Awesome!

September 08, 2011 - by: Kristin Starnes Gray 0 COMMENTS

With just two weeks to go until the new season begins, I wanted to make sure we give proper attention to another potential candidate for Michael’s position (once Robert California vacates it and proceeds to rule the Company and then the world) — Kelly Kapoor. She has gone through a number of transformations since slapping Michael in “Diversity Training.” Has the minority executive training program helped Kelly to become a rising star? Gabe certainly learned his lesson when he failed to take Kelly seriously as a candidate. In case Kelly does indeed fill Michael’s large shoes, here is my top 10 list of things our friends at The Office should keep in mind.

1.  You better hope you raised your hand for Kelly when asked whose side you were on in the Kelly/Ryan divorce drama.

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Uncle Michael Wants YOU — To Be the New Boss

August 18, 2011 - by: Doug Hall 0 COMMENTS

Another Thursday in August, another Office rerun. Rather than revisit “The Inner Circle” — ably covered by my Colorado colleague Matt Rita on May 6 — I thought I’d visit The Office website for some ideas. I came across a multiple-choice quiz designed to determine whether you have what it takes to be the boss of Dunder Mifflin-Sabre’s Scranton branch. Check it out, and take it for yourself.

The quiz is, of course, replete with humorous answers you can choose, to questions that you might actually hear (or pose) during an actual interview (well, some of them at least). One of my favorites is in response to the question about how to best handle interpersonal conflicts within the office: “One word: Thunderdome.” Kudos to the creators of the quiz, as the response you get at the end does seem to vary based on the types of answers you provide. (I took the quiz a couple of times just to check.)

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Boldest Applicant is the Best Applicant . . . Sometimes

July 14, 2011 - by: Joshua Drexler 0 COMMENTS

I find it hard to believe that my fellow bloggers have overlooked the most obvious choice for Michael Scott’s replacement: Fred Henry, played by Will Arnett. After all, who else during their interview promised to deliver a plan that would double the branch’s profits? Undoubtedly, Mr. Henry’s strategy was the boldest and most innovative of any applicant. While Dwight’s strategy of bribing the interviewing committee was certainly gutsy, it was also illegal, and therefore, he is disqualified as a viable candidate.

Mr. Henry explained that he had a three-step plan to double the Scranton branch’s profits. Wisely, when the committee asked Mr. Henry to reveal his plan, he refused, stating, “nice try.” As pointed out by Mr. Henry, had he revealed his plan so easily, he would have lost any leverage that the plan afforded him. Instead, he promised to reveal the plan upon being hired. When pressed, he gave in slightly and revealed “part three of part two” of the plan, which consisted of “Color Codes….Send Documents….T.W.” Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. OK, maybe not brilliant, but at least he’s creative and knows how to bargain. While I’m not sure I would advise my clients to hire an applicant who engages in aggressive bargaining during an interview, bargaining during an interview can be appropriate under the right circumstances.

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Categories: Hiring / HR / Management / The Office

He Creeps Me Out, But He Might Be a Genius

Litigation Value: likely to skyrocket with Robert California’s new sex-fueled approach to paper sales.

The word around The Office is that James Spader will be returning next season as Robert California, a character Paul Lieberstein (a.k.a. Toby) has described as “this uber-salesman that has a power to convince and manipulate like a high-class weirdo Jedi warrior.”  It appears he’ll be hired as the new manager only to take over the Company and become its new CEO in the blink of an eye. As a fan of Spader and his quirky role on Boston Legal, this blogger could not be more excited about this casting development.

When we last saw Robert on the season finale, he had some unusual advice for the sales team. “There is no such thing as a ‘product.’ There is only sex. Everything is sex. You understand what I’m telling you is a universal truth.” As my fellow blogger, Matt Rita, pointed out in his recent post, this certainly does not bode well for the Company’s litigation costs. I am sure Robert will give us plenty of material for this blog. To return the favor, here is my advice (or universal truths) to Robert on dealing with the gang at Dunder Mifflin Sabre.

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Give My Regards to Andy

July 01, 2011 - by: Jaclyn West 5 COMMENTS

As you know, dear readers, this summer Ford & Harrison has taken on the gargantuan task of helping Sabre sift through the many eager and hopeful candidates for Michael Scott’s replacement. We’ve already discussed Dwight Schrute and Darryl Philbin, from among the internal applicants, and outside candidate Robert California. But there’s one more internal candidate, and I’d like to focus on him today. That’s right, paper fans, I’m talking about Scranton’s own a cappella wunderkind, Mr. Andrew Bernard.

At first, I was worried that Andy was going to shoot himself in the foot (or the eardrum — groan, sorry) because he seemed so set on playing it cool. Andy clearly wanted to be considered for the manager’s job, but didn’t want to come across as wanting it too badly. Unfortunately for Andy, he didn’t get much of a shot at all, since Gabe — who had come completely unhinged after Erin’s rejection — was set on derailing any chance Andy may have had. Gabe twisted Andy’s words, even turning Andy’s insightful suggestion about improving communication within the office against poor Nard-Dog. And when Jo suggested giving Andy a look, mentioning his educational credentials, Gabe immediately dismissed the idea. Personally, I’m hoping that with Gabe now back in Florida, the rest of the search committee will recognize that Andy didn’t get a fair shake in his interview, and give him another chance to show why he should run the branch.

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A Man of Great Confidence

June 24, 2011 - by: Matt Rita 2 COMMENTS

With summer officially upon us, we resume the daunting task of helping the search committee sift through the would-be successors to Michael Scott. Turning our focus to outside candidates, this post evaluates a man whose ego is as big as the state for which he is named: Robert California.

Delivering a Walken-esque performance, James Spader‘s character dominates the interview process. When it appears that his experience selling deep-sea drilling and other refinery equipment has little to do with Dunder Mifflin’s paper business, he deftly shifts the discussion to “universal truths,” literally defining away the very existence of products. By interview’s end, Mr. California has the committee members answering his (largely rhetorical) questions, lending credence to Gabe’s assessment that he may be overqualified.

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And the Beet Goes On

June 02, 2011 - by: Doug Hall 0 COMMENTS

In the words of the incomparable Monty Python troupe – now for something completely different. With the season over and Michael departed, I decided that, rather than review a rerun, I’d share some thoughts about one of the putative candidates to replace Michael. I’ve decided to focus on the character we all love to hate, the beet farmer from birth, the senpai of his dojo – Dwight Kurt Schrute III.

If desire for the job were the only requirement, Dwight would be a shoo-in.  The week that he spent as Acting Manager clearly was one of the highlights of his life – a period he described as one of “maximum happiness” – and he went to extraordinary lengths in an effort to be reconsidered for the position after being disqualified for accidentally shooting Andy, including wrapping himself in bandages and bribing members of the search committee.  He also could lay claim to the position based on his skills as a salesman, which would be one of the best examples of the Peter Principle in action.  Dwight would be an unmitigated disaster as Manager of the branch on so many levels including, for our purposes, with respect to potential employment law liability.

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Still a Disaster, Thankfully

May 20, 2011 - by: Joshua Drexler 1 COMMENTS

car wreckLitigation Value: minimum $250,000 if Dwight gets the job.

C’mon, let’s be honest. You watched the season finale of The Office for the same reason that millions of fans watch NASCAR. You knew a pile-up was coming. And you kind of hoped the crash would be fantastically terrible — so long as no one was terribly injured.

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Cheap Labor

December 31, 2010 - by: Joshua Drexler 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Class action by day-laborers hired by Dwight = $500,000; penalties for violations of the Immigration Reform and Control Act = $50,000.

[Tonight's entry was authored by Josh Drexler, whom you'll be hearing more from in the coming year.]

While watching last night’s two repeat episodes, I noticed that Dwight Schrute potentially exposed Sabre/Dunder Mifflin to significant liability in the opening scene of “Sex-Ed” (originally aired on October 14, 2010).  Viewing the episode from a different angle, I note that Dwight revealed that he regularly hires day-laborers in the morning, promises to pay them at 6:00 p.m., and then cheats them out of their wages by abandoning them in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, at 5:45 p.m. under the pretext that they are in Canada.  Moreover, Dwight apparently uses the day-laborers for work at the Scranton branch. What Dwight revealed in this two-minute segue should send chills down any employer’s back.

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Promotion and Self-Promotion

October 01, 2010 - by: Jaclyn West 1 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: No liability to Dunder Mifflin/Sabre, but plenty of room for improvement in behavior, as always.

In the second week of Season 7 of The Office, Sabre miraculously escaped without an obvious lawsuit. For this shocking development, I’m inclined to credit the fact that Michael Scott spent most of the episode locked in the break room, being counseled by HR manager Toby Flenderson and unable to wreak havoc on the rest of the business.

Now although this counseling arrangement hasn’t led to catastrophe (yet), I think it’s an absolutely terrible idea. No matter how qualified Toby is, and I think we can all agree that with a degree in social work and time spent in a seminary he is qualified, Michael hates him. I was amazed that Toby was as successful as he was, considering that Michael sincerely believes Toby is his arch-nemesis.

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