The Office and I have a special connection. I’m not a super-fan. I didn’t watch the original BBC version of the show. And I actually wasn’t introduced to the American version until the second season. But The Office did have a huge influence on my life. It’s how I met my boyfriend.
I was a sophomore in college and had agreed to do a charity run on campus with a friend of mine. She saw one of her friends in line for registration, so we stood near him and his roommate while waiting to check in. I had just eaten a large meal and was not excited about running. Since it was a Thursday, of course I was thinking about The Office.
I started talking about the episode in which everyone in the office does a charity run for rabies. I said something like “Remember in The Office when Michael ate all of that fettuccine alfredo before the race? That’s how I feel right now.” I was talking to my friend, but apparently she wasn’t listening. No one said anything, and then my now-boyfriend chimed in from behind me and said, “I love The Office!” We ran the entire race together.
After that we had “Office” dates, which consisted of me going to his apartment every Thursday so we could watch The Office together. It was during those episodes that we went from awkwardly sitting with a couch cushion between us to snuggling up to one another while laughing at the ridiculousness of Michael Scott.
I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitious. And I think The Office was my lucky charm to finding love. OK, that was a little corny but I wanted to get that Michael Scott quote in there.
Either way, The Office played a pretty big role in my love life and my current living situation. Since the series is now over, I thought a tribute to the sitcom was in order. So here are 10 lessons The Office can teach us about working in our 20s:
1. Your first job won’t be your dream job. Learn to cope.
“Right now, this is just a job. If I advance any higher in this company then this would be my career. And uh, well, if this were my career, I’d have to throw myself in front of a train.” — Jim Halpert
2. Try not to be the know-it-all temp or intern. You aren’t working with idiots; they’ll teach you valuable things.
Ryan: Do I have to go? I have a big test tomorrow.
Michael: Yes, you have to go. It’s mandatory. But don’t worry you’re going to learn plenty. This is going to turn your life around, Ryan.
Ryan: I’m already in business school.
3. You are going to make mistakes. It’s OK. Life (and work) will go on.
Dwight (singing): Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television, North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe, Ryan started the fire!
Ryan: I can’t believe I started the fire.
4. Give your boss a chance. He (or she) is trying to make a living just like you.
“The most sacred thing I do is care and provide for my workers, my family. I give them money. I give them food. Not directly, but through the money. I heal them. Today, I am in charge of picking a great new health care plan. Right? That’s what this is all about. Does that make me their doctor? Um, yes, in a way. Yeah, like a specialist.” –Michael Scott
5. If you love your job, work toward moving up in the company.
“Once I am officially regional manager, my first order of business will be to demote Jim Halpert. So I will need a new number two. My ideal choice? Jack Bauer. But he is unavailable, fictional, and overqualified.” — Dwight Schrute
6. If you hate your job, don’t become complacent. Make a change.
Darryl, interviewing for a dream job with Athlead: If this company’s going down, I want to go down on it. With it. I want to go down with it.
7. You might struggle financially, but you’ll figure it out.
“I… declare… BANKRUPTCY!” — Michael Scott
8. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
Jim: Question: What kind of bear is best?
Dwight: That is a ridiculous question.
Jim: False. Black bear.
Dwight: That’s debatable; there are basically two schools of thought…
Jim: Fact: Bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica.
Dwight: Bears do not… what is going on?!? What are you doing?!?
9. Try to get along with your coworkers. You will end up spending more time with them than with your friends.
“I tried, I tried. I tried to talk to Toby and be his friend but that is like trying to be friends with an evil snail. I feel like I’m dying inside. I feel like Neve Campbell in Scream II. She thinks she can go off to college and be happy and then the murderer comes back and starts killing off all of her friends. I learned a lot of lessons from that movie, this is just one of them.” –Michael Scott
10. There’s more to life than work.
Such as love…
Jim to Pam: Not enough for me? You are everything.
“First rule in roadside beet sales, put the most attractive beets on top. The ones that make you pull the car over and go, ‘Wow, I need this beet right now.’ Those are the money beets.” — Dwight Schrute