We spend a huge chunk of our waking moments (and after-lunch naps) in our workplace, so it’s inevitable that we clock-punchers get immersed in all sorts of crazy situations. From 9 to 6, our office existence can become a mumbo-jumbo of hilarious boo-boos, ridiculous kerfuffles, quirky personalities, pined-for love interests, and last-minute resolutions that save the workday. If you’re on graveyard shift, throw in zombie-like agents or worse, monster bosses, and you get a bit of horror there, too.
It’s no wonder then that we sometimes feel like characters in this TV show called our Office Life, so here are sitcoms that capture the colorful episodes of our daily grind.
1. The Office (US)
We’ll all encounter horrible bosses at one point in our work lives, but hopefully no one as exasperating as Michael Scott. Played by Steve Carell, the incompetent and passive-aggressive manager may decide you’re best friends one day and go ballistic on you the next. It’s funny on TV, but when it happens to you in real life, it’s no laughing matter. So learn to handle these kinds of people, because the truth is: you have to manage your managers, not just the other way around.
2. The Office (UK)
This original UK version would make you wish that every company had an efficient HR department. Ricky Gervais stars as a paper company’s general manager whose unconscious racism and sexism often get him in hot water. Feeling out-of-place in this insane workplace is the sensible Tim Canterbury, who gets involved in an office romance, played by Martin Freeman in his pre-Sherlock and The Hobbit days.
3. 30 Rock
Office life gives you lemons every day to make into lemonade – that you sometimes want to splash on the faces of inept co-workers or demanding clients. Such is Liz Lemon’s bane of existence in this sitcom based on its star and creator Tina Fey. As the head writer of a comedy show, Liz must juggle spoiled celebrities, attention-seeking friends, and controlling executives to stay afloat in the crazy world of TV.
4. Parks and Recreation
Amy Poehler stars as Leslie Knope, whose relentless passion as deputy director of the Parks and Rec department would make you wish she was your mentor. With the help of her reluctant-but-caring friends, Knope’s gritty efforts to improve the (fictional) city of Pawnee –which include outwitting backstabbing political opponents and pleasing an ever-ungrateful community – lead to one of the most feel-good series finales in sitcom history. You’d really wish you were part of it.
Bonus: Parks and Rec gave us Chris Pratt before he became one of the biggest stars in this galaxy.
5. Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Pinoy TV and movies usually portray cops as bumbling fools with bulging bellies. But here, the Brooklyn 99 squad members are as diverse as the people you would typically meet in the office. They show us that police work is not all about crime-busting, but also about the mundane stuff – timing in at 9am, doing paperwork, staying overtime – except they know how to make it fun!
Source: Brooklyn99 Insider
If you have ever worked at a BPO, then you would surely relate to this show set in India, the Philippines’ main outsourcing competitor. The show pokes fun on the BPO workplace, where bridging cultural differences, working the graveyard shift, and understanding difficult accents are the daily (nightly) way of life.
Source: Topics Connect
7. Silicon Valley
Get a glimpse of the hi-tech world of Silicon Valley, ruled by the nerd community and geek civilization. The billion-dollar internet industry, unconventional office structures and set-ups, exorbitant salary offers, not to mention the ability to shape the world’s future, would make you think hard about joining a startup or reconsider an IT career.
Source: Silicon Valley HBO tumblr
Of course, some workdays can feel so dark, stressful, or problematic with no room for humor. But as Shakespeare’s cliché goes, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players,” so whether your professional –and personal– life becomes a drama, tragedy, or comedy at the end of the day, is mostly up to you.