Season 1 Episode 2
Air Date: March 29, 2005
Summary: After the company sends a “sensitivity” trainer for a diversity seminar, Michael creates his own seminar complete with his special brand of insensitive sensitivity. Jim is constantly interrupted while trying to close his biggest sale of the year.
Diversity Day (Take One)
Corporate has sent a lecturer over for “Diversity Day;” something Michael’s been pushing wanting to push for a long time. In order to impress Mr. Brown, Michael makes an extra effort to be friendly to the minorities in the office, much to Stanley and Oscar’s confusion. When the seminar starts, Michael tries too hard to contribute to every little thing Mr. Brown has to say, and suggests such ice breakers as having everyone say a race their attracted to. Mr. Brown politely asks Michael to “give him permission” to lead the seminar, and Michael obliges.
Mr. Brown starts to address the reason he was sent there in the first place; Michael’s quoting of a Chris Rock routine in the office. Michael, who thinks he has great comedic timing and doesn’t understand why him quoting Chris Rock is so offensive, is flustered as Kevin blandly reenacts the incident, and jumps in with his own imitation of the Rock routine, resulting in him getting bleeped and his employees looking uncomfortable.
Further in the seminar, Mr. Brown introduces the HERO model, stating that in order to be a “hero” one needs honestly, empathy, respect, open-mindedness. Dwight quickly chimes in that a hero has supernatural powers, and is born out of a trauma that “must be avenged!” Mr. Brown is bewildered as he tell Dwight that he is describing a “super hero.”
At the end of the seminar, Mr. Brown gives everyone an evaluation sheet, and when Michael refuses to sign it because he “didn’t learn anything,” Mr. Brown reveals he was sent specifically to address Michael’s comments, and he made everyone else go through the seminar so that Michael wouldn’t be singled-out and embarrassed. Michael breaks down and signs the sheet, as “Daffy Duck.”
“I will attack you with the North”
Not satisfied (and probably a little embarrassed) with Mr. Brown’s presentation, Michael sets up his own “Diversity Day” seminar after lunch. He calls everyone in and HR representative Toby quips they’re going to sit “Indian style.” Michael tells Toby that was offensive, and “This is an environment of welcoming, and you should just get the hell out of here.”
First, Michael shows his “diversity video” that he and Dwight made over lunch, which consists Michael misquoting Abraham Lincoln and not much else. Kelly (who is of Indian descent) gets up to go to a customer meeting, and Michael gazes at Oscar and Stanley and mutters, “but if you leave, we’ll only have two left” before letting Kelly leave.
Michael starts his “Diversity Tomorrow” seminar by telling everyone what his heritage is (mostly European, and “2/15th” Native American) then asks Oscar about his heritage. Oscar is 2nd Generation Mexican, and is confused when Michael asked if he prefers a different term than “Mexican” because of the “negative connotations.”
Michael then starts his card exercise by making everyone wear a card with a “race” on their forehead, and asks them to treat each other like the race on their card. First Pam, who has “Jewish” on her card, talks to Stanley, who ended up with “Black.” Dwight (with an Asian card), who is treating the activity like a game and is trying to quickly guess what race is on his card, then greets Pam with a “Shalom,” and inquires about a loan. Michael insists Pam “stir the melting pot”, and Pam reluctantly tells Dwight he “may not be a very good driver.” Dwight grimaces and says, “Ah man, am I a woman?”
Accountant Kevin, who has an “Italian” card, starts talking to Angela, who has a “Jamaican” card. He asks her if she “wants to get high.” Angela scowls and firmly says no before Kevin quietly says “I think you do, mon.” Michael tells them they need to push it further, and decided to give them an “example.” Michael runs over to Kelly, who is just coming back from her meeting, and starts to talk in a very exaggerated Indian accent. After he asks Kelly several times if she wants to try his “googi googi,” Kelly slaps him and leaves. Michael, with the whole staff watching him, tries to recover by saying that was good, and Kelly now “knows what it’s like to be a minority.”
Michael is winding down his seminar, trying to explain his reasoning behind having “Diversity Tomorrow.” He then chuckles nervously and tells everyone he should have provided food. Kevin, the only employee with his “race” card still on his head suggests spaghetti. Michael shots down Kevin, and starts thinking of ethnic foods he could have brought, like “colored greens.” Stanley tries to correct Michael by telling him it’s “collared greens,” and Michael insists that doesn’t work because “you don’t call them ‘Collared’ people. That’s offensive.” And with that, Michael closes “Diversity Tomorrow.”
“Not a bad day”
Jim starts off the episode on the phone with a Mr. Decker, getting ready to renew his deal. This client makes up for 25% of Jim’s commission for the whole year (an event Jim celebrates with a small bottle of champagne), and this year Jim is “getting cocky” and pushing recycled paper. However, just as Jim’s about to close, Dwight decided to start shredding documents at his desk, making a lot of noise and scrambling Jim’s connection. Jim gets frustrated and turns off Dwight’s shredder, and in return Dwight clicks Jim’s phone. “Retaliation, tit for tit,” Dwight says unapologetically.
Jim’s second attempt to renew Mr Decker’s account is interrupted by the start of the first Diversity Seminar, and he rushes out of the second seminar when his phone rings, but misses the call.
Out in the main room, Jim grabs a jelly bean at reception, where Ryan is watching “The Dave Chappelle Show” on Pam’s computer. Ryan, staring at the screen, says, “She’s cute, huh,” and Jim glances at Ryan before saying yes, but quickly says Pam is engaged. Jim then learns Ryan was actually talking about a woman on the show, and tries to cover his blunder.
Jim finally gets a hold of Mr. Decker, but learns that Dwight had called Mr. Decker at some point, offered a discount, and closed on the deal. Jim quietly grabs his mini-bottle of champagne out of his desk and places it on Dwight’s.
Feeling defeated, Jim walks back into the conference room and sits by Pam. The camera catches Pam starting to doze off and zooms in on her resting her head on Jim’s shoulder. Jim is a little surprised as he looks over at the sleepy Pam, then smiles to himself and closes his eyes.
Jim, with Pam still sleeping on his shoulder, watches everyone leave the conferences room, then, after a quick glance at the camera, quietly wakes up Pam. Pam smiles bashfully and she gets up to leave, with Jim following close behind. In his final talking head, Jim half smiles as he tells the camera it was “not a bad day.”