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Michael Scott Invites You To A Scheduled Zoom Meeting

Image Copyright: NBC. (Fair Use.)

MICHAEL: Ryan, are you there?

ANGELA: The feedback is too loud. It’s hurting my ears.

OSCAR: Have you tried headphones?

ANGELA: Of course I’ve tried headphones, Oscar. Unfortunately, adult-sized earbuds fall right out, and then the cats start playing with them like they’re a new toy. A very expensive toy, I might add.

ANDY: Did you guys see what the cast of Hamilton did, with everyone singing? We should try that.

Andy takes a deep breath and launches into “My Shot.”

MICHAEL: Order in the court.

Everyone quiets. MICHAEL smiles, satisfied with his command of the digital space.

MICHAEL: How do I take a picture of this? Everyone look at me. Smile!

MICHAEL holds up his flip phone. Reluctantly, the participants paste on smiles, except STANLEY, who is working on a crossword puzzle. DWIGHT puffs out his chest and stares straight into the camera.

DWIGHT: (Ominously) On the count of three. One. Two —

JIM: Dwight, you’re frozen.

DWIGHT pauses, looks at his hands, and shakes them.

DWIGHT: No, I am not.

JIM: Sorry. Can’t hear you. (Moves jerkily) It’s like you’re underwater.

DWIGHT: I am NOT underwater.

JIM: Straight-up whale sounds.

ANDY: (Leaning back and rubbing his chin in contemplation) I think you’re onto something there, Tuna.

DWIGHT: Michael!

PAM mutes herself and laughs.

MICHAEL: Even though we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, corporate says our sales have been… (Switches to an outer space background) out of this world! Others might say…(Switches to the Eiffel Tower) ooh la la.

STANLEY: Are we finished?

MICHAEL: That reminds me. After this, I think we should all go to a protest.

STANLEY: Excuse me?

TOBY: Michael, I don’t think it’s appropriate to —

Toby Flenderson has been sent to the Waiting Room.

MICHAEL: I support you, Stanley. We all support you. (Everyone nods) In fact — Ryan, are you there?

MICHAEL spotlights RYAN’s screen, which is muted and dark.

MICHAEL: Are you lost in space? Maybe somewhere… (Switches his background to the Golden Gate Bridge) in the mist?

Ryan Howard is typing in the chat…

Ryan Howard: Yep

MICHAEL: All right, camera shy. Probably doesn’t have pants on. Now. The reason we’re gathered here today is that corporate is rolling out a new virtual employee incentive program.

STANLEY: Do we get bonuses?

MICHAEL: Not exactly.

STANLEY: Then I’m not incentivized.

The other employees grumble in agreement.

MICHAEL: Hold on, hold on. Let me see if I can spotlight this very nice PowerPoint from David Wallace.

MICHAEL accidentally spotlights KEVIN, who is in the middle of standing up and moving away from his computer. He is, in fact, not wearing pants.

ALL: Kevin!

KEVIN: (Sitting down) I’m sorry! I lost track of the days, okay?

ANGELA: How do you not know that you’re on camera?

KEVIN: So it’s okay for Ryan to not have pants on, but not me?

MEREDITH: (Taking a swig from her water bottle) It’s a little early, even for me.

KELLY: Kevin, I get it. It’s like, my yoga pants are wearing yoga pants at this point.

OSCAR: Michael, what you need to do is share your screen, not spotlight.

In the midst of the commotion, MICHAEL turns off his camera.

OSCAR: I’m officially scared.

MICHAEL turns on his camera. He is now sporting a blond mullet wig.

MICHAEL: Did you mean the Tiger King?

JIM: Oh, boy.

ANGELA: Michael, this is not appropriate. I won’t stand for this treatment of cats.

JIM: Wow, would you look at that? Forty minutes are up. (Pushes away from his desk) I wish it didn’t have to end so soon.

MICHAEL: That’s what she said.

The employees log off in rapid succession. DWIGHT lingers, but MICHAEL quickly ejects him from the meeting.

MICHAEL: (Still wearing the blond mullet) I know we’re all supposed to be distant right now, but I beg to differ. An office is a place where you gather in rain or snow or dead of night, no matter what’s happening in the outside world. It’s a place where you keep your loved ones close, even if they forget to wear pants. That’s what an office is all about.

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Diana Gallagher

Diana Gallagher

When Diana Gallagher isn’t rewatching The Office, she teaches college writing and writes YA books. Her debut, Lessons in Falling, released in 2017.