The Office: Customer Service

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

In the opening, we learn that Michael has convinced his staff that he and Holly are engaged. Well, some are more convinced than others. I'll let you guess who is which. One person who knows for damn sure they're not engaged is Darryl. Who is so worried about Michael's mental health he's offering to co-pay his therapy right out of his own pocket.

The jig is up when the crew gathers in Michael's office to congratulate him and Kevin asks whether he's told his mother yet. He hasn't, and the gang starts chanting "Call her! Call her!" and clapping their hands. He calls her on speakerphone, and she doesn't believe him, because he's done this before. He's forced to confess. "Psych," he quietly tells his employees.

Poor Kelly had already bought her (white) bridesmaid dress, too. She brings Michael the receipt, mixed in with the customer service surveys she's conducted and is now passing along to Michael for evaluation (Kelly is the branch's customer service rep, in case you've forgotten).

Jim interviews that the reviews are important because they affect his bonus, which is important because Pam's kind of a gold digger. Her disembodied voice is indignant at this claim. Turns out she's bought them both "the world's tiniest Bluetooth" sets so that they can be on the phone with each other all day without anyone knowing. Oh, this will end well, I'm sure.

Also, that must be some monster cell phone plan they've both got, and I would like in on it, please.

Michael goes through Dwight's eval with him, and it's not pretty. Dwight's convinced Michael must be kidding that his results were horrible, but he is totally not. Jim, meanwhile, learns from Andy that his review went really well. Also, Andy's very, very upset that Jim is drinking from Andy's mug, which has, well, his mug on it.

Jim talks to Pam while sitting at his desk, and Dwight's getting all paranoid about who he's talking to. (Here we also learn that Pam and Jim use varying degrees of mustard to describe the colour of Dwight's shirts.) Dwight interviews that Jim is such a loser for talking to himself, and should probably get a friend. Loser.

Michael and Jim do Jim's eval, and it turns out Jim's scores are also, as Michael so eloquently describes it, poopy. Apparently Jim is "smudge" (smug) and arrogant. He interviews that he needs a good bonus because he's supposed to be buying his parents' house. (He does turn his Bluetooth off through these proceedings, by the way.)

In what is probably the funniest scene this season thus far, and certainly some of Krasinski's finest work (though let us not discount that shining example of cinematic excellence, License to Wed), Michael conducts a sales training session with Dwight and Jim in the conference room.

He sets them up facing each other across the table, each with a phone set, and makes Dwight cold-call Jim, a potential client. Jim introduces himself as Bill Buttlicker. Dwight is incredulous. Bill Buttlicker is offended and takes a call on the other line, where he tells an imaginary person that he's on the phone with some stupid sales guy that he intends to just keep hanging and then not buy his product. He flips back over to Dwight and says it was a family emergency. Dwight, trying to be friendly, asks what's wrong, but Bill says that's getting way too personal. Dwight tries to tell him about a sale. A sale on EVERYTHING. Bill can't hear Dwight and asks him to speak louder, repeatedly, until Bill and Dwight are positively screaming at each other across the table. "LOUDER, SON!" "BUTTLICKER! OUR PRICES HAVE NEVER BEEN LOWER!"

And then I rolled off my couch laughing.

Michael intervenes and admonishes Dwight that yelling at the customer is never appropriate. Bill Buttlicker describes Dwight as aggressive, hostile, and definitely difficult; these are the three terms that came up in Dwight's evaluation, of course. Mr. Buttlicker is IRATE right now. Michael demands that Dwight turn the phone over to him.

He introduces himself to William M. Buttlicker, who says that he likes the sound of Michael's voice, and intends to buy one million dollars' worth of paper products today -- on the condition that he fire Dwight. Michael keeps covering the mouthpiece to discuss with Dwight, who says he shouldn't do it, but Michael's all, "It's a million dollars!"

Sometime later, Jim's outside the building and Dwight screeches up to him in his amazing car. He makes Jim get in, then screeches into a parking space and cranks "Angel in the Centerfold." Pam has to turn her earpiece volume down. Dwight insists that they could be listening, the customer service people. Jim gets annoyed and just turns off the radio, but Dwight is totally paranoid that there is some grand scheme being executed at their expense.

Back inside, he's on a call with a client and he's convinced he can hear breathing, so he makes the client wait while he heads in to the back room to confront Kelly, and catches her innocently on the phone. He scares the crap out of her and continues to be all menacing until Jim intervenes. Kelly is very indignant, all "Dwight, get out of my nook!" Pam, in Jim's ear: "That's what she said! That's what she said! That's what she said!" Jim's proud.

In the kitchen, Jim tries to apologize to Kelly for Dwight, but she is being very non-chatty and un-Kelly-like and leaves after just a few words. Jim barely notices until Pam asks what's going on with that, because Kelly didn't ramble for fifteen minutes like usual. Jim approaches Ryan at the reception desk and asks whether he might know if Kelly is mad at him. Ryan isn't into office politics anymore, y'all. In the course of his diatribe on this topic, he waves around a mug just like Andy's, but with his own, well, mug on it. Apparently, he got it at Kelly's America's Got Talent finale party at the end of summer. He's just sure Jim was at it, but Jim is equally as sure that he was not. And given that it is himself he's talking about, I think he'd know.

He asks Pam if she knew about this party, and she says she'd told him to definitely go, but he wanted to visit her instead. He realizes that everyone in the office but he and Dwight has these mugs. Jim tells Dwight he was right to be paranoid, and Dwight is his typically overloud, triumphant self. He wants to go get Kelly right now!

Jim makes sure the proceedings go down in a slightly more civilized manner in Michael's office, though Dwight does his darnedest to make it as ridiculous and intimidating as possible. Jim exposits that they called about a dozen customers and they all said they gave great reviews. Kelly: "I like your tie, Michael." Michael is nearly sidetracked by the flattery for a moment, but quickly shuts her down. Kelly's next tactic: "I was raped." Michael tells her she cannot do that again; that won't make all her problems just go away every time. Kelly rants about what bad friends Jim and Dwight are. Michael sends the two of them out, and then gently tells Kelly he knows how she feels because no one ever wants to come to his house either, and he has eaten a lot of leftover guacamole because of it. He says he'll pretend to discipline her and she'll pretend to cry and that's it. She starts fake-crying, but it instantly turns to the giggles, which infect Michael too. Jim and Dwight watch from outside Michael's office.

Uh-oh. So in the New York office, Pam's friend Alex stops by to kidnap her and take her to a gallery show. She has to work and can't go, but he pulls her aside into a conference room to "talk to her" anyway. Jim, in Pam's ear, is convinced the guy is into Pam. Turns out he just wants to offer his opinion on her leaving New York; he says she should stay where the art scene is and fully experience it, because three months isn't enough to get her fill and make sure she has no regrets. Jim is sobered, as is Pam. Dwight finally notices Jim's earpiece and is fascinated. He reaches for it, with a "May I?" Jim: "Don't."


In other news, Andy is still hunting for the perfect location for his and Angela's wedding, and has come up with the leading "tenter" in the eastern states. Angela's isn't keen on the idea of a giant tent, but finally she acquiesces, providing that it's set up in a hand-plowed field that also has a barn whose roof you can see the stars through. Also, there must be antique tools.

Andy, presumably with the help of Google, manages to figure out the perfect place that Angela's been dreaming of: Schrute Farm. He's stoked that he's got an in with the owner.

In the last scene, Andy and Angela meet with Dwight to discuss wedding options. There is a lot of eye-flirting going on between Angela and Dwight. OH JUST DUMP ANDY ALREADY. She is totally getting off on this whole thing. Although, so is Dwight, so I suppose the only person they're hurting is Andy, and no one likes him anyway.

Next time: I don't know. They didn't tell me.

Tags: the office, the office u.s., office u.s., jim/pam, michael scott

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Original Comments Posted (5)

metal2000 says...

I still say Pam's NYC friend is into her. I mean, first, who talks all speechy to someone to stay in the place THEY ARE if they're not into them. And second, who wouldn't be into Pam? I mean, seriously.

Nov 7, 2008 3:19am

ladyjbug says...

I second what Paul said. That dude has dug her from the first episode he's been in!

I too, fell off my course during the "training" scene. Too funny.

Nov 7, 2008 11:03am

ladyjbug says...

Course = couch. SHEESH.

Nov 7, 2008 11:04am

Ariana says...

Well, yes, I'm sure he is, but at least his speech wasn't some big declaration of luuuurve, like "STAY BECAUSE I HEART YOU." Pam better go back to Scranton; I mean, seriously. She can be a graphic designer anywhere, and let's face it, we all saw her "art" show. That's going nowhere fast. And why would she give up on a relationship she's waited so long for? I call plot contrivance!

Nov 7, 2008 12:17pm

sarahm says...

I watched the training thing three times. THAT'S the Jim/Dwight Dynamic we all know and love! I am with you Ariana, I think Pam could do graphic design anywhere, and Scranton is not that far from New York that she couldn't drive in to go to art shows and stuff on the weekends. It just feels like they are throwing in drama for Jim & Pam for the sake of the drama...which, I guess it's TV so they sort of have to.

Nov 8, 2008 4:07pm

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