In this series, Flonkerton investigates some of the unanswered questions from “The Office.”
Question: Who started at Dunder Mifflin first, Jim or Pam?
In “Launch Party”, Pam and Jim share a cute moment on the roof when they revealed to each other the moment they knew they liked each other. Not surprisingly, Jim confessed he liked Pam from the first moment they talked on his first day. Wait, his first day? Didn’t Pam start after Jim? Did the writers goof, or have fans been falsely assuming Jim started before Pam?
What we know
- We know in Season 2 that Pam had been engaged for 3 years.
- We know that Pam was engaged when she and Jim first met, so one of them started in 2002 or later.
Theory 1: Jim started before Pam, and the “Launch Party” conversation is a continuity error.
1. In “The Secret” Jim says to Pam, “I had had a crush on you when you first started here.” In the same conversation, Pam said “I thought that maybe you did when I first started.”
2. In “Dwight’s Speech” Ryan makes a comment that Jim “has been working at the same place for 5 years.” Since Pam has been engaged for 3 years as was engaged when she met Jim, this indicates Jim started 2 years before Pam.
3. (it’s a stretch, bear with me) In “The Merger” Michael spoofs the SNL video “Lazy Sunday” for his orientation video. Jim tells the cameras that the video Michael showed on his first day was a spoof on the Blair Witch Project. If we go with Ryan’s 5 year comment, then Jim started working at DM in 2000/2001. BWP came out in 1999, so it would have been and appropriately topical spoof.
4. On Jenna Fischer’s Myspace, under the companies section (bottom of the left hand section), it says Pam has worked at DM since March 2002.
Theory 2:Pam started before Jim
1. In The Secret, Jim may have said he had a crush on Pam when she first started, but then 5 minutes later in Michael office, Pam says, “Yeah, he had a crush on me when he first started”, meaning perhaps Jim’s previous line was the flub.
2. Ryan never made an effort to get to know Jim, or anyone really, so his comment in “Dwight’s Speech” that Jim had been working there for 5 years may have just been a guess, or an exaggeration to prove his point.
3. Unlike Pam’s engagement, where “3 years” was constantly reiterated, Ryan’s comment is pretty much the only specific reference to how long Jim has worked at DM, and it was likely just an off-hand comment. The writers were possibly trying to keep the dates ambiguous.
4. And of course, In “Launch Party” Jim confesses to Pam he liked her ever since his very first day.
So there are Flonkerton’s Theories. Questions? Comments? New evidence or just a different theory altogether? Please post!