate hierarchy. I actually worked with a girl who was the assistant to the general manager who fawned all over her just like Dwight does to Michael. And Jan is just like my old district manager. I wish the Office had been on when I had to deal with all that - it would have been kinda cathartic.

Also, I'm going to have to show my hubby the South Park thing - he loves that show...

Chelsea said...

Those are great! I can't wait for the premiere. I just got my season 4 DVDs today and I'm having a marathon!

Holly said...

I am so excited for the Office to start again.

cake expectations said...

I am so excited you are now a fan of the office, too :) Just another thing to add to your list of why you are cool...