Is “The Office” Real?

For those that don’t watch the American television version of The Office, it is a situation comedy about a failing paper company led by a charming-but-impulsive regional manager. The show’s humor comes mainly from its wide variety of distinct characters (although typical office stories come into play as well), some of which seem like perfect office archetypes. Protagonist Jim Halpert is a rational, level-headed salesman who, after many attempts to bring sanity to his workplace, resigns to just enjoy the humor all around him. Jim can amuse, but there are others:

  • Dwight, a goofy, abrasive know-it-all with action hero aspirations;
  • Creed, a creepy, funny should-be-retired colleague whose ambiguous comments are often disturbing and funny;
  • Kevin, an accountant who, seems woefully inattentive and thick-headed given the nature of his work;
  • Ryan, the low man on the totem pole who has little else other than Machiavellian ambition and stories of past professional glory;
  • Angela, the peculiar, pet-loving enigma who has some strange habits that are impossible to ignore; and
  • Kelley, the customer service representative who, despite her profession, is prone to having wild, dramatic fits over the insignificant.

The show is full of office-related humor, and its meaningless meetings, inappropriate antics and professional blunders leave us saying:

“Wow, that is so true.”

But, is it? Are these characters real? Can you spot them at your job? Perhaps if you can’t spot them, could you be one of them? Let’s not kid ourselves; we can’t all be cool, collected, “Jim Halpert” types. Someone has to be the drama queen, the cutthroat, the dreamer, the know-it-all.

Are you one of them?ย  If so, which one are you?

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Peter is Vice President of Digital Marketing at an investment holdings company in Washington DC and Co-Founder at True North.


  1. M on the 27th June

    I’m sorry, but this blog is terrible in terms of helpful content. All it is is open-ended questions about pop-culture and opinions about various work places. Nothing useful. Unsubbing from the RSS Feed now. Shape up.

    • Mike Vardy on the 27th June

      Before you go, if I may ask, what led you to subscribe in the first place? There must have been some content that piqued your interest initially.

      We tend to go a little bit lighter on the weekends in terms of content both as far as depth and theme, and I would argue that we provide more than just open-ended questions, pop culture references and talk about opinions on office environments.

      Constructive feedback is much appreciated, not just for content but context as well. Before you “ship out” let us know how we can “shape up.”

  2. PsdDude on the 28th June

    I like the design of your site and i am a fan of all envato sites and i think M is looking for other type of content … maybe something that help him learn something … not literature , something practical :)) but he should come back and tell us what he meant !

  3. Peter North on the 28th June

    We use several different article formats to add variety. Inevitably, each reader will have their favorite (and least favorite) type of articles.

    We do have more lengthy, more in-depth articles coming out daily.

  4. Mark on the 28th June

    This is why I never liked the corporate world and got out as soon as I could…to start my own business…and eventually my own office, circle of life.

    I actually love b/c of its light quick reads, I’m busy and like to take a break by reading something, thinking about it, responding to it and not waste an hour. Keep up the good work.

  5. Kraig on the 28th June

    I started watching The Office when I was a student at the college where I now work in the Office of Admissions. Back then, as a student worker, we managed to pair an Office character with a worker in our office – almost one-to-one. There was, of course, some debate among the workers as to who was really Jim, or who did not want to be called Dwight or Meredith, etc.

    I think what makes a show like The Office work for cubicle warriors and anyone else is that each character has qualities or traits we can all relate to. Maybe someone isn’t just like Dwight, but they love their beets, or maybe someone isn’t a total uptight conservative cat lady, but they may be one of those three and that makes them feel sympathy for Angela and the rest of us sympathy for her ๐Ÿ˜‰ I also hope nobody is like Meredith…

    I appreciate the lighter days, because like Mark, I don’t always have time to spend reading the heavy stuff in my short breaks. Thanks workawesome.

  6. Naomi on the 28th June

    Really love this post. I was actually thinking this today at my office โ€” thank you Peter!

  7. John on the 28th June

    When i have a spare time at the office i usually read something funny or watch something on youtube ๐Ÿ™‚ but there are people who relax in different ways ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Though I do not formally work at an office, I guess my characteristics are close to ‘Kevin, an accountant who, seems woefully inattentive and thick-headed given the nature of his work;’


  9. WPFuss on the 30th June

    Like Mike mentioned.. light quick reads are cool every once in a while. Specially when they’re about you favorite TV show. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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