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OK – admit it – you love The Office, right? We all do. It serves as the perfect escape and allows us to live vicariously through the characters – at least in thirty minute increments. Steve Carell announced the upcoming season would be his last; we can all hope this show, going into it’s seventh season, won’t lose its magic when it’s minus the star. Have you ever wondered what it’d really be like in the “real world” if you worked alongside a real-life Dwight, Andy or even Creed? Let’s take a look at these fictional characters and see how they might translate into a co-worker out here in the real world. We asked A. Harrison Barnes, career coach and Hound.com founder, for his take. His answers gave us insight (not to mention made us laugh):
Dwight K. Schrute – Ah, the goofy and frankly, disturbing, character who tries so hard to catch his power trip and ride it into the sunset. Is he the assistant manager or assistant to the manager? Who knows. And how long would your own manager tolerate his demands? It’s difficult to quantify him. He’s gullible, loyal to a fault and even a bit goofy. Admit it, though – he’d be a bit difficult to handle for eight hours a day, yes? His dry wit, while written by comedy geniuses, would likely drive any of us crazy, says A. Harrison Barnes. Would you really want to witness one of the engineers coating your manager’s head in peanut butter?
Speaking of managers, how about that Michael Scott? He’s ruined all of his employee’s weddings, he dragged another employee, literally kicking and screaming, in an effort to get her into rehab; this, says the Hound.com founder, would result in lawsuits, possible criminal charges and likely, the loss of his job in the real world. He annihilated the warehouse and forwarded a compromising photo of himself with his own boss to the entire company (Can you say sexual harassment?). How long would he last as an employee in your company?
Andy Bernard – Wow. What can you say? The musically inclined goofus, complete with the hokey ability to contort his face in any number of disturbing (read: hilarious) angles makes him hard to resist. Odds are, we have all likely found ourselves working with others who mirror Andy and his “unique” personality. It’s difficult not like him, though, says Barnes. He has this personality that’s both endearing and annoying at the same time. His stint in anger management might not have happened if he were working in a true office setting; there’s a good chance he would have been fired on the spot.
And finally, Stanley Hudson – quiet, unassuming, hard working and crossword puzzle connoisseur, his one liners are classic. “Did I stutter?” will go down in television history as one of the best one-liners of all times. Again, though, if you and I attempted such a bold stance with our own managers, the reply would be, “Did I stutter?” when we couldn’t get our desks cleared out fast enough after being fired on the spot.
Real life and real jobs are never as funny as those we look forward to each week, courtesy of the television. Still, as Barnes explains, it’s up to each of us to make the best of our own workdays. We can approach it with confidence and a good attitude, or we can also choose to complicate the lives of those around us – and make ourselves miserable in the process (not to mention find ourselves looking for a new career)