Friday, January 12, 2007

Social Competency/EQ Rankings for The Office characters

Rate all the members of the office from best to worst in terms of social skills/emotional intelligence (emotional intelligence isn't about who's in touch with their feelings but ability to discern emotions and navigate social situations). The scenario would be let's pretend Dunder-Mufflin had their employees tested with an EQ test, how would they all score. I think what you'll notice is that they're all dysfunctional in some way, except for Jim (the hero), hence that's why it's a comedy. After some thought, I'm going to exclude Jan because she's management. All the actors were probably entrusted with creating a social flaw for their characters:
Class A: Normal
1. Jim (that's why he's the hero, obviously)-What I like about him that other "cool people in the office" like Kelly, Darryl, Roy or Pam wouldn't do is befriend Michael or at least try not to make him look like a complete idiot. He helps him save face, and that's part of why I love him, because he's looking out for everyone.
2. Tobey-I think he's crush on Pam is absolutely nothing unnatural and he handles it like a gentleman. It's precisely why he's a thorn in Tobey's side
3. Ryan-I don't really like him though (it might be a BJ Novak thing), but he doesn't have any beef with anyone or any real social problems, except he can't stand up for himself
4. Oscar-His comic flaw is being gay, but otherwise he's a cool guy who has healthy social interactions
5. Pam-A little shy, and clung to Roy a little long.
6. Karen-A little needy, but a very cool chick. I'd love to have her around the office (i'm not physically attracted to her, but I think she's very outgoing and fun). I think that's what makes Pam vs Karen so much more intriguing than Pam vs Katie was that Katie was so much wose off. Karen vs Pam is a closer call.
7. Darryl-How long did he bother to put up with Michael's tauntings of him
8. Stanley-A little stiff, but I think a good barometer over whether Michael's acting out of line

Class B: A little questionable
9. Phyllis-I guess she's like the overweight girl with low self-esteem. Just a victim of the effects of how much society makes fun of the fat girl when they're little that they take that self-esteem with them into adulthood
10. Roy-Well, he was a really really bad boyfriend/fiancee and I think his interactions with Jim were a little questionable. I don't think he's grown out of his "class bully" stage. I'd call him borderline, although he's improving in his understanding that girls like romance and he's improving in understanding what's important to him. If i were his therapist, i'd say he's making great progress. Also, in Roy's defense, we know about his bad quality's through Pam's stories and I think guys usually have more stories in the closet that wouldn't have gotten let out to the general public through her stories.
11. Hannah-Her lack of social skills is evidenced in the fact that she chose the wrong party last night. Major deduction.
12. Meredith-She needs to deal with her drinking problem to move up into Class A
13. Kelly-Kelly has one flaw too that she needs to deal with to enter A class. She needs to deal with her problem of still being in high school
14. Kevin-He's slightly creepy like Creed but he has a decent-looking fiancee so he must be able to carry on at least one relationship with a girl. I think he's kind of like an overgrown teenager. He talks about "banging girls" like he's with his high school buds, he loves chocolate, and he still thinks his "band" can make it big. Also, he's not so bad with interacting coworkers that Angela can't stand him. They were also sympathetic of him when he had skin cancer
15. Andy-I actually think he's not that bad as to be a complete wreck. Just a little bit self-involved like Garreth

Class C: Unfit for society
16. Todd Packer-I think he's slightly better than Michael in the sense that he doesn't try to hide his sleazy habits: bad taste in jokes, insensitivity to women and everyone else
17. Michael-He's been talked about so much, i don't want to go down the long list of his traits cause he's obviously the center of his show. I think he's actually a little more of a gentleman than people give him credit for and i think he does eventually correct his big errors. He does this so more lately. When he said "I've got a big surprise" and went blank in season 2 after ice cream sandwiches didn't win over the staff, that was bad. I think he does less of that. He made major progress at winning over his staff by episode's end of the skin cancer episode when he invited them to go ice skating.
18. Creed-I think Creed can pass for normal but at the same time, he's like a mental case. His past is so shady. Maybe he actually was in a mental hospital. It's a beautiful character. My god, he's like a predator to Pam and Anna. I think for example Michael like everyone else in the office thinks that Pam is cute, but at least he doesn't go stare at her breats and insist on remaining there when asked to stop.
19. Angela-I think last week confirmed that she is indeed the most evil, malicious, and stubborn person in the office. Angela Kinsey really should be hailed.
20. Dwight-He's made strides. He's not completely evil and dislikeable which makes for a better and more well-rounded character. Before the end of this season, i might have ranked and rated him a little higher for winning Pam's friendship to some degree and for scoring himself a girlfriend but major negative points when it's revealed how insane his girlfriend really is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree Jim would probably score the highest on an EQ test. Maybe tie with Toby. Toby seems really brilliant in the way he deals with Michael and everyone in the office. That is probably why everyone loves Jim and Toby.

I also think Stanley, Oscar and Karen deserve to be in the "normal" class. Karen really showed perception in the last two episodes. She knew something was up between Pam and Jim and she has taken strides to stop it. She also senses that Pam's feelings might not be totally platonic, so she is trying to show Pam that she is the one with Jim and to not interfere. I think this shows a lot of emotional intelligence.

Darryl just humors Michael and puts up with him because he knows he is better than him and it is easy to make fun of him without Michael actually knowing that he is.

I think if I had to choose, I would switch Phyllis' and Pam's places on your list. Maybe. I think Phyllis deserves to be in the "normal" class. I remember during e-mail surveillance (2nd season) that she seemed to pick up on an "office romance" between Jim and Pam. And during the third season, she made a good call during "Traveling Salesman" by mimicking the haircut of the client's wife. I think we don't see a lot of her EQ because she is a secondary character and a rather flat one at that. We don't know much about her.

Pam is a little harder. I would have said she was in the normal class, but the newest episode seemed to throw me a little bit. I'm not sure totally what Pam was thinking in that episode. I think she misinterpreted Jim's tiredness as something being emotionally wrong with him (like in The Return when him and Karen had that fight). And she was so flustered when Karen asked about her and Jim's past. So I would put her in the normal category because up until this point she has always shown good judgment in social situations. She's not so good at reading herself, but that is another topic entirely. I think the whole Jim/Karen relationship has thrown her for a loop.

I think I would probably move Michael up the B class. I wouldn't go as far as to say he is "unfit for society" (i.e. Packer) but he is definitely not up with the others. I think his relationship with Jan is causing him to grow as a person. He definitely cares for people even if he is misguided in a lot of his attempts at friendship and jokes. He comes across as pushy, but with the big stuff he really comes through. Jan might be making him grow up a bit and Michael is probably influencing her to loosen up a little.

I think I would move Angela up to the B class. Even though she is bitchy, I don’t think she is clueless. She knows she is offending people with her insensitive comments; I just don’t think she cares. Or she is so self-righteous that she misses that. She is somewhere in the middle (hence, the B class). She opens up a bit to Pam and we see how she really does care for Dwight (you could probably infer that she cares about the people she likes). She takes good care of Dwight (the bobblehead and their relationship keeps going, so she must be doing something right). But overall, she isn’t kind enough to everyone to have a higher EQ.

I do agree that Dwight is a C class. He is totally clueless with respects to how his coworkers perceive him. Michael uses him, Jim pranks him, and the others don’t respect him. But I don’t think he really has a clue. And he constantly talks about socially weird things that nobody cares about but he doesn’t know that nobody cares about his interests.

Creed is just weird. Packer is a creep. Both are in the C class. I think that’s all the big ones, and if its not, its all the ones I am going to cover. Just my opinion, you can take it or leave it.