'The Office' Recap: The Incentive

Sep 29, 2011 | 5:20pm EDT

fall_back.jpg S8:E2 “I was looking over your projections, and I think you can do better.” – Robert California

We met up with our favorite co-workers this week as Robert California was paying one of his routinely short visits to Dunder Mifflin. Everyone continued to be scared of his presence, but Andy was so particularly fearful of Robert he hijacked Dwight’s meeting about informing the salesman of a new product they would be selling to get everyone’s consensus on what tie would help him win Robert over. In that moment, Dwight decided he would no longer care about his job. He would stop doing it and he would not care about what would happen when his clients had nothing to write on but their toenails. But anyway, when Robert California sat down to talk to Andy, he told him that his goals for the quarter should be higher and said the reason Andy became the Regional Manager was because he looked like he’d be good at inspiring people. And right before he left, Robert told him that his branch had to double their profits…or else. So he better start motivating. And if he didn’t know how to do it, he better figure it out.

“We need to get our heads out of the box. If we did, what would it look like? – Andy

Obviously the first thing Andy did after Robert California left was climb up on to Jim’s desk and try and have one of Michael Scott’s famous brainstorming sessions. He asked everyone what their thoughts on increasing profits were, and no one had any ideas because it wasn’t like they could magically make their clients need more paper. Jim tried to lead Andy in the right direction by asking if he could think of any companies they hadn’t developed relationships with, but naturally he had no idea. The ideation session made Andy feel very discouraged, and completely confused as to why Robert California would put someone like him in charge. But he didn’t give up. He went to the smartest salesperson in the office (Dwight, naturally) as he was making brownies in the kitchen (because he stopped caring about his job) and asked him how he would go about getting people to buy twice as many beets when they had so many other nice vegetables to choose from. Dwight snapped and told him to do his job because he was the one who was lucky enough to get it.

“We’ve come up with a point system.” – Andy

Since Andy couldn’t even get Dwight to help him figure out how to double Dunder Mifflin’s profits, he decided to put a bunch of toys on a table and hold a meeting in the conference room. He explained to everyone that the more sales they made, the more points they got, and then eventually they could trade in the points they had accrued for one of the cool things on the table… like a vibrator, a teddy bear, or a table cloth. Jim wisely asked what would happen if someone got a LOT of points, like 500 or 1000, and Andy thought there was no way anyone was going to ever get 1000 points from selling paper…and so he made the lofty promise that if the group got 1000 points, he would get a tattoo on his ass of their choosing. And quite sadly, Andy was the only one shocked when the sales team sold 1000 points worth of paper in less than one day.

“It’s a Nard Dog!”

Andy felt it was important to be true to his word about rewarding his employees for helping him fulfill Robert California’s wishes to double their profits. He didn’t want to let them down and (so quickly into his reign of power) show them that he is not a man of honor. But he was very nervous when he walked into the conference room again and saw the group voting on what kind of tattoo Andy was going to get. Some of the candidates were pretty good, like “Do Not Resuscitate” and “I’m not as think as you drunk I am…” but the winner was something Phyllis created, which was a baby that was going to be positioned on Andy’s rear end in such a way so it would look like Andy was pooping the baby. The employees laughed and cheered about how marvelous their day had turned out to be, and they all happily waltzed over to the tattoo parlor at 5PM. Andy was beyond miserable once inside the shop, and in a flash of anxiety he bolted out the door for some air. Jim followed him and explained that no one really expected him to go through with the tattoo… and confusingly, that was enough to convince Andy that he should follow through on his word. So he proudly strutted back into the body graffiti venue, dropped his pants and SLID onto the tattoo chair. As he was getting himself situated, Pam waved the tattoo artist over and swapped out the baby tattoo for one Andy would actually like: a little puppy that was wearing a blue t-shirt that had “NARD” written across it (making it an actual Nard Dog). The greatest part, though, was Andy thought he was getting the baby tattoo the whole time and only learned that he’d actually gotten a Nard Dog after it was over and after he peeled off the bandage to look at what he thought would be a poop baby. But he was pleasantly surprised, touched by everyone’s gesture, and even more proud that he was going to have better profits with which to impress Robert California.

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