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I guess I just like liking things

For many of us, talking to people is the best part of a job. If you’re lucky enough to work with people you like, talking to them throughout the day is like a bonus breaktime. I mean, pretty much anything at work that isn’t work-related is the best, right?  You might not like going to birthday parties in real life, but if there’s a half-hour birthday gathering at work, it’s the best thing ever.

However, if you’re unlucky enough to work with people you wouldn’t want to hang around outside of work, the little conversations throughout the day can stretch a work day interminably. It can make your actual work seem like the break — come to think of it, I’m surprised Veridian hasn’t hit on this idea to boost productivity. Remember the scratchy chair? If Veridian made it so everybody thought everybody else was horrible to talk to, I’d bet they’d see productivity rise to Gordon Jenkins levels!  …but they also might see a rise in workplace murders, so maybe that isn’t the best idea.  On the other hand, Veridian isn’t known for caring too much about employees, so maybe a few murders now and again are “acceptable losses” for them.  I’m going to go ahead and imagine this was a storyline slated for season three.

Back here in season two, though, Ted is stuck talking to Ryan way more than he’d like to be, and given some of Ryan’s chosen topics, I can’t really blame him. (As a side note, let me just say that if you’re ever showing your gross toenail to a coworker, you have crossed a line and should reconsider where your life choices have led you.  Unless you work at a doctor’s office and you’re getting medical advice, I guess.) Ted has even resorted to braving the back staircase, risking contracting spider madness.  One thing leads to another and Ryan quits his job, putting Ted into “I have to fix this” mode, which leads to Ryan’s wife giving birth in Ted’s car.  The most interesting part of this storyline is the differing perceptions the characters have. Ted likes Ryan okay, he just can’t handle “too much” talking. From Ryan’s perspective, Ted’s a buddy, a work friend, someone he tells his wife about every night.  I feel like there’s a lot of untapped potential in the perspectives thing, but they can’t really dwell on it because they have to get to the birth shenanigans.

Meanwhile, Phil and Lem get tricked into working with Veronica directly, and it’s wonderful. Not for them, of course, but for us viewers it’s a beautiful thing.  We are already aware of just how much they are attracted to/fear Veronica, so seeing them have to be around her without a Ted buffer makes for some great scenes:

  • trapped in the office, trying to get out
  • the look Veronica gives Phil and Lem when they’re trying to escape her office
  • unwittingly holding hands
  • curtsying when they leave Veronica’s office
  • adjusting the PA controls
  • Phil whistling the answers so Lem can talk

Really, any time the two of them are dealing with Veronica one-on-one is some of my favorite stuff.

Linda doesn’t get much to do in this episode other than flit around the edges of both these storylines and have her own difficult-to-listen-to coworker, but I would like to point out that most people in Wisconsin are as nice as they’ve made Linda out to be, in case you were wondering. Perhaps someone should do a study on how cheese consumption/production affects general goodwill.  Maybe lactose intolerant people are just intolerant overall.

Bits and pieces:

  • “If you’d been bitten by one of the back stairs spiders you’d be flopping on the floor deep in the throes of spider madness.” – Phil
  • “Sarcasm, the first sign of spider madness.” – Lem
  • “If only there were a nice way to say ‘You’re killing me, you energy-sucking time gobbler’.” – Ted
  • “After a week of vomiting, everyone – even the bird – was back at work.” – Ted
  • “I would like to unsubscribe from whatever you’re doing right now.” – Veronica
  • Veronica calls Phil and Lem Bunson and Beaker
  • Linda’s mom’s sayings are ridiculous
  • “I can’t stand who Phil and Lem are so I’m changing them.” – Veronica
  • “The version of Linda you heard in your head is right.” – Ted
  • Ted is a terrible liar, as evidenced by his cell phone bit
  • Lem is the pony, according to Veronica
  • “Maybe it’ll look less weird if I carry you.” – Lem
  • Lem keeps trying to use cowboy imagery and runs out quickly, but later on comes up with more stuff
  • “You’re just a shivering Chihuahua, aren’t you?” – Veronica
  • “Talking about drawer elves isn’t going to make this any less scary.” – Phil
  • On the plus side, the PA systems is very clear now
  • Phil runs awesomely, arms a-flappin’ – “I did get to watch Phil run. He was like an ostrich in a lab coat trying to catch a bus.” – Veronica
  • “I am Veronica, Queen of Veridian” – Veronica
  • Ted and Veronica’s duet – will this make Veronica’s second album?  Another question season three would have answered, no doubt


I’m so happy there was a commercial this week that I could just cry!

Veridian Dynamics. Friendship: it’s so important. But it’s different at work. Time spent with friends at work robs your employer of productivity, and robbing people is wrong. Veridian Dynamics. Friendship. It’s the same as stealing.

Ideas/Inventions mentioned in this episode:

  • New PA system
  • The smallest squirrel science can make

Coworkers named/seen:

  • Ryan, the security guard
  • Mr. Krebs – played by Jeff Doucette who was Harley on Newhart

Next week: S02E08 – The Impertence of Communicationizing

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