We’ve been re-watching The Office basically on repeat since January. Comedy Central plays marathons that last about a month for all 9 seasons, so I’ve seen each episode about 6 times in 2018. Re-watching over and over, you see different things and learn different lessons than when you’re just watching to be entertained the first time around. Here are five of those lessons:
1. Communication is key. Andy ditched his job (and his girlfriend, Erin) to go sailing to the Caribbean for 3 months, and effectively loses his job and his girlfriend upon his unapologetic return. If you care about someone (or your job), you have to communicate with them. Tell them what you’re feeling, share your thoughts, by all means tell them before you leave for three months. If you’re upset because you feel like you’re doing more than your partner, don’t harbor bitterness and then explode while you’re brushing your teeth because you can’t hold it in anymore. Don’t rely on others to automatically know what you need.
2. Don’t think, just answer. When you don’t know what you want to do, or when you need to make a decision but can’t think of how to come to it, sometimes it’s better to stop thinking about it, and just say without thinking what you want to do. Just blurt it out and listen to yourself.
3. Sometimes you have to make a big leap. Pam found the courage to walk through hot coals on the beach and that subsequently gave her the courage to be honest about her feelings. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith and find that strength within yourself to do what you’ve always wanted to do. Don’t be afraid; look at the worst possible scenario and you’ll usually find that even that isn’t so bad, compared with not doing it.
4. Be forthcoming and honest. When Dwight gets talked into gunning for Michael’s job, he tells Michael he has a dentist appointment but is actually meeting with Michael’s boss behind his back. When he gets caught, Dwight first tries to cover it up by sticking to his dentist story (“your dentist’s name is Crentist?”) and then eventually has to backtrack and tell the truth. The unique punishment that Michael creates for Dwight could have been avoided if he had told the truth and been honest.
5. Don’t let others choose your life path. When Michael’s live-in girlfriend decides she doesn’t want kids, Michael gets a vasectomy. When she changes her mind and decides maybe she does want kids, he has it reversed. Then when she changes her mind for a third time, he gets yet another vasectomy. (“Snip Snap! Snip Snap! Snip Snap!”) So while you sometimes have to make a big leap in life (#3), don’t make life changing decisions based solely off what another person wants.
What lessons have you learned from re-watching The Office?
PS – “Scott’s Tots” is still unwatchable.