All Articles Leadership Careers Brooke blogs “The Office”: Violence is never the answer

Brooke blogs “The Office”: Violence is never the answer

3 min read


Warning! Spoiler alert. If you missed last night’s episode of “The Office”, you may want to and watch it before you read further!

After several episodes of pouting and rage, Pam finally gets her way and sees the end of Michael’s relationship with her mom. Unfortunately, as is often the case, the victory is not as sweet as she had imagined.

Michael plans a birthday lunch for Pam’s mom, who by the way is not the same Pam’s mom who made a brief appearance on the show in its second season. (Thanks to my observant co-worker James for that!) The new Pam’s mom is not as warm or sane as the original seemed to be in her short cameo.

But I digress. … Of course, Pam’s mom’s age is an inevitable topic at her birthday lunch. Somehow Michael is shocked, then horrified when he realizes she’s 58. So at the end of dinner he says, “Finish that cake Helene. I want you to enjoy that cake because I have something terrible I need to tell you, and I want you to enjoy your cake before I tell you this terrible, terrible thing.” And then he dumps her, first trying to blame it on Pam and then admitting it’s because she’s too old.

This leaves Pam’s mom heartbroken and Pam even more upset than she was when Michael was dating her mom. Michael is one of those people who can’t stand to have anyone angry with him, so he makes a desperate move to turn Pam’s frown upside down — he offers her an unwarranted raise on the condition she like him again. He’s surprised when she says “no” and says, “Come on! What do you want? What do you want? Do you want a million dollars? Do you want to hit me? Do you want me to get down on one knee and beg you?”

“I want to hit you,” Pam replies.

Now in this situation, I would have taken the raise and pent up my anger, but I have to admit (and my co-workers will back me up on this) that there are plenty of times when I’d really like to hit someone — not just anyone, but someone specific who has made me angry. As I type, I can think of at least three people right off the top of my head who I’d love to give a good punch right now — no co-workers or clients, though, certainly the guy who harasses me on the street almost every day on the way to work. But I am a civilized person living in the real world and so I won’t.

Pam does, and Michael cries. It’s not the first time he’s been hit and surely won’t be the last time, so he should probably try and toughen up.

As Pam walks away from the scene, a disapproving but sympathetic Jim asks, “Feel better?”

“No, you were right,” Pam replies.

Most of wouldn’t really punch a co-worker or anyone else for that matter, but I bet I’m not alone in feeling the urge sometimes. As Pam illustrates, though, it probably wouldn’t make us feel better even if we had a free pass to give into the urge.

What does make you feel better when people make your blood boil? How do you deal with the feeling so you can move on and get through the day? For me, it’s walks and a lot of venting to my sweet and patient co-workers. Share your thoughts here.

Image credit, NBC