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The Secret to The Office's Success

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I love The Office. It seems like I have worked with every character on the show. And apparently, I'm not alone. Entire blogs have been written about working under a person like Michael Scott and business schools have started incorporating his flaws into the curriculum in order to teach their students how not to be Michael Scott.

That, unfortunately, is the reason everyone seems to love the show. It's something just about every office worker can relate to. Aine Donovan, a professor of business ethics at Dartmouth, even estimates that "ninety percent of the population deals with a Michael Scott in their lives."

But why are there so many Michael Scotts (and David Brents) in this world? Venkatesh Rao of the Ribbon Farm explains it well in his management theory known as The Gervais Principle. The basic concept is this:

Sociopaths, in their own best interests, knowingly promote over-performing losers into middle-management, groom under-performing losers into sociopaths, and leave the average bare-minimum-effort losers to fend for themselves.

His theory says that Michael is not actually entirely incompetent; he's just not competent at his current position. But he was still given that job because his passion helps keep the company afloat even as the other employees only do the minimum. (Rao explains how The Gervais Principle differs from The Peters Principle and The Dilbert Principle here.)

What Office-like characters have you worked with?

[Image courtesy of Flickr user Kumar Appaiah.]

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Weird
Welcome to the Dull Men’s Club, a Group Dedicated to the Blander Things in Life
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Do you enjoy such riveting activities as sitting on porches, sorting loose change, and watching paint dry? If so, you may qualify to join the Dull Men’s Club. Co-founded by Grover Click, the Dull Men’s Club celebrates the aspects of life some may call boring. The group comprises thousands of members with colorful hobbies like collecting milk bottles, appreciating roundabouts, and tracking down water pumps. There are even some women in the group, one of whom spends her free time following brown street signs.

Great Big Story recently spoke with some of the club's most ordinary members. After watching the video below, you can read about more spectacularly dull hobbies—like drain spotting, traffic cone collecting, and mailbox photography—here.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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Animals
Watch a Rogue Pet Dog Interrupt a Russian News Anchor on Air
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Last week, a Russian news broadcast briefly went to the dogs after its host was startled by a surprise co-anchor: a friendly black canine that wandered on set, announced its presence with a loud bark, and climbed onto her desk.

 

As TODAY reports, Mir24 TV anchor Ilona Linarte went off script for a few minutes, telling viewers "I've got a dog here. What is this dog doing in the studio?" After the initial shock wore off, she gave her furry guest a tepid welcome, patting its head as she gently pushed it off the desk. ("I actually prefer cats,'' Linarte remarked. "I'm a cat lady.")

Linarte’s query was answered when the TV station announced that the dog had accompanied another show’s guest on set, and somehow got loose. That said, rogue animals have a proud tradition of crashing live news broadcasts around the world, so we’re assuming this won’t be the last time a news anchor is upstaged by an adorable guest star (some of which have better hair than them).

[h/t TODAY]

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