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October 9, 2015

Watch out, Jim! You're about to be fired from Dunder Mifflin

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 12th 2009 2:04PM
Jim H The OfficeI don't usually offer advice to television characters for a variety of reasons, number one being they (or the people who create them) don't listen to me, and number two being I don't want to be taken away by the authorities. However, I'm risking the latter and flying in the face of the former to serve up some counsel to Jim Halpert. Attention Jim: you are on the verge of being fired!

All the signs are there on The Office. Jim has thrived in Dunder Mifflin under Michael Scott's leadership (such as it was), by doing just enough to satisfy corporate. He had a comfy niche in the Scranton branch. Well, the happy times are over. The new boss, Charles Miner, does not like Jim.

He doesn't find him affable and Jim's attempts to explain his important role in the office came off as lame. He sounded like Dwight asserting, "I'm the assistant regional manager..." Which Michael would correct: "No, you're the assistant to the regional manager."

Miner has been cutting the fat since he arrived. First was Michael, second is Jim. Michael did Miner's job for him by quitting. But Jim is being set up to be fired. I've worked in offices where you can see the writing on the wall, you know the notice is coming, and still you can't really do anything about it. That's how it is for Jim.

In this past week's episode, Charles created a situation that will give him justification to dump Jim. He asked him for a rundown of his clients. Now, my first thought would have been, why do you want a rundown of my clients? Why aren't you asking Dwight for a rundown of his clients? Why not Andy? Miner was singling out Jim.

But Jim didn't think like that. Instead of trying to get at what Miner wanted and he got bogged down in the assignment. He didn't know how to do a rundown. Without any guidance, Jim flailed around, even asking Kevin and Oscar for advice, before coming up with something. Miner's reaction was beyond insulting; he didn't even read it. He just told Jim to fax it to the distribution list.

Again, this was a trap. What distribution list? Miner didn't specify and Jim didn't ask. But why would Jim be sending his clients' information to others in Dunder Mifflin anyway? If you share that info with fellow sales staff, at some point they're going to be able use it to render you expendable.

So, what can Jim do to keep from losing his job? My advice, which may not work at this point, is as follows: go over Miner's head. Jim should go to New York and approach David Wallace directly. It's a risk because Miner could be ticked off, but at this point, what does it matter? Miner's not in his corner.

Jim has to fight for his job. He shouldn't bad-mouth Miner to Wallace, but he needs to intimate to David that without Michael's leadership, the branch is down and that's because of the man at the top. Jim needs to be bold and ask David to make a change. Since Michael isn't coming back, Jim should ask for the job and convince David to put him in charge!

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I think you missed one more sign as well. When he said to send the rundown to the distribution list Jim didn't know who/what that was and as he was standing at the fax he said he was sending it to 'his' distribution list his father.

Well if Jim just sent a list of all his past clients to his father when he does get canned by Charles he will have his full list readily available to go and join the dream team. They will have plenty of knowledge on Dunder Mifflins strategy and will be able to undercut or offer better services just to get the customers signed up under Michael Scott Paper.

April 13 2009 at 10:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric H

If Jim were to bring some of his logic and clients to MSPC it could do fairly well, until Ryan steals from them.

April 13 2009 at 9:46 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Royce - you have it right...Miner is almost instituting bizarro Office what with thinking the likes of stanley is motivated and is much like Michael in giving into the brown-nosing of Andy. When Miner reports back to Wallace at some point and complains about Jim and lauds someone else, his days will be numbered. It may come to pass that Jim goes to MSPC but eventually all will come together.

April 13 2009 at 7:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they're setting Jim up to be fired, so that he can transition over to MSPC. Eventually, MSPC or DM will assimilate the other with MS back on top. In the interim, I thought a new boss requesting rundown is pretty typical i.e. a list of what he's done with each client. However, his unwillingness to see it seemed odd and his willingness to ship it out to a distribution list of clients seemed odd too. Also, who faxes nowadays? ;)

However, either TVS or another site pointed out that the humor is in Jim previously serving as one of the the more capable/sane DM members who suddenly isn't.
I had drifted away from 'The Office' post S2 as it started to focus on the antics of the cast as opposed to the humor in the crappy reality of work. But, the new boss thread has started it all back on track.

April 12 2009 at 5:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I don't think that things are as dire as this. I think if Jim actually talked to Miner, and admitted that he didn't know how to do something, but would be interested in learning how to do it properly, the situation would be solved. Asking for help directly (instead of sort of hinting at the fact) is better than taking hours and hours to do a simple 'rundown'. I think Miner doesn't like Jim because up to this point, Jim is doing everything a bad employee does. He is flustered and he is not doing anything to show that he deserves not to be fired.

April 12 2009 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who doesn't know what a rundown is? Fair enough you can not be sure as to how they want the information, what information they really want, but in general terms you could easily come up with something that is going to be acceptable. If the person in charge has it in for you then you can't do anything about that, but the last few episodes Jim has just struck me as being stupid as much as anything else.

April 12 2009 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Well the irony of Jim's situation was, that (working in the sales part of an office) a rundown and distribution list are really just made-up jargon words that don't mean anything.

April 12 2009 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Justin McGuirk

Is Jim going to have to get a job at the MSPC? You know he would fit right in with that dream team.

April 12 2009 at 2:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They have been trying to imply that Miner is a bad judge of character. Putting Kevin at the receptionist desk was bad, but Stanley as head of "Productivity" was even worse. I'm sure this trait will come in to play in the current Jim storyline.

April 12 2009 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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