The Office
Health Care

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Health Care

Credits. Eeeeverybody sing!

Michael opens this week with a greeting to "Pama-lama-ding-dong," which is enough to make any support-staff member want to kill herself, followed by the dreaded horror of "Makin' copies!" which is enough to make any support-staff member want to set her own corpse on fire and feed it to an army of fire ants. He asks for messages, and Pam uncomfortably busts him for the fact that she already gave him his messages; she has to clarify that he just wants them again for the cameras -- or, as Pam says, "the...[eye flick]." Michael THs about being the source of his employees' food, sustenance, and very existence. And possibly medical care, given that he claims to "heal" everyone. He explains that the time has come to pick a new health-care plan, which makes him very nearly everyone's doctor. Honestly, as bad as that sounds, I don't think it would be any more annoying than being treated by Patch Adams.

Jan comes to Michael's office to check on his progress and is horrified to learn that he intends to offer the Rolls Royce of health-care plans, when she was thinking more along the lines of a covered wagon. Or possibly roller skates. Michael resists, pointing out that this will not be "popular around the old orifice [sic]." Can I say "[sic]"? Am I humoring Michael? I feel gross. Anyway, Jan insists that doing unpopular things is part of Michael's job, and he does his classic twitching routine as he resists basically...everything she's saying. When he blusters that Jan herself never delivers bad news, she points out that she's...delivering bad news right now. To...Michael. Ow.

We pay a visit to a much happier Jim and Pam, who are at reception, and Jim is in Jim Stance. He's explaining last night's episode of Trading Spouses, which is how you know that he likes him some quality entertainment. She tells him she didn't see it, because she has a life, and he points out that if he got a life, there would be no one to watch his TV. Finally, someone has some perspective. The scene ends in classically strange Office style when Michael walks out, tries to smile, makes a weird "yah-hah" noise, trying to sound cheerful, and retreats to his office, not having gotten what he came for. But really, does he ever?

Next thing you know, Jim's in Michael's office, where Michael is citing his "busy day" in pawning the task of picking the health-care plan off on Jim. Jim is about as interested in doing this as he would be in having his teeth extracted with a butter knife, so he tells Michael to give the job to Dwight. We slam directly to Dwight telling Michael, "Yes! I can do it!" Dwight smells blood. Like, actual blood. The blood of other employees who have to have bunions removed and can't afford it. In one of the speeches that will define him, Jim explains, in a TH, his decision to kick the job to Dwight: he says that working at Dunder Mifflin is just a job for him. If he were to be promoted, it would be his career. "And if this were my career," he says, "I'd have to throw myself in front of a train." Thus does Jim put a ticking clock on himself, such that in a way, every week, we are happy to see him, and every week, we are sad that he's still here.

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The Office




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