The Office is the greatest workplace sitcom of all time. It made us laugh, smile, cry, and be frustrated throughout its 9 year run.
Yet I present the question; would any of the main characters from The Office actually have a job?
Let’s start from the top of the Scranton branch.
Michael Scott: When you think of a manager, thoughts range from a natural leader, a total jerk, the “corporate” employee, to the boss. Yet, Michael Scott never really fit any of these roles.
While many people joke saying they would love to have Michael Scott as a boss, would you really? Yes, he focused on a “fun” workplace and didn’t micromanage his employees. Yes, he had lots of parties and wanted his employees to like him.
With those positives come a flood of negatives. He would be constantly dealing with sexual harassment charges, was highly inefficient, folds under pressure, and was more focused on being your friend than a good leader.
Would he have a job: In most corporate organizations similar to Dunder Mifflin, Michael Scott would be deemed a liability. Even in the show, he was constantly on thin ice for his shenanigans and most businesses would simply remove him or demote him back to a sales position.
Just think if you were on the receiving end of his off color jokes. You’d be at Toby’s desk complaining so fast that Michael couldn’t even finish saying “That’s what she said.”
Dwight Schrute: Often acclaimed as the greatest paper salesman of all times, Dwight was always a force to be reckoned with. But would you want to work next to him?
Of course not! His ridiculous responses to minor slights, like when he started a fire to get people to pay attention to his safety lecture or his retaliation to Jim’s snowball shows a serious lack of emotional intelligence and basic human manners.
Along with being a dedicated paper salesman, he also runs a small scale beet farm, takes karate, becomes an office building owner, has a variety of hobbies, and still has time to watch Battlestar Galactica. Which makes you wonder, how much sleep does he get? How is he able to balance all of this work? Is he, perhaps, a Cylon with no need to sleep?
Would he have a job: It’s difficult to say. If he had the energy and time to keep his sales high, no business would fire him. Yet if his busy schedule and personal issues were to affect his work performance, he would be removed from an office environment quickly. Plus he would have a complaint file that could fill the entire warehouse.
Jim Halpert: As one of the focuses in The Office, everybody loves Jim. He is the one that puts Dwight in his place and makes people laugh. Yet, at the beginning of the series, his lack of dedication towards the company and need to be the center of attention would both drive coworkers nuts and be a cause of concern with his managers.
Imagine what Jim would be like without Dwight to prank. He would pick a new victim, like when he pranked Andy at the Stamford branch and at the Scranton branch. Would you want to risk being Jim’s newest victim, having your office supplies placed in Jell-o? Many of his pranks would even be considered bullying by most HR reps, and would hinder his career. He damages Dwight’s property, steals items to mess with coworkers, and disrupts the entire branch’s work day.
Would he have a job: His history of pranking and lack of motivation would make Jim difficult to promote. Yet Jim is also extremely personable and can impress most people. He easily makes connections with clients, upper management, and of course, the receptionist. He would always have a job as a salesman because of his natural charm, but would require significant work style changes and lots of convincing to ever move up in a real life company.
Pam Beesly: The second half of The Office’s love story, Pam is friendly, artistic and a hard worker. She tries to get on everybody’s good side and has everybody’s interests at heart. Even when she didn’t love her job as a receptionist, she still worked hard and did her job excellently. While terrible at sales, she would have been a great fit for HR, as a graphic designer, or remain as the office administrator.
Overall, she had no bad qualities and would be pleasant to work with.
Would she have a job: Yes. There would be no reason not to hire her and keep her at a company. She lacked the aspirations at times to climb the corporate ladder, which isn’t a bad thing. She would simply find a job she loves and do it.
Stanley Hudson: You know, the guy who sat in the back of the conference room, always doing his crossword puzzle. If he were to act like that in a real world work environment, he would be in serious trouble.
He views his jobs as just that, a job. He works till 5, never does anything extra, and lacks dedication to his job. When he gets excited about an idea, like becoming manager in the beach day episode, or simply enjoying Florida, he comes to life and works hard, but quickly returns to his bored self. He is the perfect example of somebody who is ok to work with, but will never advance in a company. Just like in The Office, he remained a salesman till he retired.
Would he have a job: Stanley would receive several warnings about falling asleep at work and his crossword puzzles from upper management. If he didn’t change his habits and put more effort into his work, he would either be laid off during budget cuts or fired to prevent his bad habits from spreading.
Ryan Howard: Ryan had a great run, going from temp to become the Vice President of Northeastern Sales, yet his lack of ethics, poor sales experience, and “whatever” attitude ruined whatever chances he had to return to the good life. (Plus he started the fire.)
In highly competitive businesses, his lack of ethics might be viewed as a good thing, but most honest corporations would give him the boot in a minute. Working in the same office as him would be a nightmare also. He’s the guy who steals your lunch, leaves the microwave a mess and doesn’t flush the toilet.
There’s a positive side to Ryan though. He has a firm understanding of technology and business. His idea of making the Dunder Mifflin website a “social experience” is something that businesses have been trying to do for years. How often do you go to a website that has a Chat with customer service option?
Would he have a job: Well, with a botched VP position and a felony on his record, Ryan would find it difficult to ever return to the corporate world. As we saw in the show, he worked at a bowling alley and returned to his previous role as the temp. If he didn’t have those black marks on his record, he could work as a marketing executive for a business.
Andy Bernard: The Nard-dog is the typical trust fund, Ivy league, office worker. He rarely worked for anything because of his family’s wealth, and believes in having life handed to him on a silver platter.
It becomes clear very quickly that Andy has no passion for his job. He works at Dunder Mifflin because of his degree and it was a job he thought would be easy. His career as a salesman is always low performing because he has difficulties connecting with others, doesn’t learn necessary sales skills, and is a brown noser.
He would be very annoying to coworkers with constant reminders of his history with Cornell, kissing up to the boss, and being the employee that hums that annoying song all day.
Would he have a job: Sales is a very competitive and difficult realm, and with Andy’s anger issues, he would not go very far in it. If he stayed in the sales world, he would bounce from company to company until eventually choosing a different career. While sales was not his forte, he had a good run as manager before leaving for several months on a boat trip. If he could land a manager role again and learned from his mistakes, it could transform into a successful career.
What do you think? Did we miss your favorite character? Is it your dream to work next to Dwight or have a boss like Michael? Let us know in the comments below!