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The rules

In Entertainment, Humor, Television, The Office, Work on September 30, 2008 at 3:40 pm

Here are some of the rules I follow to help me cope at Dunder Mifflin.

1. As I mentioned yesterday, never go to the break room while Michael is away from his desk. The chances of getting cornered in a conversation you don’t want to be a part of increase infinitely if you can’t revert to your phone or the pile of work on your desk to escape it. Sure, Michael could get up after you get up, but every little precaution helps.

2. Don’t take a day off when Michael is out of the office or on vacation. It’s like wasting your off days. Days in the office without Michael are the second best thing to vacation days. So plan accordingly so you can experience as many Michael-free days as possible.

3. When going to the print station, take the long way around. The shorter way takes you right past Michael’s open office door, infinitely increasing the chances he will call you over to show you something funny he found online (which you will not find funny) or ask you if you’ve finished something you couldn’t have possibly have had enough time to finish yet.

4. Never start telling a story while Michael is within earshot. He will force himself into it whether or not he has anything to add. Every once in a while, his presence is relevant. Most of the time, he just makes things uncomfortable or changes the subject to something the people who originated the conversation aren’t interested in.

5. Never leave early on Fridays. Not 20 minutes. Not five minutes. Not even if every paper purchaser in the country is out of the office for the day and the electricity is out in the building and you find out your apartment just burned down. Dwight will find you. And he will make you pay…with a lot of drama.

6. Don’t contradict Michael’s professors. It doesn’t matter if most of them are probably dead and that your professors taught you different rules based on a changing business environment. HIS professors will always be right. Even if everyone else in the industry is laughing at us.

7. Don’t take personal calls at your desk. Oh, we’re allowed to take personal calls. But Michael will make reference to details in your phone conversation in the future. “So you’re going to Scranton Park this weekend?” “So your husband isn’t feeling well, huh?” Things that you won’t say to anyone and could only be known through eavesdropping on your call. Of course eavesdropping is hard to avoid, but that doesn’t make it any less creepy when people try to elbow their way into your private life.

8. NEVER bring treats in when Michael is out of the office.

9. On the other hand, never bring treats while Michael is in the office either. He will not be able to stop talking about it for the rest of the day and will see it as the ultimate form of camaraderie.

10. Always do the parts of your job that involve Michael first. Yes other tasks might be more important or more pressing. But your week will run much smoother without him asking every hour “Do you have this done yet? Do you have this done yet?” Get all Michael-oriented tasks done Monday and Tuesday and spend the rest of the week doing the parts of your job he has no idea even exist. It’s the only way to keep your sanity.

11. Always keep a pair of headphones and headache medicine at your desk.

What rules have you created to help cope at your office?