15 Things I Learned from The Office

Is it really over?
Is it really over?

I don’t really know how to say goodbye to one of my favorite shows. I know it’s time for “The Office” to end, but I’m still in denial that I won’t see Jim and Pam all the time.

The last finale I remember being adamant about staying home to watch live was “Full House”. That evening was my third-grade awards night and no amount of reasonable hooky explanations worked for my parents. I had to watch Michelle struggle with her memory and good twin on VHS.

The Office began when I was in college, well before my days earning full-time wages. As I’ve locked away seven solid years in what I thought was “non traditional” office work, I realize that I took a lot of lessons away from the Dunder Mifflin crew because I really do have an “office” job. Here are just a few lessons I’ve learned:

1. Always give honest responses.

“What does this look like to you?” – Michael, pointing to his bubble wrapped foot.

“Mail Boxes, Etc.” – Stanley, Season 2, The Injury

2. You don’t have to be friends with everyone. 

“Why are you the way that you are? Honestly, every time I try to do something fun or exciting, you make it not that way. I hate so much about the things that you choose to be.”  – Michael to Toby, Season 2, Casino Night

3. Don’t settle in too much.

“If I had to, I could clean out my desk in five seconds, and nobody would ever know I had ever been here. And I’d forget, too.” – Ryan, Season 2, The Secret

4. Everyone has distractons that sidetracks the task at hand. 

“So how are we going to energize our office? I mean, I haven’t done anything since Christmas, Pam clearly has just given up trying.” – Michael to office staff. Pam’s wearing glasses. Season 4, Did I Stutter


“When I discovered YouTube, I didn’t work for five days. I did nothing. I watched Cookie Monster sing Chocolate Rain about a thousand times.” – Michael, Season 5, Business Ethics

5. It’s OK to think about the end of the day, no matter how much you love your job.

“Lord, beer me strength.” -Jim, Season 3, Product Recall

6. Sometimes work makes you irrational and cranky. 

“I want to clamp Michael’s face in a George Foreman grill.” – Jim, Season 2, The Injury

7. Dreams die. Find new ones and move on.

“I’m not a millionaire. I thought I would be by the time I was thirty, but I wasn’t even close. Then I thought maybe by forty, but by forty I had less money than I did when I was thirty.” -Michael, Season 6, Scott’s Tots

8. Just be yourself. 

“It’s like I used to tell my wife. I do not apologize unless I think I’m wrong. And if you don’t like it you can leave. And I say the same thing to my current wife and I’ll say it to my next one too.” -Stanley, Season 4, Did I Stutter

9. You will ALWAYS have to do math. 

“The principal told me that 90 percent of Scott’s Tots are on track to graduate and that’s 35  percent higher than the rest of the school. I think that if you hadn’t made that promise a lot of them would’ve dropped out, which is something to think about, I think.” -Erin, Season 6, Scott’s Tots


“What an awesome party. The best wedding I’ve ever been to. I got six numbers. One more, would’ve been a complete telephone number.” -Kevin, Season 6, Niagra


David Wallace: “Can you tell me why you had to cut the face off the dummy?”

Dwight: “I didn’t think it was very realistic in the movie, and it turns out, it’s pretty realistic.”

David: “We had to pay for it. It cost us $3,500.”

Michael: “Five thousand and three hundred dollars for a dummy?”

-Season 5, Stress Relief

10. Performance reviews are arbitrary and subjective to your supervisor’s mood.

“Well, last year my performance started with Michael asking me what my hopes and dreams were, and ended with him telling me he could bench press 190 pounds. So I’m not really sure what to expect.” -Pam, Season 2, Performance Review

11. Don’t skip lunch. It’s your one bright spot in a bad day.

“Now that I’m back to doing the job of a temp again, I find that food is one thing I CAN control.” -Ryan, Season 5, Cafe Disco

12. No one will ever really understand what you do for a living. 

“I think it’s great that the company’s making a commercial because not many people have heard of us. I mean when I tell people I work at Dunder Mifflin, they think that we sell mufflers. Or muffins. Or… mittens. And frankly all those sound better than paper so, I let it slide.” -Jim, Season 4, Local Ad

13. Your boss doesn’t always know what he or she is talking about, especially when it comes to motivating you. 

“They’re wrong, you are creative. You are damn creative. Each and every one of you. You are so much more creative than all the other dry, boring morons that you work with.” -Michael, Season 4, Local Ad

14. Your office is not your home. It is not worth dying for the job…unless your job is saving lives. Get out.

“[evacuating the office] Do you want to die!?” -Dwight to the office, Season 2, The Fire


“Nobody should have to go to work thinking, oh this is the place that I might die today. That’s what a hospital is for…” -Michael, Season 5, Stress Relief

15. Always have “That’s what she said” ready to go. Yes, it is inappropriate, but it lightens the mood and people have to smile.

I will miss you, Dunder Mifflin.

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