Why Michael Scott from The Office is actually an exemplary manager


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/07/10/why-michael-scott-from-the-off.html


I have recently started watching the Office in syndication. I watch and think he’d be a hell of a boss. Way better than an angry, asshole bent on punishing everyone. Yeah, he can be insensitive and crude, but he’s only doing what he knows. I’d hang out and have a beer after work with him and nudge him in a more understanding direction. It’s not for lack of him not wanting to be a better person, he’d get it. Damn it, now I want to go have a beer with Michael Scott.


Hahaha, I started watching the video and they had a flash of the episode when Michael ignorantly outed Oscar and to prove he wasn’t anti-gay he kissed Oscar in the meeting. That episode was funny as hell. I’m at work so I’ll have to watch the rest of the video later.


Don’t really want to click on this video. I’ve been watching the US Office recently (for the first time) and Michael Scott is an objectively terrible boss. The racism and sexism he produces on nearly every episode is staggering and he often forces his workers to endure humiliating and time-wasting experiences for no reason except the gratification of his massive ego… It’s very funny to watch, but to be one of those workers would be an insanely degrading experience… He is deeply abusive to everyone around him. He is not a model for the real world- it’s an exaggerated comedy, and an actually decent boss would be incredibly dull to watch.

I do find the show is very funny in context, but I can’t help but think sometimes its just a lampshade… a backdoor way to get retrograde content on the air. I still like the show, especially the Dwight/Jim/Pam aspects, but I think don’t think we need to consider Michael Scott as a role model of any kind…

I had a boss who was pretty similar to Michael Scott, albeit toned way down. It was unsurprising to learn he was a huge fan of the show. Needless to say, he was pushed out of the company after numerous HR complaints.


You’re right of course in your description of him as a manager. I just think he can be changed. Change for the sake of change damn it!


In the Military the more incompetent the superior officer, the easier it was to get your job done.


Yeah, the military is heavily weighted toward those that focus on their career “points” (don’t remember what the system is called) and every obscure qualification they can attain. Leadership skills are quantified by how many schools you’ve attended and discipline is measured in how hard you work the troops.


Yeah, that’s about the size of it.


The husband loves this show. He’s never worked in an office, so this is new fodder for him. I can’t watch, because I’ve worked for a bunch of Michael Scotts, and Dwights, and had to work next to a lot of the other annoying and cringe-y people (I did a decade-long stint as a contract computer tech).

If you are the manager’s target for “humor”, you start counting the days til the contract is up. Back in the 90s, if you complained about the inappropriate behavior afterwards, you didn’t get another contract. So you chalked it up as something to put in a book someday. But somebody made a TV show of it first.


I’ve never once watched that show.


by that theory the whole U.S military at this point should basically be solving all the world’s problems by tomorrow.


A good boss, perhaps. In certain contexts there are benefits to having an idiot without adult filters and boundaries in charge – benign neglect and all that. “The Office”, being an American sitcom, exaggerates the positive effects on business operations. In reality, it would be more like working for David Brent.

Objectively, though, he’s not a good branch manager. He’s a textbook example of the Peter Principle, a great salesman who was promoted beyond his competence (something that’s typical in a lot of businesses).

For those who like that sort of thing, here’s a (very) long and more nuanced read on “The Office” as a microcosm of the American workplace:



I’ve just started reading it, but it’s very interesting so far. And horribly well matched with the company I’m currently working for/with.


I’ve watched the show a bunch of times


Groovy; I’ve just never gotten around to it.


Same. It doesn’t really seem like a me-show to watch, so I watch Star Treks I’ve never seen instead.


I’ve worked in enough offices and seen Office Space enough times that it holds little appeal for me.



This is not the comedy series I am looking for?


That’s insane. He’d be a terrible boss. All the evidence you need to know this comes from watching the show.