Last night on “The Office,” the gang at Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton branch continued their orientation to new parent company Sabre and Kathy Bates returned as Sabre CEO Jo Bennett — her most terrifying role since “Misery.”
At the start of the episode, Jo Bennett bursts in with two ridiculously huge Great Danes at her side and presents everyone with the Sabre company handbook and a copy of her autobiography as a means of continuing their indoctrination. The intelligent employees soon discover that the handbook contains buried gold for Sabre salesmen — no caps on commissions — which means the sales staff will have a chance to cash in big.
Before the handbooks come out, Jo declares the Michael-Jim co-managership of the branch to be ridiculous and says there can be only one branch manager.
“Two guys doing one job,” she says. “We gotta do something about that.”
This, of course, has Jim and Michael scrambling to secure their status.
“Jo, I don’t know how things work in Florida, which from your description sounds like a colorful, lawless swamp,” says Michael. “But here it takes two men to do one job where in Florida it might take one very strong woman to do such a job …”
“Whooooa,” breaks in Jim. “Um, what we’re doing here … Michael handles more of the big-picture stuff and I handle more of the day-to-day stuff …”
“Yeah, I think I understand,” interrupts Jo. “Each of you is doing half a job.” She says there will only be one manager and they have to work it out.
Both Jim and Michael walk away sad, but Jim is soon cheered up when Pam points out how much more he could make as a salesman under the Sabre commission rules.
Jim immediately goes to Jo and tells her Michael can be the manager and he’ll go back to being a salesman.
Michael is thrilled — until Oscar tips him off to the commission secret — and then he goes to Jo and says he wants to be a salesman. She accepts the flip-flop based on his long history as a manager and a salesman.
So Jim moves to Michael’s office and Michael goes about cramming an office full of stuff into the desk by Dwight. It’s hard, but that’s just the start of his disappointments. He also has to deal with Dwight, strange smells, not having Erin wait on him hand and foot and more. Poor Michael.
Jim isn’t happy either, so they both go back to Jo as she’s headed to her car and get her to put things back the way they were before anyone heard the word co-manager.
While any normal CEO would have thrown both of them out of their rear ends, the continuation of the show depended on Jo conceding to their whims, so she did. But it brings me to a concept that was the topic of the first summary in yesterday’s SmartBrief on Your Career — How to make sure your in-house move goes smoothly.
Whether due to a takeover, promotion or just a desire to have a change of pace, many of us will change jobs within a company at least once during our careers. As Jim Anderson, The Accidental IT Leader, points out in his recent blog post, the transition isn’t always as easy as it seems. You need to put more thought into the move and show more professional savvy than Michael and Jim.
Do you have advice on how to do just that? Have you stumbled as you’ve moved within a company? Share your stories and advice here.
Image credit, NBC