Happy Birthday, Steve Carell: 25 Lessons in Office Etiquette from Michael Scott


It’s Steve Carell’s birthday, folks! Oh, and not just any birthday — it’s his big ol’ 50th birthday. Can you believe it? It feels like just yesterday that a 42-year-old Carell was gracing our screen as the “World’s Best Boss” for the very first time. How will you fill this wonderful day? With Hooters? MacGruber costumes? Insults directed at all the world’s “Tobys”? Sure, we could use this day to crack “50-Year-Old Virgin” jokes, but instead, we’ll celebrate Steve Carell as Michael Scott — because, well, we really miss him. So, after the jump, we’ve gathered 25 of Michael Scott’s wisest lessons in management and office etiquette. Remember his fake book, The Fundamentals of Business by Michael Scott, which sold “over one billion” copies? Consider this your very own copy. Enjoy!

1. “Make friends first. Make sales second. Make love third. In no particular order.”

2.”Whispering and tickling have their place in business.”

3. “There are many reasons a man would wear a fake mustache to work. He’s a fan of the outrageous. He loves to surprise. He loves other things as well.”

4. “In nature, there is something called a food chain; it’s where the shark eats a little shark, and the little shark eats a littler shark, and so on and so on until you get down to the single cell shark. So now replace sharks with paper companies and that is all you need to know about business.”

5. “A town car is something a company sends when they are in trouble. A limo is something they send when there is cause for celebration.”

6. “I’m friends with everybody in this office. We’re all best friends. I love everybody here, but sometimes your best friends start coming into work late and start having dentist appointments that aren’t dentist appointments, and that is when it’s nice to let them know that you could beat them up.”

7. “Toby is in HR, which technically means he works for corporate, so he’s really not a part of our family. Also, he’s divorced, so he’s really not a part of his family.”

8. “Funk is the problem and the solution.”

9. “How do you un-tell something? You can’t. You can’t put words back in your mouth. What you can do is spread false gossip, so people think that everything that’s been said is untrue.”

10. “We are going to designate one of our closets as a hook-up zone. Anything goes.”

11. “You don’t call retarded people retards. It’s bad taste. You call your friends retards when they’re acting retarded.”

12. “I guess the atmosphere that I’ve created here is that I am a friend first and a boss second. Probably an entertainer third.”

13. “There are five stages to grief, which are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. And right now, out there, they are all denying the fact that they’re sad, and that’s hard, and it’s making them all angry. And it is my job to get them all the way through to acceptance, and, if not acceptance, then just depression. If I can get them depressed, then I’ll have done my job.”

14. “I was shocked when he told me he was transferring to Stamford. It’s like with firemen: You don’t leave your brothers behind. Even if you find out that there is a better fire in Connecticut.”

15. “There is nothing more insulting to a great salesman than having to listen to a bad salesman. It’s like a great basketball player having to listen to a bad basketball player.”

16. “Yes, I was the first one out. And yes, I’ve heard ‘women and children first,’ but we do not employ children. We are not a sweatshop, thankfully, and women are equal in the workplace by law. So if I let them out first, I have a lawsuit on my hands.”

17. “Halloween should be a day where we honor monsters and not be mad at each other.”

18. “A boss is like a teacher. And I am like the cool teacher. Like Mr. Handell. Mr. Handell would hang out with us, and he would tell us awesome jokes. And he actually hooked up with one of the students, and then, like, 12 other kids came forward. It was in all the papers. Really ruined eighth grade for us.”

19. “Presents are the best way to show someone how much you care. It is like this tangible thing that you can point to and say, ‘Hey man, I love you this many dollars-worth.'”

20. “You spend your whole life trying to get people to like you and then you run over one person with your car — not even one of the popular ones — and everybody gets on your case. Doesn’t make any sense.”

21. “You may look around and see two groups here: white collar, blue collar. But I don’t see it that way, and you know why not? Because I am collar-blind.”

22. “Abraham Lincoln once said that, ‘If you’re a racist, I will attack you with the North.’ And those are the principles that I carry with me in the workplace.”

23. “Do I want to be feared or loved? That’s a good question. I want both. I want people to be afraid of how much they love me.”

24. “Ed Truck was the manager before me. Horrible. He hated fun. It was like, ‘Oh, Ed Truck is walking toward us. Stop having fun. Start pretending to do work.’ What a jerk. He’s… You know what? I swore to myself that if I ever got to walk around the room as manager, people would laugh when they saw me coming and would applaud as I walked away.”

25. “The people that you work with are, when you get down to it, your very best friends.”