The Office
Conflict Resolution

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Conflict Resolution

Michael unlocks the conference room door and emerges into a bullpen that's nearly abandoned. Completely abandoned, if you don't count the three people who are sitting there pissed off, glaring at nothing. Going through an inhabited but hostilely silent kitchen on his way to the break room for his ID photo, Michael compares the day's experiences to his understanding of shiatsu massage: painful and vomit-inducing while it's happening, but great when you're finished. As Michael sits for his photo, he sees through the glass wall to where Toby is nodding at him knowingly. Michael has the grace to look ashamed as the camera flashes.

Back in the conference room, Jim and Dwight are talking about Stamford. Jim jokingly suggests they both go, but Dwight says he has a girlfriend. "Sure you do," Jim mocks meanly. Michael returns, saying they'll get to the rest of the complaints later. Dwight doesn't want to be put off, but Michael manages it anyway.

If you're watching this on DVD, get ready to pause. As the photographer is on his way out, Michael stops him and asks for a group photo. The photographer will only do it if Michael pays him twenty bucks. Michael does it, and then gets everyone to gather in front of reception. He can't make them smile, though -- not in their current collective sour mood. So he ends up paying another twenty, and another, and another, trying to get a decent shot. While the group is posing, Pam decides this is the time to confront Angela, and Jim realizes that the only way to stop that is to confess that he was the one who complained about Pam's wedding planning on the clock. He tries to downplay it, saying he was just venting and he didn't know Toby was going to write it down, and then he took it back anyway. "Okay," Pam says stiffly, from the place where her heart used to be. "Oh, dear," Phyllis murmurs, apparently involuntarily. Shipper.

As the camera keeps flashing Andrew Jacksons right out of Michael's pocket, Michael VOs about the difficulty of getting a picture of fifteen people. Got your finger on the pause button? "But I'm sort of an expert at Photoshop, so it turned out fine in the end." Pause right now, on the shot that is the final product of Michael's "expertise." Michael looks fine, but everyone else has faces that are at the wrong angles, the wrong sizes, under the wrong lighting, and possibly cut from photos that were taken from the wrong photo shoot on the wrong day in the wrong universe. It's a Dali-esque nightmare, and it is glorious. Michael continues his content-free blathering about conflict and cage matches, as we see that Jim is at Corporate in New York, meeting with Jan. "Sometimes you have to open the cage," Michael concludes, "and that is something that Toby will never understand." Nice save, Michael.

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The Office

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