Career LMBDW

Everything The Office Nailed About Working 9-5

14 December 2018

For nine glorious seasons, The Office delivered up some of the most iconic scenes in TV. Set at a paper company in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the comedy made the mundane hilarious. Sure, the 9-5 can be fulfilling. You can work your way up, score promotions, raises and recognition, but there’s a looot of facepalming in between!

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Just remember…



#1 Most of the time, meetings are pointless.

Especially when they involve the entire team.

“Conference room – five minutes.” Every time Michael uttered these words, the entire office groaned. While meetings don’t dissolve into as much chaos and confusion IRL, they’re often a colossal waste of time. If you’ve ever sat in a long-winded meeting and thought, “why wasn’t this just an email?!” – think about the poor sods who were forced to watch Threat Level Midnight, the screenplay Michael had been working on for years.

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#2 Office romances are awkward.

Think before you boink, guys. The Office taught us that relationships are complicated – and even more so when you have to see the person’s face every day. Sometimes, you meet the Jim to your Pam and live happily ever after, complete with an engagement in the pouring rain at a petrol station. Sometimes, you hook up with a Jan Levinson-Gould that messes with your head for a long time. Or a fuckboy in disguise: Ryan. Either way, office romances make for interesting power dynamics.

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The relationships in The Office mirror real-life relationships. There are the good ones, the bad ones, and the ones with seasons’ worth of foreplay while the characters figure out what they want.

#3 When you spend too much time with people, every little thing they do annoys you.

Our video about this went viral, so therefore it’s true.

When you’re stuck in a space with the same group of people for 40+ hours every week, they’re going to get on your nerves. The way they chew, breathe and tap their pen on their desk will – sooner or later – drive you insane. It’s human nature. And nothing encapsulates this more than the scene where Dwight bounces on his “fitness orb” (swiss ball) while explaining its many health benefits, then Jim pops it.

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#4 Sometimes, your boss has no clue what they’re doing.

This sums Michael Scott up in a sentence. Though work is his life, his purpose for living, the man is hopeless at his job. He’s the branch manager, but cares more about making friends than he does about selling paper. In one ep, Pam is tasked with logging everything Michael does in a day for Jan – and he spends most of it waiting in line to get a pretzel. It’s no surprise that Scranton’s sales lag for the entire series.

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#5 There’s such a thing as a bad boss.

“Would I rather be feared than loved? Easy, both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

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Michael Scott wasn’t a bad person, but he was a truly terrible boss. He had no management skills and spent too much time thinking about what people thought of him to be an efficient manager (though we love the idea of Movie Mondays). He also openly hates Toby, which probably would have had him fired several times IRL.

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In the professional world, you’re going to come across bosses who, well, shouldn’t be bosses. You’ll wonder how they worked their way up the hierarchy, and why no-one’s said anything about their supreme lack of skills.

#6 Office politics can be so damn petty.

Again, we’ll chalk this one down to the effects of spending what feels like your whole life with the same people. Little problems become big issues that need to be solved ASAP. Slight dramas become scandals. And everyone knows to go to the kitchen for the deets and debrief (or, since it’s 2018, slide into the office gossip’s Slack).

In The Office, the Party Planning Committee is one of many sources of office politics. As Pam put it, “At its worst, it was a toxic, political club used to make others feel miserable and left out. At its best, it planned parties.” And there was always a theme.

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The show also taught us that parties break up the day beautifully, so support your planning committee!

#7 People will warm up food in the microwave that should never be warmed up.

If you want proof that humans are gross, go to your office kitchen. You’ll probs find cups and plates scattered on the counter, weeks-old food in the fridge, and passive-aggressive notices that “we don’t have a cleaning fairy.” When 12pm hits, the microwave is the center of most kitchen woes, though. Human decency dictates that the microwave should only be used to heat up inoffensive foods. Not fish, not curries, and definitely not Creed’s soup. (If you know, you know).

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#8 It can be so dull.

One of the worst things about being stuck in an office is that you can’t escape when there’s nothing to do. You have to wait it out. Michael said it best: “I don’t want to do anything. I’m dying.”… of boredom!

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#9 Every office has a cast of characters

Have you ever looked around your office and thought, “Wow, we could make our own reality show.” Yep. The Office was a mockumentary, and it had us cracking up for nine seasons. Dry humour aside, the lineup of characters took the show to another level. Between Dwight the teacher’s pet, Meredith the sex-crazed alcoholic, Kelly the basic bitch, Jim the prankster and batshit Creed, every ep brought the lols.

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#10 We’ve all been Stanley.

At one point or another, we all feel like Stanley. The man is overrrr it. He doesn’t hide it, either. All he cares about is his crossword. He’s counting down the days til retirement and tells his co-workers, “This is a run-out-the-clock situation.” We feel ya, Stanley. *dreams of being a lady who lunches*

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#11 But your pals get you through.

Yeah, the 9-5 life can be a drag sometimes, but there’s an amazing thing that comes from it: friendships. The friends you make at work are like a second family. Honestly, where would we be without our work wives?! They know the ins and outs of our lives and make the day a little more bearable (thank you, Gchat!). When they quit, it’s like a little piece of you dies inside – like when Jim left for New York.

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#12 Nothing’s sweeter than 5pm on a Friday.

Nothing. When 5pm rolls around, the crew race out the door – it’s the fastest you’ll ever see Stanley move! It’s the best feeling… unless of course, you’re heading to an ill-fated dinner party at Michael and Jan’s house.

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Katia Iervasi.