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[Closed] SUMMER HIATUS 08 CONTEST WEEK #7: I have PEOPLE skills! I am GOOD at DEALING with PEOPLE!
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Jul 14th 2008 edited

This week's prompt is brought to us by the divine Miss KarenM. Thanks, KarenM!

Prompt: - I have PEOPLE skills! I am GOOD at DEALING with PEOPLE!

In the age of telecommunication, Dunder Mifflin executives have reconsidered keeping the Scranton branch open after all. Because Michael is an unreliable source of information about branch efficiency, and because Jim technically lacks the experience and seniority to make important position decisions, The Bobs, those wacky consultants from the movie Office Space, have been hired to interview each Scrantonite about his or her job in order to assess its relevance and/or necessity. Choose a regular character from the Scranton branch of Dunder Mifflin and write a dialogue--not a description--between this character and the two consultants during this assessment interview.

Challenge Tips:

Remember this is a challenge specifically about creating a scene. Remember to write it as a scene, not in narrative format.

Format: Scene Writing/Video

If you prefer, you may script and stage the scene, and submit a video as your entry. Should you choose to submit a video, also post your script in the contest thread.


Since this prompt should consist primarily of dialogue, we're going to keep the standard maximum length at 250 words. If you make a video, you need to post the written script as well. Just make sure that has 250 words or less. There is no time length limit for the actual video.

Judging criteria:

Responses are to be evaluated on the following:

1) Overall impact

2) True to characters

3) Appropriate to challenge prompt

4) Creativity


  • Deadline for submitting entry #7 is 10 pm EST on Sunday, July 20.

  • Voting for challenge #7 begins Monday, July 21.

  • This thread is for challenge topic and entries only; please go to the general contest thread for questions/discussion.

  • No editing allowed on entries once submitted. Double-check your entry in the general contest thread before posting it in this thread.

  • Please review the contest description for other details.

Jul 14th 2008

The Bobs are clearly frustrated. Kevin sits across from them, smiling.

Bob1: Again, what would you say you do here?
Kev: I'm an accountant. I sit in the corner.
Bob2: Could you just . . . explain more about what you do?
Kev: Well, one day I decided that Pam was hotter than Karen. Karen's in Utica now.
Bob2: Ok. . .
Kev: I helped Jim by playing golf.


Kev: You guys want some M&Ms?
Bob1: Kevin, what accountant work do you do here?
Kev: Payroll. Balancing travel receipts.
Bob2: (shuffling papers) Oscar said he does that.
Kev: He checks my work. He's my friend.
Bob1: Kevin, why aren't 2 accountants enough?
Kev: Heeyy . . . What are you saying?
Bob2: We're just trying to figure out what you do during the day. What do you do?
Kev: We have a lot of meetings. But we don't get to watch movies anymore.


Bob2: How much of the day do you spend doing accountant work?
Kev: At least a couple hours. (beat) Am I in trouble? I don't want to be in trouble.

Bobs shuffle papers again.

Bob1: There’s a note here from Holly Flax. Who’s that?
Kev: She’s the HR person.

Bobs look at each other.

Bob1: I think we're good, Kevin. Thanks.

Kev TH: I learned a while ago that if I act like I’m . . . “special,” people let me do pretty much whatever I want. I’ve gotten away with a lot. A lot.

Jul 16th 2008

The two Bobs are waiting in the conference room for their next appointment. They are both very nerdy.

Bob1: Who is our next appointment with?

Bob2: Ummm, Pam Beesly. I guess she’s the receptionist. We didn’t meet her this morning because she was…how did Michael put it? ‘Pickin’ up the ‘Bucks.’

Bob1: What a dork.

Both Bobs do a snort/laugh

Pam walks in the door. Her hair is up in a ponytail, and she is wearing a low-cut, clingy sweater in a reddish hue.

Pam: Hi!

The Bobs stumble to their feet. It is obvious they are both quite enamored with Pam.

Bob2: Uhhh, yes. Yes yes, come in Pam, how are you?

Pam: Good thanks.

Bob1: Now Pam, what would you say you do here?

Pam: Gosh, what don’t I do? (Pam chuckles, which causes both Bobs to laugh a little too hard.) I answer all incoming calls to the branch, determine the purpose, and forward it to the right person. I take notes at all the meetings and transcribe them so there’s an official record. I fax the daily sales records to the Corporate office, I keep the kitchen and office supplies stocked…Are you guys listening?

Both Bobs jerk to attention and start scribbling on their notepads in an attempt to cover that they were blatantly staring at Pam’s chest.

Bob1: Yes, yes we are. Well it sounds like you are a very important part of this branch. We’ll make sure you always have a place at Dunder-Mifflin.

Jul 16th 2008


Michael: Seriously, Bobs, you have got to try this steak.

Bob Porter: No thanks.

Michael: Well then at least have a kabob, Bob.

Bob Slydell: Is that a crack at my name, fattie?

Michael: No, and I'm eating for two, thank you very much.

Porter: Let's get down to it. We have some questions for you.

Michael: Okay, let's get this over with. That's what she said.

Slydell: During an average workday, how many jokes do you tell?

Michael: A dozen probably.

Porter: How many fridgolous conference room meetings?

Michael: One or two.

Slydell: How much time do you spend entertaining your workers?

Michael: A couple hours.

Porter: Thanks for your honesty. I'll be honest too. We think you need to focus on your comedy: Jokes, impersonations, all that. Let the salespeople do the sales, and forget everything else. Your job is comedy.

Michael: ...

Slydell: Is something wrong?

Michael: I think my water just broke.

A gigantic red stapler descends from the ceiling.

Stapler: MICHAEL!

Michael awakens on Jan's couch. He is wet all over. Jan is standing over him holding an empty glass.

Jan: What have I told you about leaving the TV on at night? How are you going to hear me if I need something?

Michael: Sorry.

Jan walks away. Michael watches the TV for a minute.

Michael (Talking to himself): Ugh, Office Space. Who in the world would spend their free time watching people in a fictional office? ... (Snickers) That boss is such an idiot.

Jul 17th 2008

Bob1: Your job as receptionist seems to include quite a few office management tasks…

Bob2: Why don’t you walk us through a typical day? How about yesterday?

Pam: Oh… ok. We… I mean I… arrived at work and right away Michael called me in for a meeting. That lasted about an hour.

Bob1: Dictating a memo?

Pam: Umm… no… he shared with me some humorous stories he recently learned.

Bob2: I see. Go on.

Pam: Then he tasked me with acquiring some supplies for an upcoming office event. That took the rest of the morning.

Bob1: Can you elaborate?

Pam: Uh… (uncomfortably) Michael heard that the solstice is coming up and wants a Summer Soulstice party to celebrate. He insisted I bring back old Motown CDs and a large Afro wig, because Angela said no. It took a while.

Bob2: (eyebrows raised) Hmm. So, when you returned?

Pam: There were a lot of phone messages, and I did some filing for accounting. Then Michael needed me again.

Bob1: Yes?

Pam: (voice strained) Well, at Corporate, he saw a large painting of a company founder. I like to draw, and he said he needed me to make him one-dimensional. That took the rest of the day, but it was actually really easy to do.

Bob1: (frowning) Miss Beesly, this snapshot of your office procedures is quite alarming…

Pam: (looks concerned, then smiles) Hey, I heard you guys like Michael Bolton! Isn’t he just amazing?

Bob1 & 2: (smiling) Why, yes!

Jul 18th 2008

conference room

(angela walks in briskly and sits, smiling)

bob porter: you must be angela.

bob slydell: so, we hear congratulations are in order.

angela: well... yes, thank you.

porter: drew's a great guy.

slydell: great guy.

porter: in his interview, we discovered he and i share many similar interests. i'll tell you, i never expected to find anyone else who loves both hockey and ballet.

angela: i brought reports.

slydell: ...and the gun collection.

porter: oh, right. now, that was freaky.

slydell: two guys, same room, who like hockey? that, i can understand, bob. and the guns, but throw in ballet...

porter: ...and the underwear.

slydell: almost forgot the underwear. two guys, into hockey, firearms... guys in tights...

porter:, there's more to ballet than that, bob...

slydell: ...guys in tights aaaa-nd... wearing long underwear year 'round! i.... mean... come... on!

porter: he didn't believe it.

slydell: i did not believe it! i was this close to making him drop his pants.

porter: he was.

slydell: i was. but... i just kind of had a feeling...

porter: he's just a very genuine fellow, your drew.

slydell: he is.

angela: yes, well, i'm looking forward to reviewing my department's performance...

(porter looks at slydell)

slydell: i’m good, bob.

porter: me too.

angela: what...?

slydell: like we’re going to get drew’s girl fired.

porter: great meeting you. (rises)

angela: but...

andy (talking head): gave ’em 50 bucks not to say anything.

flashback: andy drops his pants to reveal boxers.

Jul 18th 2008

“BOB-ing For Ideas”

(Everyone is in the break room. Michael stands outside the room peeking through the blinds. The door is closed).

Slydell – Thank you all for your attendance and your suggestions. These suggestions will be taken to heart.

Porter – That’s right! No ideas will be thrown out until we say it’s thrown out. Like this one – bad idea.

Slydell – Here is one that says, “Let’s make salmon colored manila folders. We can call them “Salmonella Folders”.”

(Kevin laughs quietly)

Porter – We will bring that up with corporate, but change the name to “Manmon Folders”.

Slydell – Here is a good idea. Who is the Assistant to the Regional Manager?

(Dwight Raises his hand immediately)

Slydell – Good, you are losing your title and getting a $50 a week pay decrease for no longer being management.

Dwight – But I never got a raise for having the title. That’s not fair! JIM! Did you submit this?

Jim – What…? (Like he wasn’t paying attention)

Dwight – Let me see the handwriting! I know his penmanship!

(Paper is held up, and it’s cut and pasted letters from magazines)

(Dwight sits back down flustered, Pam smiles)

Porter – That was all the suggestions. Does anyone have anything else to add?

(Phyllis raises her hand and smiles politely)

Phyllis – Bob Vance of Vance refrigeration says that if you increase sales incentives you can increase sales.

Slydell – Bob Vance, great name and a great suggestion! Consider it done! We can split The Assistant to the Regional Manager’s $50!

Jul 18th 2008

The Bobs are in the conference room, comparing notes. Meredith walks in, looking frazzled.

Porter: Hi, Meredith. Have a seat.

Meredith: Thanks, Bob. And…Bob. How long will this take? I gotta pick my kid up from detention in 10 minutes.

Slydell: Oh, you have a son? Is he your motivation for working outside the home?

Meredith: Well, I’m divorced. So I have to work. (whispers) And, between you and me, Bobs, my kid’s a real pain in the ass anyway. So being away from him doesn’t really bother me.

Porter: (shifts uncomfortably, looks sideways at Slydell) Oh…I see. Well, let’s get back to business, shall we? What is your job here, Meredith? What’s a typical day in your life, so to speak?

Slydell: Remember, we need you to be honest with us, Meredith. We need to make our decisions based on the best information we can get.

Meredith: Okay. I’m our branch’s Supplier Relations Liaison. I talk to suppliers…are we done here? Last time I was late picking up my kid, he walked to his dad’s place across town and things got ugly.

Slydell: (clears throat) Well, um, no. I guess you’re free to go, Meredith. Thanks for your time.

Meredith: Yeah, sure. (gets up to leave) Oh, I forgot one other thing. I’ve won Supplier Liasion of the Year for Dunder-Mifflin for 7 years running. Hidden talent, I guess.

The Bobs look at each other, astonished.

Porter: She must have a real s…t-head for a kid, Bob.

Jul 20th 2008


Bob1: Ryan, we’ve been called in on this challenge and it’s actionable. Buddy, get your ducks in a row or you’re uninstalled to the cube farm.

Bob2: Wallace requested we look at the big picture on this mission critical from a 30,000-foot view and run an action plan up the flagpole before COB. That’s close of business.

Ryan: I know what it is.

Bob2: Ryan, you need to step up. You’ve been out of the loop, that’s understandable, but let’s peel the onion back so we can move forward.

Bob1: Absolutely. We’re not blamestorming but you need to take ownership, that’s the bottom line. Just think outside the box with laser focus.

Ryan watches with an inscrutable expression.

Bob2: We’re here for you, Ryan. What you tried to do for the company was great. These are exciting times for DM. Our core competency is paper so let’s raise the bar and do whatever it takes. That said, let’s not reinvent the wheel.

Bob1: Right! We’ll need some best-of-the-breed alpha geeks to get your system back on the radar and a buy-in from corporate. Let’s fast track this. We’ll do the heavy lifting but we need your 110% commitment to make it happen. You need to hit the floor running, my friend.

Bob2: So, great! Nice meeting with you, Ryan.

Bob1: The pleasure’s all on this side of the table. Trust me.

Nodding, Ryan leaves the conference room.

Ryan TH: What a couple of douchenozzles. Who talks like that?

Jul 20th 2008

Bob Slydell: Hi, Kell...

Kelly: Oh my god! Has anyone ever said you look like the guy from Scrubs? He's kinda cute, but I never understand why he shaved his head. But the real cutie is Zach Braff! Isn't he just delicious? I bet you hear that all the time.

Bob Slydell: No…

Kelly: I used to date a guy who looked bit like Zach Braff. He was super cute, but then he moved to New York City, where he got arrested. You probably know him? Ryan Howard. Not to be confused with the baseball player, who is black. I'm dating a black man now, Darryl. He's like the Michael of the warehouse. You'll probably talk to him later. He's great. I think he loves his kids more than me, but you just have to settle for less sometimes, like Christina Aguilera with Jordan Bratman. He's like way uglier than her.

Slydell: That's great, Kelly, but we need to discuss business.

Kelly: Oh, right. Sorry, it is just that Jordan Bratman is like really ugly. Seriously. Have you see him? I could probably get a picture if you want.

Porter: No, thank you. We are here to ask you questions about your job. So what do you do here?

Kelly: Customer service. I make sure the customers are happy. I'm a people person, you see. Unlike the accountants. So, that’s it? Michael said I could watch the Oscar nominations ceremony now.

Porter: Well...

Kelly: gets up and leaves Thanks!

Jul 20th 2008

Bob1: What exactly do you do here at Dunder-Mifflin Scranton?

Dwight: Pfft, that’s a stupid question. A better question would be to ask what I don’t do here.

Bob2: Just answer the question, Mr. Schrute.

Dwight: Well, aside from being the number one salesman for this whole company, I am also in charge of fire safety and am the creator and head of the emergency anti-flashing task force. I water all of the plants when everyone goes home and I pick up after the slobs that work in this office. Damn cleaning crew doesn’t know what they’re doing. Do you know there are millions of life forms out there that will thrive in an environment like this if left unclean?

The Bobs exchange looks

Bob2: Thanks, I think what you’ve mentioned is sufficient to wha…

Dwight interrupts

Dwight: But my most important job here, the one I take most pride in, is being Michael’s right hand man. I do everything necessary to make Michael’s job easier. I picked out the health plan for the poor excuses of humans who work here. I mean, who needs medical coverage these days? I come up with the weekend work schedule when Michael is too busy to do it. I work on Scranton’s monthly sales reports that are sent over to corporate. Basically anything that Michael needs done, I take care of it.

Dwight is excused and walks out

Bob1: It looks like we’re going to have to call Mr. Scott back in here.

Jul 20th 2008

Bob 1: Alright, Ms. Kapoor? Why don’t you tell us what you do here?

Kelly: Well I sit in the annex with Toby- though I guess he isn’t there anymore. He just quit and moved to Costa Rica. Though if you ask me, I’m not sure what he was thinking, with Sasha here. I mean, if Darryl were to someday leave me and up and move to some tropical nation with God knows what diseases, I know he better not be trying to come back.

Bob 2: Darryl, from the warehouse?

Kelly: Yes! He is just the sweetest boyfriend. Definitely my favorite boyfriend of all my boyfriends I’ve had here.

Bob 1: How many of your coworkers have you dated?

Kelly: Well Ryan, of course, though he’s in jail now. And then there was that one time with Dwight, but that was at the Christmas party and I was a little bit drunk, and who hasn’t done that before?

Bob 2: Right. So…I’m sorry, what exactly is your job?

Kelly: Of course! Yappity yap! Hahaha! I’m in customer service. I handle complaints and any problems we have with customers.

Bob 2: Very good, so what is a typical complaint you might get?

Kelly: Most of the time I get calls about something stupid that Ryan did- sex predators, or the indictment, or breaking my heart.

Bob 1: Who else is in customer service?

Kelly: Just me!

Bob 2: Under his breath We have to keep her, let’s move on.

Jul 20th 2008

Operation Save Scranton

(Jim enters the conference room with a briefcase. He sits, lays his briefcase on the table, opens it and pulls out folders.)

Jim:: Gentlemen. Your reports?

Bob #2: Umm...

Jim: You're kidding me. (He whips his cell phone out, glaring.) Burne? Tell me Wallace briefed these guys. What? What do you expect me to do? But they don't even have clearance, much less Top Secret clearance. Okay... He's the boss. (He flips it closed.)

Bob #1: Um, I think we have a misunderstanding.

Jim: You're damn right. Before we continue, I need you to sign these confidentiality agreements. They state that we will divest you of your property and US citizenship should you share this information. Clear?

(*The Bobs' mouths open.)

Jim: It should be somewhat clear that you have stumbled upon one of the grandest undercover terrorist operations in the United States.

Bob #1: Please. Dwight Schrute a undercover operative?

Jim: 14th level purple black belt. He has more weapons stashed here than we have paper. Understand?

*Bob #2: But Kevin...?

Jim: Underneath that stupidity lurks one of the craftiest logical minds of the 21st century.

Bob #1: Creed...?

Jim: Don't ask. Trust me, you do not want to know.

Bob #2: Surely, Michael...

Jim: Decoy. Further information will compromise our investigation, so gentlemen, goodbye. I trust that you'll file a ship-shape report.

The Bobs: Absolutely, we will.

Jul 20th 2008

Slydell: Next up-- Stanley Hudson. May I call you Stanley?

No, you may not.

Slydell: Great, so tell us, Stanley… what’s a typical work day like for you?

Like being on a sinking ship where the captain forgot to pack life jackets.


Porter: Hello, Kevin. How do you like working here in Scranton?

Scranton is awesome. We have some great golf courses, and there’s a bakery on Sheridan that gives away day old donuts on Mondays.

(Still later…)

Slydell: What’s most important to succeeding at your job, Mr. Bratton?

I’d say showing up every day. You’d be surprised how much my performance reviews suffer when I’m not here.

(Cut to Dwight’s desk)

Michael (scowling): I don’t like this invasion.

Dwight: They’ve been in there almost two hours and that door hasn’t opened once!

(loud laughter from conference room)

Michael: I’m gonna see what they’re up to. (enters conference room) Hi, fellas! How are the interrogations going?

Porter: Oh, Michael… I’m glad you’re here!

Slydell (wiping tears from his eyes): This guy is a laugh riot!!

Porter: I think we’ve heard all we need to hear to make our recommendations to Corporate.

Michael: Without interviewing me?

Slydell: Don’t worry… we HAVE talked to you. Do Michael again, Jimbo!

Jim: I dunno, guys. I should get back to work now.

Slydell: Okay, buddy. Good work today!

(TH) Porter: With all our experience, we know how to recognize top talent.

Slydell: Rich Little has got nothin’ on this guy.

Jul 20th 2008

Bob1: I'm sorry Mr. Bratton, but I've been over these personnel records six ways 'til Sunday. I can’t find any evidence of you ever being hired?

Bob2: We also noticed a former employee named Tom whose paychecks never stopped.

Creed: What are you saying?

Bob1: We're saying you don't work here.

Creed: That's crazy. I haven't missed a day in six years, and that was only because of a problem with Immig-- err, my plumber.

Bob2: So who hired you?

Creed: Let me see, Ed Truck.

Bob2: Ed retired three years before you supposedly started.

Creed: Oh, well then it must have been Michael. I'm bad with names, Don.

Bob1: Bob

Bob2: Huh?

Bob1: Here's what we think. You wandered in one day, found an empty desk after Tom took his “permanent vacation” and you haven't left since. Payroll just assumed you were him. You sleep here a lot, don’t you?

Creed: (Talking Head) That's exactly what happened. Best decision I ever made.

Bob1: Here’s our dilemma. We have to recommend someone to downsize. You'd be perfect, but you're not on the books. We don’t collect commissions for straightening out bookkeeping errors.

Bob2: Kind of a quirk of the system, you know?

Creed: I understand perfectly, Ron.

Bob2 (Talking Head, as he closes his car trunk on what looks like computer monitors and an office chair): We reached an arrangement with Mr. Bratton. He's a real asset to this company.

Jul 20th 2008

BOB SLYDELL: Let's see. You're Pam… Beesly?

She nods.

BOB PORTER: Is that your real name?

PAM: Yeah.

BOB PORTER: Do you watch The Office? Are you in any relation to the television actress?

PAM: It's just a coincidence.

BOB SLYDELL: (Laughs) To be honest with you, I love her character on that show. I do. I am a Pam Beesly fan. For the money, I don’t think it gets any better than the red sweater.

BOB PORTER: I mean you must really love her.

PAM: Yeah. Yeah… she’s pretty, she's pretty hot, I guess.

BOB SLYDELL: You're GOD DAMN right she’s hot.

They laugh.

BOB PORTER: So tell me. What's your favorite Pam shirt?

PAM: Hmm. I, I, I don't know. I mean, I guess, I sorta like 'em all.

The Bobs laugh.

BOB SLYDELL: HA HA! I feel the exact same way, but it must be hard for you, I mean, having the same name as her. I masturbate to that girl’s entire wardrobe. But anyway, let's get down to business, Pam… burger with cheese!

PAM: You, you know, you can just call me Pam.

They stare at her.

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