Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Office: A Stealth Dark Comedy

The American version of 'The Office' came out on NBC when almost a decade ago, when I was still in high school. My only jobs during those lazy years were odd and infrequent. And when you mow lawns or house-sit, there is no boss and no bureaucracy.

As a result, whenever I watched Jim and Pam struggle to navigate in a system with the impossibly, intractably, and iconically incompetent Michael Scott, I was laughing at them. As a voyeur, I laughed at their discomfort and the bizarre microcosms that pop up in a work place.

My parents were laughing for entirely reasons. They knew from the start that this was meant as a dark comedy and Jim's life was painted pitch black.
Now I'm older, wiser, and so much more greatly empathetic to our young co-workers because only two years out of college I see myself in them every day.

Making this face EVERY DAY

Unless you're very lucky, wealthy, or skill, you'll be in some sort of work place surrounded by people you never sought out and dealing with a boss you can't begin to understand.
Since Office Space, media has really enjoyed portraying a 9-5 as some spirit-crushing, emasculating system meant to kill you.
It's not depressing, it's not soul-sucking unless you only focus on the bad parts of it.
It's simple different than your ideal situation and requires a lot of diplomacy. Not a terrible thing, just not great and as I've noticed the more drastic schism between my work-self and home-self, I ask

"Am I going to just be Jim the rest of my life?"

And really I hope I am.
Jim handled each ridiculous situation with a certain display of give, mirth, and humor. And realising that it may take some time before I might start my own business, become a famous painter, win the lottery, etc I understand that John Krasinski's attitude is the only way to.
That's why the show focuses on him and Pam taking things in stride.
If they focused on Angela, everyone would meet the end credits with bitterness and an uncompromising attitude.

And cat prices would skyrocket

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