Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Office according to The Office

In Season Three, the Dunder-Mifflin executives decide to merge the Stamford and Scranton branches, laying off much of the latter, including Michael Scott. His counterpart, the competent-sociopath Stamford branch manager, whose promotion is the premise of the re-org, opportunistically leverages his impending promotion into an executive position at a competitor, leaving the c0mpany in disarray. The Dunder-Mifflin executives, forced to deal with the fallout, cynically play out the now-illogical re-org anyway, shutting down Stamford and leaving Michael with the merged branch instead. The executives (David Wallace and Jan Levinson-Gould) are obviously completely aware of Michael’s utter incompetence. But their calculations are obvious: giving Michael the expanded branch allows them to claim short-term success and buy time to maneuver out of having to personally suffer longer-term consequences.

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