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I AM MICHAEL SCOTT: Given the time lag here, I was caught up on The Office last night when I went to bed, but am now one episode behind. But watching the Dundie awards, I've decided that the real inspiration for The Office comes from writers that have spent time in India. Here's why:

1. April Fool's Day. I had no idea they were aware of that here. They are. We had shaving cream in phone receivers, people's desks had been completely cleared of their belongings, etc. It was an office full of Jim Halpert's that day.

2. We have lots of Ryan's & Andy's here. You know, the ones that keep showing up, don't do anything, and don't even seem like they need to work, so I guess they come for the free ping pong? I'm told these people normally come from very wealthy backgrounds so the job is more social than a meaningful career.

3. Our secretary is a lot like Erin. Very sweet, but we very frequently wonder why we even bother giving her tasks to do.

4. We have a few Jim & Pam's, I think two, though I'm unsure if they actually met at work.

5. We have A LOT of Dwight's. Title is very important to people here. In the US, what we call a Senior 3, the level before Manager, is here called an Assistant Manager. Or Assistant to the Manager. Does it make a difference? They do the same thing a senior 3 does in the US for the same base pay (in terms of earning power). But they want that title. One colleague's email tag mentions he is a Senior Associate & Back-up technology coordinating assistant or something like that. What a mouthful and what a clearly self-imposed, secondary calling in life. But it's important to him.

6. We have one Phyllis, the mother of the office. She's a manager and wears a very traditional saree every day. But I think she scares some people.

7. We don't really have an Indian Oscar that I'm aware of, as being gay is still taboo here. But men here do hold hands and touch each other more freely than men in the US. We do have an Oscar counterpart in the form of a US person over here.

8. I can't think of any Stanley's or Angela's.

9. We have a new activity every week. Every week. I've always ignored the input into the festivities. But today is a post-busy season outing. We were put into different groups for a dance contest. It's overly complicated in that we have to do four ethnic dances. I told them I would do two of the four with my group. Big mistake. I spent close to 5 hours TU-TH learning to dance on the roof of the building. So five hours of work lost x 1,000 tax professionals coming to the outing is 5,000 hours of productivity lost. I had no idea they invested so much time, every week, in these endeavors. I'm not sure why we allow that, but it's not my place to fight it so I let it be. So we have our own party planning committee and endless onslaught of ridiculous activities, including Twin Day.

10. So I guess I am Michael Scott? I help people but don't actually generate revenue. I'm also told my people do like me. But I am also probably considered slightly quirky to everybody due to cultural differences. I'm sure my dancing will be on YouTube before the day is over.

Yes, the inspiration from The Office came from India.


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