Recently, Brett's cousin became convinced that we would be the kind of people who love "The Office" and insisted we borrow season 1 and season 2 from his collection. He was right. We are totally hooked, as is, to my understanding, most of the rest of America.
It has come to my attention, however, that there are a few naysayers out there. The most common complaint I've heard (okay, it was hearsay from ONE person, but still) is that Michael is way too over-the-top. The show is not realistic because no one would ever act like that.
Untrue. I am here to bear witness to this fact. I worked for Michael for a brief time, only his name was Rick back then.
I'll give only one example to support my claim, but I think it should be sufficient. *Warning! The following material may not be appropriate for young children and for those who are squeamish about body parts/functions.*
This scene from "The Office" was actually one of the deleted scenes. Deleted, mind you, probably because it was too much for TV.
Pam is eating her lunch and reading a book. Michael approaches her and begins to small talk. Even though he is clearly interrupting her break, she humors him a little which encourages him to stay and chat more. He peers over her shoulder and asks about the book she's reading. She replies and an awkward pause follows. Michael fills in the dead air by saying:
"Yup. Had a big scare this morning." Pam responds by nodding politely but uninterestedly. Michael continues:
"Yup. Big, big scare....probably took a few years off my life. Yup, it wasn't good. Found a lump. You know...down there." Michael gestures toward his groin. He pauses dramatically. Pam lowers her head and begins to cover her eyes. "I was totally freaking out. Just freaking out. Wow. My life flashed before my eyes. Just think about... well, you know... what would happen if... well, you don't need to worry about that but, wow... I was really sweating it. Yup... Oh, it turned out to be nothing, but phew! Can you imagine? It's scary to think about..."
Of course, the comedy is that Michael is sharing way too much personal information with someone, his employee even, completely oblivious to the fact that she's uncomfortable and he is being completely inappropriate.
Compare the following situation:
Andrea is at work one afternoon when the power goes out. Computers are down, phones are down, and there's almost no light. Being the only one in the office, she opens the doors to some of the exterior offices which lets a small amount of sunshine in. About 10 minutes later, the power revives and a few minutes after that her boss comes charging in.
"Good thing the power came back on. I hadn't realized how dark this office is when the power's off. I was about ready to go home." she jokes with her boss.
"Dark? You think it's dark in here? I was in the bathroom when the power went off. It's pitch black in there."
"Uhhh...yeah. I can imagine," Andrea replies, treading lightly. She's not really interested in exactly where in the bathrooming process her boss was when the power went off. She's afraid he's going to tell her anyway.
"Yeah, it's pretty funny. I'll tell you, because it's just the two of us and I know you can keep a secret..."
Andrea cringes. Rick continues.
"So, I was in the bathroom and well, I'm of a certain age where doctors start checking for various illnesses and diseases by using stool samples. So, I was actually trying to collect my sample when the power went out. It was soooo dark! *chuckle chuckle* Anyway, I've got the collection stuff all ready and I don't want to loose my opportunity..."
Andrea lowers her face and covers her eyes, just like Pam. Rick charges on:
"Actually, you've probably never had to do this, but basically you collect the stool on a piece of cloth, then there's this little scooper that you use to take the samples to send to the lab. Aaaaanyway, I'm standing there, all of a sudden in the pitch black, all ready to collect my sample and I don't know when I'll get another chance, so I pull out my cell phone, open it up and set it on the counter, just for a little light. And when I'm right in the middle of things, someone calls and the ringer makes the phone vibrate right off the counter, because I've got my hands full and can't answer it. Then, when it hits the floor, the battery pops off, so I'm in the pitch black again. But now, I'm crawling around with the scooper in one hand, trying to find my phone and the battery with the other. Hahaha! I'm glad the power came on when it did, because I might have been in there all day. I finally found the battery and it was clear over on the other side of the bathroom, under one of the urinals..."
Andrea is wishing the power would go off again so that she can escape under the cover of darkness.
"Anyway, pretty funny story, huh? Just don't tell anyone. It's way too embarrassing! Hahaha!"
Mercifully, the story ends when the office door opens and another employee enters. Rick accosts him in the doorway.
"Hey Keith! Want to hear a funny story? This happened just now when I was in the bathroom and the power went out. See, I was trying to collect a stool sample for..."
Too over-the-top to be true? Not even. I was there. It just wasn't as funny as "The Office."