The Office
The Dundies

Episode Report Card
Jacob Clifton: A | 1 USERS: A+
The Dundies

And what's more awkward than Pam taking it out on the two most vulnerable people in the office? Why, Michael calling Jan Levinson-Gould on speakerphone. (In the interests of full disclosure, your present recapper has still not quite given up the dream of one day joining Jan Levinson-Gould in holy matrimony.) "Will her highness, Jan Levinson-Gould, be descending from her corporate throne this evening to visit us lowly serfs here at Dunder-Mifflin, Scranton?" Jan wearily -- just impute "wearily" for this recap as her automatic adverb -- reminds him, for the fifty-fifth time this week, that it's a two-and-a-half hour drive down from New York. Which is a two-and-a-half hour drive she'd never take, right? Ever.

Michael suggests Jan take the bus -- a classy proposition akin to throwing, say, a morale-boosting social event at a Chili's, or having a black-tie event catered by Hooters -- but then applies his management expertise to show the rate-production benefit: she can work on the way down, and sleep on the way back. "No." He stumbles and whines and lays it on the line: "...This is validation to my employees here that you and corporate approve of this..." Jan (wearily) points out, as though for the first time, that corporate doesn't. She stutters with the attempt to avoid condescension, even as she battles the crippling cognitive dissonance that Michael's conversational style entails: "You...only had the budget for one office party a year, so...we're not paying for this."

And then the shame, the Michael Scott brand of shame that hurts to look at every time, as he motions for us to leave, begs us not to witness this ADD-adjacent attempt to cross two bridges at once. (Right at this second we're no different from, and no less guilt-inducing, than Toby himself. We might as well be Toby: For someone like Michael, to witness is to accuse.) Equivocating, he even closes the blinds on us, and continues to beg. Pam joins us, in listening, from reception.

"Come on, Jan!" Michael shouts quietly, as we quickly move to the side of Michael's office, where the blinds are still slightly open. "You're dropping an A-Bomb on me here." Wearily: "Really? I'm dropping an atomic bomb on you?" I could kiss her. She lists the pointless parties he's thrown this year: A party on May fifth ("No reason?! It was the 05-05-05 party! It happens once every billion years!"), a luau, the tsunami relief fundraiser "which somehow lost a lot of money..." Michael corrects her -- it was a "FUN Raiser," which was made clear in the fliers -- but there's no stopping her freakish command of simple logic and common sense. "...Okay, well, I don't understand why anyone would have a tsunami FUN Raiser, Michael, I mean, that doesn't even make sense..." He protests that "a lot of people were very affected by the footage," but he's already beaten. It's over.

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The Office




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