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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Bippity Boppity Give Darryl the Zoppity

Next on our list of possible candidates for Michael Scott’s recently vacated position is Darryl Philbin, also known as “Mittah Rogers” (but only by Michael). Darryl has come a long way since we first met him in Season 1 as he watched Dwight suddenly emerge from a box in the warehouse. Here’s my list of pros and cons for Darryl as boss.

Pros

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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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Michael’s Goodbye

May 27, 2011 - by: Matt Scott 1 COMMENTS

Tonight’s episode, a rerun of Part 1 of Michael Scott’s goodbye, had, unfortunately, limited employment law relevance.  But one thing did stand out — Gabe’s relentless pursuit (or re-pursuit) of Erin.

Gabe demonstrates well the dangers of office romances. Gabe’s inability to cope with Erin’s decision to dump him has Gabe hounding Andy to stay away from Erin. First, with threats:  “Stay away from Erin, I’m your boss,” and later with outright stalking of Erin as she walks into the ladies room. The only upside for Gabe is, apparently, the ladies room is not, as the name might imply, exclusively for ladies. As Gabe follows Erin in, out comes Creed, whom Erin does not seem surprised to see. I’m not sure this is a plus or a minus for Gabe, but it sure puts the office in danger either way.

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Categories: Michael Scott

Playing Favorites

May 06, 2011 - by: Matt Rita 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value:  Get out your checkbook, Dunder Mifflin Sabre. Although your chauvinistic branch manager’s episode-ending dunk may have cut short his tenure in Scranton, his presumptive (acting) successor showed little in the way of enlightened damage control last night. Jo Bennett, where are you?

No matter how the Supreme Court rules in a closely watched real-world case involving allegations of widespread sex discrimination, the distaff members of Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office seem to have a lucrative class action in the making. Women who head departments are routinely excluded not only from important decisions, but also from pick-up games of mini-basketball featuring moves that evoke “Magic [sic] Jordan.” And, at the same time, both new and not-so-new female hires are referred to with indelicate terms beginning with the letters “w” and “b.” Only a week after Michael Scott’s departure to the Centennial State and its delicacies, Deangelo Vickers seems intent on recasting the office (and The Office) in his own “just the guys” image.

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Time to Say Goodbye

April 29, 2011 - by: Kristin Starnes Gray 2 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: Michael asking Angela if she had thought they would have sex and Gabe accosting Erin in the women’s room = additional fodder for sexually hostile work environment claims; finding out Phyllis regularly buys erotic cakes = thousands of dollars in therapy for the party planning committee to forget that disturbing mental image; Michael finally getting his World’s Best Boss trophy = priceless.

It’s time to say goodbye to Michael Scott, everyone’s favorite foot-grilling, ladies suit-wearing, paintball-playing boss. While it is sad to see him go, we can’t help but be happy that he’s finally getting his fairytale ending with Holly. Last night’s episode had Michael coming to terms with his move to Colorado (including the reality that his improv class credits may not transfer) and trying to have a special moment with each of his Dunder Mifflin family members before he leaves. Now that he has taken off the microphone and boarded the plane to the land of bears, let’s look back on some of the best Michael Scott moments over the last seven seasons.

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Michael Gives Up the Mic

April 22, 2011 - by: Brian Kurtz 0 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: $0.00 for Gabe’s intentional infliction of emotional distress lawsuit against Erin. Stanley’s ADA action for his diabetes is primed and ready.

Michael’s final turn hosting the Dundies reminds us why The Office has been a source of so much material since this Blog launched five years ago.  Just about every award could be evidence in a future discrimination or harassment lawsuit — “Hottest in the Office,” “Diabetes Award,” “Cutest Redhead in the Office,” “Extreme Repulsiveness.”  If Michael misses his colleagues, he may get a chance to see them again … at his deposition.

Gabe likely feels aggrieved and may be tempted to sue Erin for the emotional distress she caused by using her acceptance speech as an opportunity to dump him in public. But Gabe should think twice before filing suit. In Sanders v. Rosen, a New York court refused to recognize termination of a romantic relationship as the basis for an emotional distress action. Most jurisdictions, however, do recognize a cause of action for stalking. Move on, Gabe. You should know better than to date a subordinate.

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The Vicker(s) Cometh

April 15, 2011 - by: Matt Scott 1 COMMENTS

Tonight truly marked the beginning of the end for Michael Scott, as a new Scranton branch manager made his first appearance. Deangelo Vickers, played by Will Ferrell, started out with a Michael-esque quality of lovable dope, but it soon became apparent Deangelo Vickers is no Michael Scott. It became apparent when he asked Erin to change the way she answers the phone. Deangelo wanted her to leave out her name, but Michael, being the ever-present slave to history (as well as the unbridled arrogance leader on the show) so confused Erin with his attempts to keep things the same that he left Erin answering the phone in silence and hanging up on the caller.

As for employment law issues, the only readily apparent one was Kelly’s flirtation with Deangelo — dropping a stack of files in front of him to gain his attention, then walking away after her brief dalliance. Obviously anyone flirting with the new boss on day one is someone the new boss should be wary of. And there was Andy’s effort to curry favor with his new boss by beginning to tell a race-themed joked. Wisely, Andy stopped as he realized he was in the presence of not one, but two co-workers who might have found the joke (whatever it was to be) offensive. But still, some of the damage was done just by the introduction of the joke. Here, some of the blame has to fall on Deangelo for putting Andy on the spot with a request to “make him laugh.” To add insult to injury, Andy tries to come up with a new joke of his own, only to be told to avoid the topic (politics) and then be laughed at as he nearly falls over a table. 

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Categories: Michael Scott

Michael and Holly, Sitting in a Tree

April 08, 2011 - by: Jaclyn West 3 COMMENTS

Litigation Value: A narrow escape from Michael burning the office down (twice) and, as always, plenty of lost productivity while the employees held a garage sale, played “Dallas” and helped Michael propose to Holly.

Since last night’s “Office” was another rerun, I thought I would take this opportunity to talk about the “Garage Sale” episode. This, folks, was the big one. The epic proposal that we have all been waiting for. Now, I know I’ve given Holly a pretty hard time about her relationship choices. And I’m not saying, even now, that I approve of an HR rep dating within the office. But I’m also an “Office” fan and I’ve waited a long time for Michael to find some happiness. So I’m going to take off my employment lawyer hat for a moment and confess that I am giddy about Michael and Holly finally getting engaged.

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