Quarantine is life now. Social distancing is bae. Pants and hair washing are a thing of the past. I can’t recall the sensation of a gentle touch from a rando I met at the bar lover. My boss keeps giving me deadlines, but time has lost all meaning and also I don’t *feel* like working.
And yet, one thing remains the same: I am watching The Office in its entirety…again. My therapist said it was important to keep my regular routine, so here we are. It would be impossible not to lose sight of it all if I didn’t fall asleep every night with a glass of wine on my chest and The Office playing on my laptop. We must keep some normalcy here, people.
Rewatching The Office for the, idk…15th? time has got me thinking…what would my best friends (the employees of Dunder Mifflin) be doing during their quarantine? Well, since I had the time, I went ahead and thought about it in great detail and wrote down my conclusions. Enjoy!
Tbh, Michael is pumped. He sees this as an elongated snow day, where can spend some quality time with his best friends, aka his employees. He’s making his rounds to everyone in the office’s house (except for Toby, obv), ready to play games like Twister, tag, or anything that involves touch. He’s greeting everyone with a high-five, followed immediately by a coughing fit that he does not cover his mouth for. He for sure has coronavirus.
Being the charming young sociopath he is, Jim is going to spend his time in quarantine the way he spends his time at the office: coming up with an elaborate prank to torture Dwight.
Jim will be messaging Dwight from a burner email address, telling him the CIA would like to recruit him as part of the coronavirus conspiracy task force meant to weed out the weak from the strong in society. He’ll invite Pam to help out, and they’ll count that as their date night for the month.
Dwight is in full apocalypse mode, living in his bunker underneath Schrute Farms that has been stocked with goods since 2001, waiting for this moment. He has been living off beets in various forms for the past week and a half.
He receives Jim’s prank mission and immediately springs into action. Luckily, all of the tasks don’t require him to leave his quarantine (Jim isn’t that much of a sociopath), they’re mostly just menial, embarrassing tasks, like answering personal questions in order to prove his worthiness to the cause, i.e. “What’s your favorite kind of porn?”
Dwight is in hell, but feels like he’s in heaven.
Kevin is going on a lot of FaceTime dates, which is perhaps an even worse medium for him than IRL, which he’s surprised is possible. (Apparently, the ladies don’t take too kindly to “why say lot word when few word do trick?” as an opener.)
He went to Whole Foods and bought out the entire aisle of canned beans so he could make another giant batch of chili.
Fingers crossed this time.
Stanley booked a super cheap one-way ticket to Florida at the first sign of trouble. He’s working remotely from the pool, and no one at Dunder Mifflin has any clue. He has no plans to return to Scranton.
Meredith is getting blackout drunk and walking around her house naked. Happy hour starts at 9am. In other words, nothing new. She’s started an OnlyFans, but only has one subscriber.
Angela is keeping busy by embroidering pillows of her late cat, Sprinkles, disinfecting every inch and crevice in her house, and making signs telling her neighbors, mail people, and delivery workers to stay 100 feet from her or she’s calling the cops. She is also calling the cops any time she sees someone walk by. The CDC has blocked her number.
She’s sticking to her routine of waking up at 4:45am, praying, ironing all of her clothes, putting on her chosen American Girl Doll outfit of the day, and making a spreadsheet of all the people who have annoyed her in the past 24 hours, which she plans to email to the governor.
The Nard Dog is practicing acapella, and since he has no one to do it with, he’s making compilation videos on TikTok of him harmonizing with himself. They’re unbearable.
Kelly honestly doesn’t see what the big deal is? She’s survived a tapeworm, so she’s pretty sure she can survive a “coronavirus.” Plus, whenever she gets sick she loses like, 3 pounds, so if anyone has the virus, she’s asking they come over and cough in her mouth.
In the meantime, she’s setting up fake dating profiles and trying to find Ryan on each app so she can catfish him.
Ryan watched The Inventor: Out For Blood In Silicon Valley one too many times and was inspired to start his own coronavirus testing company, which he claims is a contactless COVID-19 test that gets results in 15 seconds or less. In reality, he’s running a pyramid scheme. The FDA has his phone and computer tapped and will be shutting him down next week.
Toby is being proactive by putting together detailed newsletters with information on how to deal with this pandemic. He’s got tips, links, resources, and emotional support to offer. Nobody even opens the email.
Phyllis and Bob Vance of Vance Refrigeration have been social distancing for a while now, and their marriage has never been stronger. Bob was somehow able to get his business declared as essential, and Phyllis is selling her handmade oven mitts on Etsy. Phyllis has now coined the catchphrase “cover your mouth sweetie, you look like a trout” to encourage her fans to sneeze and cough into their elbows.
Gabe has actually been practicing social distancing for years, though not by choice. At least now he has a term for it.
Erin might perish because she has no lifeskills whatsoever.
Creed is the one who put forth the conspiracy theory that COVID-19 was made in a lab as an agent of biochemical warfare. He has been directly exposed no less than 17 times but has not so much as gotten a fever. He appears to be immune.
As the modern world crumbles around us, The Office remains a beacon of hope, a reminder of simpler times, and hands-down one of the best ways to put off solving your actual problems. Whether you’re pre-gaming, recovering from a hangover, or not an alcoholic, The Office is the perfect soundtrack, and the number of hours I’ve spent watching and re-watching in my life is probably frightening. Because fans in 2019 can’t leave well enough alone, there’s of course been an uproar about getting an Office reboot. But Steve Carell says a reboot would never work—and when Michael Scott talks, you listen.
Carell makes some decent points: “The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air,” he noted, adding, “I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be.” When people still wouldn’t leave him alone, he clarified further: “I just wouldn’t want to make the mistake of making a less good version of it.” TBH, I’m on board for that kind of thinking—how many really successful reboots have we seen anyway? Aren’t they always at least a little disappointing? That being said, all this talk of a reboot got me curious about how The Office would be different in 2019. Here are all my predictions—just in case Carrell changes his mind.
Even Michael Wouldn’t Have An Office
The first and most obvious: 2019’s obsession with open-plan offices would ensure even Michael didn’t get a space of his own. (And Ryan can forget about having a divider between him and Kelly.) While Michael might fuss initially (remember when he and Jim traded jobs for a few hours?), ultimately he would use the new arrangement to distract his employees more than ever. Also, can you imagine what he would do with access to Slack? He’d send inappropriate GIFs all day long—and because he can see everyone around him, he wouldn’t leave them alone until they responded. Honestly, the whole branch might have shut down if Michael didn’t have an office—so in that sense, Carrell is right that it couldn’t work in 2019.
Dwight Would Be Obsessed With Bitcoin
Knowing almost nothing about Bitcoin, doesn’t this just seem true? Dwight’s all about unusual forms of currency (Schrute bucks, anyone?), and while his battle against the machine to sell more paper left him less than fond of technology, I’m sure a modern-day Dwight would come around. A 2029 Office reboot would probably show Dwight having become a billionaire from investing in Bitcoin early, and Jim feeling like a real idiot for how much he mocked him.
Ryan Would Be Selling Everyone’s Data
In keeping with 2019’s obsession with scammers, Ryan—already a scammer in his own right—would have gladly upped the ante of his schemes. The Dunder Mifflin website wouldn’t have just been a way to inflate sales data, it would have been some Zuckerberg-meets-Fyre Festival hoodwink that actually didn’t work as a paper-selling website at all, but had people enter enough information that third-party companies were willing to pay. Ryan would have planned to secretly collect all the profits and finally take that trip to Thailand, but being Ryan, he would have messed up and gotten caught anyway. Kelly might have caught him, actually—she knows enough about what online shopping sites look like to know a scam when she sees it.
Creed Would Be Exactly The Same
Creed is timeless. He would have equally little idea what his job entails, continue growing mung beans in his desk, and still be selling fake IDs to kids in town. Nothing Creed is involved in has substantially changed in 2019, because Creed lives in a world of his own creation. Things like “current events” and “logic” do not apply to him, and for that we are grateful.
Angela Would Be A Pence Supporter
This one’s a little darker, but too obvious to ignore. Hyper-religious Angela would be thrilled to have such a vocal (or rather, non-vocal) Christian in the White House. Remember when Pence said he wouldn’t eat with a woman who wasn’t his wife? That kind of comment is like catnip to Angela (even more than regular catnip, which she probably enjoys too.). Instead of fighting with Oscar over a poster of babies dressed up as jazz musicians, she would have fought with him over a Pence poster she wanted to hang. On the bright side, her eventually marrying a straight-laced politician who turns out to be gay could have been a fun and pointed allegory for what’s really going on with Pence.
Ultimately, The Office in 2019 would be a little more grim and a little more high-stakes for our beloved cast of coworkers. Hey, that’s what happens when we’re facing eight different versions of the apocalypse—and looking at my predictions, I’m very glad that Steve Carrell isn’t down to reboot anytime soon.
Images: Giphy (5)
Although the last episode of The Office aired nearly five years ago, the series is still basically the most important thing in all of our lives. This show is probably the only reason any of us keep paying for Netflix (or, more accurately, keep praying that our exes don’t change their Netflix passwords). In a continued effort to keep Dunder Mifflin relevant in our horrible, paperless world, I’ve decided to create a guide to finding which The Office character you are based on your zodiac sign. I mean, a girl can only cry over Jim proposing at a gas station so many times before it’s considered pathetic, so I really wrote these Office horoscopes more for myself than any of you.
Aries – Phyllis Vance
If you’re an Aries, you’re totally a Phyllis. You’re super organized and hardworking, so like, you’d definitely be on Dunder Mifflin’s party planning committee. Although you like to be helpful, you also don’t take shit from anyone. Phyllis loves to call a bitch out—remember the iconic “Close your mouth, sweetie. You look like a trout”? One of the most savage clap-backs of all time.
Taurus – Jan Levinson
Tauruses have a reputation for being bossy, so sorry to break it to you, but you’re all Jan Levinsons. It’s also not uncommon for a Taurus to hate puns, aka every word that comes out of Michael Scott’s mouth. Like Tauruses, Jan still loves to get lit even though she’s a professional. Like, you’d all hook up with Michael, but wouldn’t ever want anyone to know.
Gemini – Jim Halpert
Has anyone ever embodied the Gemini spirit quite like Jim Halpert? He’s like, half sarcastic fuckboy and half hardworking dream husband all in one. Because they get bored easily, Geminis love to think outside the box, are pretty funny, and love acting, which is like, the recipe for the ultimate prankster.
Cancer – Angela Martin
Around coworkers, Cancers like to stay private and are known for being modest. If that doesn’t sound like Angela and her collection of cotton turtlenecks from the American Girl Doll store, I don’t know what does. Like Angela, Cancers get the job done, but really just want to be left alone in their crabby little shells. Sorry, but you’re all basically born to be cat ladies.
Leo – Kelly Kapoor
Kelly Kapoor is confident that she’s one of the few people who looks good eating a cupcake, and that might just be the most Leo shit ever. Kelly loves having a good time as much as she loves her new haircut, but she’s also v ambitious and a good friend. She’s also like, extremely enthusiastic about most of the things that happen at an effing paper company, which is a feat only a Leo could pull off.
Virgo – Toby Flenderson
Sorry, but in the workplace, Virgos are usually about as exciting as the last season of Real Housewives of New Jersey. Sure, they’re professional and responsible, but like… ugh even writing this description is putting me to sleep. You get the idea. Someone’s gotta be the HR guy in an earth-tone suit, and it’s most likely going to be a Virgo.
Libra – Kevin Malone
Libras like to chill TF out at work, just like Kevin Malone, who don’t talk lot cause little word do trick. Libras really like to be liked, and Kevin is basically the human version of a golden retriever. While it’s usually totally fine with a Libra to poke fun at them, because they love joking around and pleasing everyone, make sure to do it in small doses. For example, it’s totally fair game to challenge Kevin, or any Libra, to a hot dog eating contest, but forcing him to eat raw broccoli in the middle of a meeting is taking it way too far.
Scorpio – Oscar Nunez
At work, Scorpios will totally get the job done if you just leave them alone, and we all know that Oscar is one of the few people who actually gets anything accomplished at Dunder Mifflin. Although he has a tendency to keep to himself, he’s also discreetly a total savage, just like all of you shady Scorpio betches. Scorpios can be super secretive, which is obv a quality Oscar has. I mean, hello, he had an affair with Angela’s husband.
Sagittarius – Michael Scott
Here’s the thing. Sagittarians can be as positive as an inspirational quote caption on a thirst trap’s selfie, but they can also flip TF out the second everything isn’t rainbows and butterflies, so you’re definitely Michael Scott. You’re all totally impulsive, but don’t truly follow through on all of your insane plans. For an example of this kind of typical Sagittarius behavior, watch every single episode of The Office. (Before Steve Carrell got too famous for the show and it went to shit. Duh.)
Capricorn – Dwight Schrute
Dwight’s birthday is actually January 20, which means the character himself is a Capricorn. This is totally unsurprising, because his storyline is so Capricorn. He’s really ambitious, but he’s so obsessed with being a faithful friend to Michael that it gets in the way of his career goals. Like, sorry, but Capricorn is basically just another word for Assistant to the Regional Manager.
Aquarius – Erin Hannon
At work, Aquarians are bubbly and friendly, but they’re also weird as shit, just like Erin. When you think about it, Erin is potentially the weirdest character of them all (except for like, maybeee Nellie, but it’s a close call). Every time you learn something new about Erin, you feel like you know her less. She once worked at a Taco Bell Express and had to quit when she couldn’t handle its change to a regular Taco Bell. That’s some quirky bullshit an Aquarius would love to tell you about, for sure.
Pisces – Pam Beesly
Artistic, sensitive, and devoted are all traits that both Pam Beesly and the average Pisces share. Like Pam, Pisces are very empathetic towards others, which explains why she gets stuck dealing with all of Michael’s shit and you probably get stuck hearing all of your friends’ relationship drama.
Images: Giphy (13)