The Office is one of the most awkward shows on the planet. And that’s perfect because life is awkward. From the time you hit puberty, you’re utterly self-aware and frightened of what others think of you.
You might eventually get over this state of being, but if you ever end up in a mediocre office setting like Dunder and Mifflin’s, the awkwardness comes tumbling back at you. Of course, The Office is a parody of life. You’ll most likely not encounter a full-on Micheal or Dwight but you’ll meet people who just make you feel odd.
Because The Office is a parody of life, we can learn a lot from the Scranton branch office. Let’s see what Micheal’s crew can teach us.
1. Dating Your Co-worker Is A Bad Idea (Unless You’re Jim and Pam)
Suffice it to say, the relationships we see in The Office are messed up. Some characters eventually find their way down the road to true love, but that road is fraught with thorns.
Let’s take Micheal and Holly, for example. While (spoiler alert!) they do end up together in the end, they are “tragically” separated near the beginning of the relationship. If you’re going to date the H.R. person in your office, don’t let the higher-ups know.
Holly gets relocated to another branch and Micheal and Holly can’t make the long distance work.
Even a Secret Relationship Isn’t Good
Angela and Dwight tried. They really did. But in such a small office, it’s hard to keep secrets. Pam, Phyllis, Ryan, and Jim all found out Angela and Dwight before they could spill the beans themselves.
At one point Dwight even quit his job to try and keep their relationship a secret. And Angela revealed their relationship to Micheal in hopes of Dwight getting his job back.
Despite an affair while Angela was engaged to Andy and a marriage to a senator, Dwight and Angela do end up together in the end.
There Is Always Competition
This, of course, depends on who is in your office. If you’re interested in someone, make sure they like you more than the other person. Or you’ll end up like Andy.
Andy lost Angela once after an engagement. But he also lost Erin to a guy named Pete.
After Angela, Andy was too meek. If he had been the strong and steadfast character, he might have kept Erin on his side.
2. There Is No Excuse Not to Exercise
When I worked in an office, instead of smoke breaks, I took push-up breaks. Nobody told me I could do this. I just did it anyway.
In one way (only) Dwight is my idol. He knows how to use his environment to advantage. To him, the fact he was stuck at work all day was no excuse not to work out.
Got a bunch of old phone books laying around doing nothing? Why not use them to get ripped? Instead of using the paper shredder to get rid of the old phone books, tear them up with your bare hands just like Dwight!
That office has support beams somewhere above those old stained tiles. Remove the ceiling tiles, find the support beam and hang an old tire from a rope. Then buy a sledgehammer for the office. Anytime someone gets upset, they can just hit the tire with the sledgehammer instead of taking it out on their boss or the client.
These are both the brilliant and cheap gym equipment ideas Dwight had for his office. But really, to get fit at the office, you don’t even need gym equipment. Just walk.
That’s right. A few people at my old office would take a twenty-minute break in the afternoon and just walk. During nice days they walked around the block.
If you’re stuck inside and are limber enough, do handstands in your office. The rush of blood to your head will increase your mental powers and wake you up.
The 100 Up
Don’t have time to train? Stuck in some Seattle building on the 20th floor? Do the 100-Up!
A runner was once stuck on a boat. He couldn’t run and train so he came up with the 100-Up. The 100-Up is essentially running in place. But you make sure your form is correct as you run.
This means high knees, landing on the balls of your feet, and using your arms correctly. If you’re a runner, this will also improve your technique and minimize injury. Too bad Dwight never heard of the 100-up, maybe he’d have lost that paunch.
3. You Can Store Pizza on Your Chest
Stanley is one of my favorite characters on the show. He’s just so chill. And he wears pizza like nobody I know.
I’m a runner. Food and I, we have a special relationship. I sometimes have to bring food on my runs.
The struggle is real. How do you bring enough calories to keep you going on those long runs? Stanley has my answer!
You bring pizza…in a pouch…on your chest. Ok, maybe I wouldn’t actually do this, but Stanley’s idea actually resulted in a gag gift called the Portable Pizza Pouch.
But really, bringing leftovers to work will almost always keep you away from the Wendy’s down the street. And having a place to store your food near to your person will keep other office members from stealing it.
Be Careful What Pranks You Pull
You could put your co-worker’s stuff in jello…but I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless you’re Dwight. Dwight can do whatever he wants…apparently.
When I leave a place of employment, it’s my tradition to pull a prank of some sort. I spend long hours beforehand thinking of the right prank because I know that if I pull the wrong prank, I might not get a recommendation from that employer.
Dwight doesn’t seem to have this discretion. Or maybe he’s just depending on job security for life at Dunder and Mifflin. Whatever it is, don’t be like Dwight.
And if you’re interested in more life advice, check out Shoemoney’s Shoeintology.