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 #10: Mrs. Albert Hannaday

EPISODE 5.16/5.17: STRESS RELIEF (PARTS 1 AND 2)
Jim, Pam, and Andy watch a pirated movie, Mrs. Albert Hannaday, starring Jack Black, Jessica Alba, and Cloris Leachman.

This is my office. Every day at lunch, I sit in our office break room and watch shows on Netflix with two of my coworkers. We just finished watching Arrested Development, and now we’re catching up on The Office. (Last year, I brought in my DVDs of The Office, seasons 1-4, so we are picking up again with season 5.)

In today’s episode, Jim and Pam join Andy in their office break room and watch Mrs. Albert Hannaday, a movie that Andy illegally downloaded. When this scene started, my coworkers and I laughed at the striking similarity to ourselves in that very moment. My coworkers and I were sitting around a laptop in the break room watching Jim, Pam, and Andy sitting around a laptop in their break room watching Cloris Leachman seduce Jack Black. How meta. We were even sitting in the same order: the one woman sitting on the far right and the two men sitting on the left. A few moments into the scene as Andy poured out a bowl of popcorn [kernels] and took his seat, I laughed and said, “It’s us!”

In the photo below, I captured the moment of Office inception. Offception.

Mrs. Albert Hannaday

The Office, My Office #9: Dwight Christmas

EPISODE 9.09: DWIGHT CHRISTMAS
Having forgotten to plan the office Christmas party, the Party Planning Committee decides to let Dwight throw a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch Christmas. Meanwhile in the Annex, Pete (AKA the new Jim) discovers that Erin has never seen Die Hard, a movie that he has completely memorized.

Where do I even begin?

Let’s start in the Annex. We have someone like Pete – someone who can essentially recite a movie from beginning to end. Unlike Pete, though, our guy knows more than Die Hard. It’s a little Rain Man-esque how much our guy knows about movies, both the mainstream and the obscure. And it’s not like he’s memorized these movies because he’s seen them many times. It’s more like he has an uncanny memory for all things film. You can randomly mention any movie, and if he’s seen it at least once, you can expect a complete retelling of the entire story. If you’re lucky, he might do voices. Just watch out for spoilers.

Back at the party, Dwight is dressed as Belsnickel, a German version of Santa Claus described on Wikipedia as “a crotchety, fur-clad Christmas gift-bringer figure.” Dwight filled a punch bowl with wine that tastes like lava and can be used to sterilize medical instruments. As Jim and Pam check out the table of food, they come across a mysterious meatloaf-looking dish. “Somebody’s found the hog maw!” Dwight exclaims. WAIT. What did he say? Did he say “hog maw” or “hog maul”? Because one is a dish made of pig stomach and the other, Hogmaul, is an independent horror movie for which two of my coworkers have done some behind-the-scenes work…

Okay, it’s starting to get creepy. Which one of my coworkers is secretly a writer for The Office?

The Office, My Office #8: Chair Model

DeborahShoshlefski
Deborah Shoshlefski, chair model

EPISODE 4.14: CHAIR MODEL
Michael Scott, feeling lonely after his breakup with Jan Levinson, falls in love with a chair model from the office supply catalog.

My office has its own chair model – sort of. On the home page of a client’s website, one of our salespeople found a picture of a beautiful woman. He is now convinced that the woman in the photo is the same woman who answers the phone when he calls their office. She has a look that apparently matches the slight accent he heard on the phone. He calls her stunningly beautiful and admits to having a harmless crush on her. The rest of the office is hoping to burst his bubble by finding the original stock photo or some other piece of evidence to prove she is not our client’s receptionist.

So far we have yet to disprove his model/receptionist theory… Hopefully our investigation won’t turn up what Dwight discovered about Deborah Shoshlefski AKA Chair Model Lady – she’s dead.

FUN FACT: “Chair Model” is the episode that also features Cool Guy Paul.

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.