The Office, My Office #11: Dwight’s Gym for Muscles

EPISODE 8.09: MRS. CALIFORNIA
Dwight builds a gym in the office building and calls it “Dwight’s Gym for Muscles.”

As owner of Dunder Mifflin’s office building, Dwight decided to build a gym downstairs. “Obese people in my office building are a drain on resources,” he says. “Chairs wear out faster. It takes more Freon to keep them cool. They flush the toilets more often. Plus, their massive BMs bust the rivets in my pipes. But a gym turns fat into cash.” Dwight goes after Darryl to become the first member of Dwight’s Gym for Muscles.

Darryl had been meaning to join a gym and get into shape. “I used to say I wanted to live long enough to see a black president,” he says. “I never realized how easy that would be. So now I want to live long enough to see a really, really gay president or a supermodel president. I want to see all different kinds of presidents.” We eventually learn that his real goal is not to see a supermodel president but to look good for Val. Not Val Kilmer, but a woman who now works in Dunder Mifflin’s warehouse.

So how is this MY office? We also have a gym… of sorts. Well, we have gym equipment, at least. In our basement, right at the bottom of the stairs, is a collection of exercise machines that may or may not have been used before. We have a treadmill that is currently underneath a pile of cardboard boxes and industrial-sized rolls of bubble wrap. I think one of my bosses used to go downstairs to use the Bowflex that was once assembled there. (The Bowflex is no longer in the basement but probably in a disassembled pile in someone’s house.) In addition to the treadmill, Bowflex, and a few scales, we also have the world’s most awkward piece of exercise equipment: the HealthRider. Click here to see the HealthRider in all its awkward glory.

BONUS: The “Mrs. California” episode starts with the standing desk cold open, another thing my office has in common with Dunder Mifflin. One of my coworkers has been standing at his desk for a while. Another coworker had stopped standing at his desk but recently decided to give it another try, just days before we watched “Mrs. California” during lunch. Perfect timing.

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The Office, My Office #7: Mistakes

EPISODE 8.06: DOOMSDAY
New CEO Robert California charges Regional Manager Andy Bernard with eliminating the many mistakes and improving productivity at the Scranton office.

Robert: Last week, an accounting mistake resulted in a client getting their order for free.
Andy: Oof! That’s not good. Chalk that one up to Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum out there.
Robert: Who are they?
Andy: They’re both Kevin.
Robert: Simply end the mistakes… End the mistakes. It’s all I ask.

My office also makes mistakes. In fact, we heard a very similar speech days before this episode aired. I even sent a video of this episode to my boss and figured he would get a kick out of it. At our office, mistakes were made. Fingers were pointed. My boss’s response? “I don’t know whose fault it is. It doesn’t matter. Just stop messing up.”

Simply end the mistakes.

The Office, My Office #6: Animal Rescue

EPISODE 8.22: FUNDRAISER
Angela’s husband, the [State] Senator, hosts a fundraising dinner for animal rights activists. The recently fired Andy crashes the fundraiser, and in the middle of a mental breakdown, he ends up adopting 12 dogs.

My office once had someone who rescued dogs, sometimes 12 (or more) at a time. And just like on The Office, coworkers were sometimes persuaded to take some of the rescue dogs into their own homes.

The difference here is that my coworker ran a dog rescue; Andy just… snapped. He was fired, he had a mental breakdown, and then he dove right in for his dozen. I think the 12 in my office was more of a gradual build-up and (hopefully) wasn’t the result of a psychological crisis.

The Office, My Office #5: Yankee Swap

EPISODE 2.10: CHRISTMAS PARTY
Michael Scott, disappointed that his Secret Santa, Phyllis, gave him a hand-knit oven mitt, changes the game and starts a round of Yankee Swap AKA white elephant AKA nasty Christmas.

My office also celebrates Christmas with a white elephant gift exchange. And like in The Office, it usually doesn’t end well.

Two years ago, this simple and light-hearted gift exchange turned into a complicated and stressful event. After three hours (well, maybe it was only two hours), the box of chocolate and the Wal-Mart gift card had exchanged hands 27 times, and everyone FINALLY had a gift. Several were still unhappy with their gifts (perhaps even bitterly and outspokenly so), and they arranged for a few independent exchanges. I left that party with a men’s Shake Weight and a glittery ornament the size of a bowling ball. Last year, the process improved slightly, everyone understood the rules a little bit better, and I got a self-inking rubber stamp of red lips. Who knows what this year will bring…