In the TV show “The Office,” Michael Scott and crew at the Scranton, Pennsylvania branch of the mythical Dunder Mifflin Paper Company exaggerate – only somewhat – the petty, irrational craziness of office life. Who needs a logical plot? Steve Carell’s character, Michael the boss, provides much of the rising and falling action himself through his eyebrows. They rise in alarm at a problem (often of his own making) and knit together as he arrives at yet another, bogus solution.
Other key players include: Michael’s frequent henchman, Dwight, who when not stunned by misfortune is mostly angry and all action; Pam, alternatively alarmed, annoyed and resolute; and her softer-shoe husband, Jim, who can be shy (eyes down) or fearful (mouth pulled wide) when he’s not displaying one of trademark his lopsided grins.
Office life as we’ve known it may never return to what it once was pre-coronavirus. A place of camaraderie and courtship, the workplace is also a setting where we see office politics play out before our eyes. Can we discern where the power really lies quite as easily via Zoom? I doubt it. What won’t ever change, however, is that people can be both fascinating and frustrating: each of us our own “house of mirrors.” That reality informs the videoclip that follows, as well as my podcast episode for this week.
Released today: episode 5 of Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight featuring David Robert Grimes, author of The Irrational Ape: Why flawed logic puts us all at Risk, and How Critical Thinking can save the World. Listen to the clip below and click on the image to get the new episode.