Litigation Value: $0.00
Who’s the boss?
In the opening scene of the “Viewing Party,” the staff is crowded around a TV in the conference room watching local coverage of the Scranton Strangler. Gabe walks in and directs everyone to return to work. They ignore him. Later, in the kitchen, Kevin refers to Gabe as Michael’s “boss” . . . in front of Michael. Employees scatter. At Gabe’s Glee viewing party, Michael and Gabe face off in the ultimate test of masculinity and dominion — control over the clicker.
It goes without saying that an organization cannot function properly without effective leadership. Legally, it’s a toxic situation. Frontline supervisors don’t get any training and don’t know how to deal with employee complaints of harassment or discrimination. Policies and procedures are ineffective, not followed, or simply nonexistent. There is no consistent treatment of employees. Supervisors retaliate against employees. It all invariably leads to costly and disruptive litigation.
This is not to say that Michael has always been an effective leader. Since 2006, this blog has documented enough Michael-generated liability to bankrupt the company many times over. But Michael as boss is preferable to the unsettling tension between him and Gabe. For the sake of the organization, they need to figure out who’s in charge. Frankly, either is preferable to Jim, who is officially disqualified from leadership consideration after being Dwight’s little pizza boy. We’ll leave it there.
Random musings about the “Viewing Party”:
- Is a “sex contract” a defense to a sexual harassment charge? This crossed my mind when Dwight turned to Angela in the kitchen and said: “Tonight might be a convenient night for us to have intercourse.”
- Does Michael need workplace violence counseling? He told Pam he kept a gun in his desk, and he threatened to kill Gabe. Tough call.
- Possibly the single funniest line in the history of the series: “She’s in heat. She’ll eat your face off.”
. . . That’s what Dwight said.