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Super Duper Paper: Michael's New Company and Its Impending Success (or Failure)
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Apr 4th 2009 edited

Michael Scott Paper Company - Will it "Fly"?


Will MSPC rise to viability and begin competing directly (and effectively) with DM Scranton? Signs seem to point to "yes"! And if MSPC establishes and entrenches itself successfully as a Scranton-based paper business, how will they get there? We're reminded of Oscar's line of questioning in "Two Weeks" when Michael offered him the "opportunity of a lifetime" to work at MSPC:

O: "Do you have a business plan? A funding request? Market Research? Financials?"

M: "No, no, no..."

(Oscar references several points regarding viability/profitability.)

O: "...Can you go five years without a salary, Michael?"

Questions:

Will MSPC survive and thrive? Is such a prospect, though seemingly inevitable, so high-flown and removed from reality that the storyline will lose credibility? Could the MSPC storyline twist/shift mark the beginning of the end of "Office" as we know it? Or is MSPC good for Office? Does MSPC boost/strengthen Office or, as some have asserted, has the DM exodus of Michael, Pam, et al (published spoilers notwithstanding) only served to weaken the plot and diminish watchability?

Thoughts and Prognostications:

Despite his "dunder-headed" management approach and seeming total lack of business comprehension, Michael has (/had) continued to post strong numbers at DM while other DM'ers in his sector could not. This has been due to his good fortune in having good people with him (under him - that's what she said) at DM Scranton. And although frequently annoying, crude and impish, Michael's underlings have come to know him at his core as sincere, caring and benevolent. The "new boss" (et al) will have this legacy to contend with going forward as the MSPC vs DM Scranton storyline progresses.

By the by, remember the list of "top clients" handed to Michael by the owner/founder of the now-defunct Prince Family Paper (PFP) company? The total number of PFP clients was "about 80", an impressive number and greater than had been expected. The client list handed to Michael was comprised of (at least) two printed paper sheets. The front sheet contained 40 entries - 40 client names with corresponding contact info. We don't know how many entries there were on the second sheet - could be from 1 to 40. And although Michael's DM boss, David Wallace, was informed by phone that Michael had obtained a list of PFP clients, we have no definitive indication that the list was actually forwarded to DM higher-ups and/or just exactly what was done with it and/or if it (or a copy thereof) is still in Michael's possession. Perhaps we could see (or imagine) a flash-back to a moment subsequent to Michael's PFP phone call to Wallace in which he furtively pockets the list (or some such). And with 80 erstwhile PFP clients now needing a new supplier...

Mmmkay, so this post is long enough. Thanks for reading! See you at The Office!

Responses solicited.

Apr 4th 2009

He definitely wouldn't be able to do it by himself. Pam's got a good head on her shoulders and it seems like he forms a good team of people from the episode promos. People that know how to run a business. He'll even get to do what he's best at which is sales. So I think it's possible.

Apr 4th 2009

Pam's got a good head on her shoulders

I'm just pointing out that someone could make a nasty comment regarding this. I'm not going to, but someone else could

Apr 4th 2009

You mean like, "What's more, she's a giver."

Apr 4th 2009

And she swallows.

Apr 5th 2009

So does Michael still have the PFP list?

Apr 5th 2009

They gave that list to Wallace back in Prince Family Paper. That's why the company was out of business in the latest episode.

Apr 5th 2009

He definitely wouldn't be able to do it by himself. Pam's got a good head on her shoulders

I can see Michael continuing to ask Pam to make copies and do other secretarial duties for him. And who's going to cover for him on the phone now? All the possibilities have great potential. Maybe now we'll see more of his strengths and learn how Michael made it to RM.

Apr 5th 2009

And we've had a clear indication that Michael's PFP client list actually went to Wallace? And that, over the course of just a few weeks, DM somehow snapped up much of or all of PFP's loyal client base (which Prince had built over 40 years' time)? And for this reason, PFP went out of business? Now where would be the anecdotal irony in all of that?

In full context, there's just no plausible storyline there. And no prospective redemption for having "slightly destroyed a wonderful little family", if such had actually occurred.

What we do know, however, is that, at Dwight's behest, Michael called Wallace by phone and informed him that PFP's client list had been obtained. What transpired thereafter has not (yet) been revealed.

Apr 5th 2009 edited

I guess that's your interpretation and everyone has their own interpretations to things that happen on the show. I don't think they spelled it out for us by having someone say that it was DM's fault that Prince Paper went out of business but to me, they don't have to. It was pretty obvious. (Just like Pam saying "I love you to Jim". Have we ever heard her? No. Has it happened? Absolutley). Prince Family didn't lose all of their clientele on their own.

DM somehow snapped up much of or all of PFP's loyal client base (which Prince had built over 40 years' time)?

Cheaper prices. Staples and Office Max have been taking DM's clients the same way.

Apr 5th 2009

And we've had a clear indication that Michael's PFP client list actually went to Wallace?

I think this conversation at the end of Prince Family Paper, along with Michael's reaction when he found out Prince Family Paper was out of business, is a clear indication that Wallace received the client list:

David: This is good stuff Michael. You are a titan of industry pal.
Michael: [pained] Mpfh.
David: Good work.
Michael: Thank you.
David: Look I'll be in touch, thanks buddy.
Michael: Okay, bye bye.
Dwight: Guess whose stock just went up, golden boy?

Apr 5th 2009

Thanks all for your input and for this interesting exchange. Quite enjoyable!

So how will MSPC "get there"? And how long will it take?

We can see pretty clearly that MSPC is going to be in an ongoing head-to-head with DM Scranton. That's just the inevitable part of the plot. But we, the audience, need for the development of that part of the storyline to happen with relative swiftness. Surely we won't have Office doing a "...5 years later" and suddenly we're seeing MSPC and DM-S as direct competitors. That 5 year business-ramp-up time is gonna have to be cut way short.

A very plausible, and, to my thinking, a very fitting storyline component would be that Michael & Co., who, by the by, just happened to have recently obtained an active 80-entry list of paper customers, were able, accordingly, to ramp up their client base in record time through the use of the list.

And would such a turn not serve as befitting irony:

DM, Corporate, from whence came the impetus to obtain PFP's client list, who, subsequent to successful completion of the mission, "boned" the RM responsible for that success, are themselves then counter-boned via the non-delivery of subject client list by the poor hapless pawn of an erstwhile RM who, by his own vehement utterance, is "not a shark" and opposes finalization of subject mission.

The following comes to mind: During the PFP client list chase-down scene, at one point Dwight sprints off in a direction opposite to that of Michael's, culminating in Dwight heading Michael off at the pass and wrangling away the list...

...or at least some piece of paper or another.

While running in opposite directions, Michael could have easily pocketed or otherwise stashed or ripped up or flushed, etc., anything that he didn't actually want Dwight to get his hands on. It would have been just entirely to easy to do it. In Michael's shoes, I obviously would have. Wouldn't you?

Again, this question remains:

How else does MSPC "get there"?

Apr 5th 2009 edited

It's a tv show whose season ends in a few episodes. Something unrealistic happens, like Blue Cross finds out it was Michael's idea to do the golden ticket promotion and then finds out Michael has his own paper company so decides to sign up with him. This in turn provides the impetus for Wallace to hire him back and get rid of Charles. (Or, in the same time frame, Charles is revealed as a spectacular failure).

I agree with various of those above that Michael gave the Prince Family Paper list to David Wallace, and am not sure that episode makes sense any other way.

Apr 5th 2009

I would be very surprised if this whole thing was not wrapped up by the end of the season. Happily surprised, maybe, but surprised nonetheless.

Apr 5th 2009

Me, too. Very surprised.

Apr 5th 2009

Or, in the same time frame, Charles is revealed as a spectacular failure

This, rather than the success of the Michael Scott Paper Company, strikes me as the more likely reason for Michael and Pam's return. While they might score a sale or two based on Michael's old contacts, there just isn't enough time remaining in the season for MSPC to represent any sort of threat to Dunder Mifflin.

Apr 5th 2009

Here's what happens (And I've seen no spoilers):

  1. Dickhead Charles alienates nearly all the DM Scranton crew, who migrate over to Michael and Pam's new shop

  2. David Wallace eventually has to step in to save DW's only successful branch, sacks the Dickhead, and gets all the old employees to come back

  3. Jim gets a solidified promotion and Pam is now more than a receptionist

Remember. You read it here first (or many, many times before - but this is the first time I said it!)

Apr 6th 2009 edited

Pam is now more than a receptionist

Here's my question, though: how many salespeople can successfully sell paper in the Scranton area? Dwight, Jim, Phyllis, Andy, Stanley are all successful salespeople. Michael still sells. One assumes that Todd F. Packer sells in the area too--though that's a stretch. Since it's commission-based, just how much business is there for all of these people? And can Pam realistically find a share? Is this one of those things we just accept?

Apr 6th 2009 edited

And can Pam realistically find a share?

Realistically? No, but then again Scranton somehow absorbed Stamford, a bigger branch with higher volume, and managed not to lose a single customer even though they only added Andy and Karen to the staff. I don't think gritty economic reality is the basis for the show any longer.

Apr 6th 2009

Will MSPC survive and thrive? Is such a prospect, though seemingly inevitable, so high-flown and removed from reality that the storyline will lose credibility?

I personally believe that almost any success MSPC would have would be unrealistic, and that is my fear, that the writers will show Michael and Pam having some sort of miraculous success. That would cause me to lose a lot of faith in the show. And I'd really like to see Pam become more than a receptionist, but as something that isn't sales.

I have to admit, they've really got me guessing with this one. I see Michael & Pam's return to DM as inevitable, but I have no idea what they will do in the meantime.

Apr 6th 2009

The writers seem to paint themselves into corners that are somehow resolved or ignored. Pam at art school, Ryan's corporate fraud and arrest, and Jan's continued involvement come to mind. I am afraid this will be another storyline with potential that just resolves itself a little too quickly.

Apr 6th 2009

I'd be excited to see it do well in at least some arenas. Mostly because I'm a softie at heart and I love stories of optimism and triumph. I don't care if it's plausible or not. I love the characters and I'm always dying to see them succeed in some way.

Apr 6th 2009

Here's my question, though: how many salespeople can successfully sell paper in the Scranton area?

Well, their territory also takes in Wilkes-Barre, so I'm sure there's plenty of gravy to go around! :-)

Apr 6th 2009

Question: who is Thud? He/she is challenging DftF for longest post record, I think.

Apr 6th 2009

Who says that it's not me under another handle?

Apr 6th 2009

Me. You don't write like that.

Apr 6th 2009

I'm good at impersonations.

Apr 6th 2009

Don't you mean impressions?

Apr 6th 2009

Is Anque implying or inferring?

Apr 6th 2009

I think AMJ is inferring that Anque is implying.

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