At nine seasons, “The Office” lasted longer than it should have. Even before Steve Carell’s bumbling Michael Scott departed in 2011, NBC’s adaptation of a British classic was showing signs of wear and tear.
But that doesn’t mean we won’t have an abundance of fond memories when “The Office” airs a final 75-minute episode Thursday, May 16. At its very best, this groundbreaking “mockumentary” cleverly captured all the drudgery, hilarity, awkwardness and tensions of a typical cubicle-filled workplace. It also rewarded fans with one of the most heartwarming romances ever seen in prime time.
So before we bid goodbye to the Dunder Mifflin gang, let’s head out on a paper trail of great moments that had us simultaneously laughing and cringing:
WHAT THE SHOW TAUGHT US
“The Office” may have been oh-so-ludicrous (how did Michael not get fired?). But amid all the absurdity, there were valuable lessons that could be applied to any workplace environment:
1. Don’t use company computers for personal matters: Michael learned this the hard way. Upon returning from a Jamaican vacation with Jan Levinson, he accidentally sent a photo of her sunbathing topless to the warehouse staff. Naturally, they forwarded it to the entire company. Oops.
2. Reward your employees for their hard work: Whether it’s held at Chili’s or elsewhere, a ceremony a la The Dundies boosts morale and allows desk jockeys to cut loose. The down side? Cut loose too much, and you might be banned from the restaurant — as a drunken Pam was.
3. Don’t sleep with your superiors: Another tough lesson for Michael. His relationship with Jan, a vice president at corporate headquarters, was doomed from the start. The power imbalance was glaringly evident — as was her condescension. After Jan got fired, she milked his savings to help pay for her boob job.