"Conflict Resolution"
Written by Greg Daniels; directed by Charles McDougall

Kevin asks Pam if she’s found a band for her wedding yet. She hasn’t, and he mentions that he’s in a band. Jim interviews that it was inevitable he would overhear some wedding preparations, but he’s okay with it. In the kitchen Phyllis tells Pam that she got her save-the-date card and likes the stationery. Angela notes that she hasn’t received hers yet. Pam interviews that there were obviously people she didn’t want to come to the wedding, and though that might make things tense in the office, she doesn’t want Angela to come. In Michael’s office, he boasts about his great new haircut, noting that they’re taking ID-badge photos today. In the break room, Phyllis prepares for her photo but gets upset when Dwight insults her makeup. Dwight interviews about how much he loves the idea of ID badges. In Michael’s office, Michael compliments Ryan’s tie, then asks if he can wear it for his photo. “Let’s keep our clothes,” Ryan suggests. Michael hears some yelling in the conference room and runs over to find Oscar yelling to Toby about Angela’s poster from Christmas (see “Christmas Party”). Michael tries to intervene but doesn’t do very well.

Toby pulls Michael aside and tells him that he usually handles conflicts in the office by listening and letting things work themselves out. Michael replies that Toby’s response to conflict is to get divorced, but “that’s not gonna fly here because in this office it is till death do us part. Assuming that we don’t get downsized.” Michael summons Pam and Angela to the conference room, where he brings out a binder labeled “a mediators [sic] tool chest” and starts talking about different styles of conflict, such as win-win and lose-lose. There’s one called win-win-win in which Michael wins because he successfully mediated a conflict. The group moves to the baby poster and Michael asks Angela and Oscar to express their feelings about it using “I” statements. Angela says she likes the poster and wants to see it every day; she thinks it makes the babies look like artists and that God has a cute sense of humor. “Come on. Seriously. That?” Michael asks. Oscar doesn’t like the poster because it’s creepy: “It’s kitsch. It’s the opposite of art. It destroys art. It destroys souls. This is so much more offensive to me than hard-core porno.”

Michael suggests coming up with ideas for what to do with the poster that can make everyone happy. He likes the idea of Angela making the poster into a T-shirt for Oscar to wear; that way Oscar will never see it but Angela can see it every day. Pam suggests that Angela can put it up two days a week. Michael says that’s a compromise, which isn’t ideal because it’s not win-win or win-win-win. He announces that the poster will be made into a shirt, and Oscar reluctantly agrees. Oscar gets his ID photo taken, then turns to the side for a profile shot. Pam gives Angela her save the date, but Angela interviews that it’s not her taste. Michael brags to Toby that he resolved Oscar and Angela’s conflict. He spots a bunch of other complaints and tries to make Toby hand them over, but Toby refuses. Toby then has to admit that he has a box full of Dwight’s complaints. He interviews that every Friday afternoon, Dwight files a grievance against Jim. Toby tells him he’ll send the grievance to a special file in New York, but that box is the “special file.” Oscar has his ID photo taken with the baby poster.

In the conference room, Michael reads through the complaints with Pam. Kevin says Stanley uses his Miracle Whip without asking, Meredith’s complains are hangover-related, and Creed wants a seat facing Pam. Michael points out that none of the complaints is against him, but Toby explains in an interview that he has entire folders dedicated to complaints about Michael. Michael polls the office to find out how many people have complained to Toby about a coworker. They all have, and they’re not that happy that Toby just listens to them and doesn’t actually do anything to make things better. Now he wants to get every conflict out in the open and solve them all. Michael wants to start with Angela, since she has a lot of complaints; he thinks it’s strange that she’s complained about everyone in the office except Dwight. There were also a bunch of complaints made against Dwight but later redacted. Dwight wants to know why someone would withdraw complaints about him six months ago. Pam notices that this makes Angela uncomfortable and asks what complaints have been made about her instead. There was only one, and it was also redacted: “Does she have to plan her wedding on office time?” Pam is sure Angela made the complaint, and she’s upset because she’s keeping quiet about Angela and Dwight.

Michael starts reading off complaints, starting with one that Kelly has about Ryan never returning her calls. Kelly says she was just talking, not filing a complaint, and she wants it withdrawn. Jim volunteers that Dwight tried to kiss him but he didn’t report it because he wasn’t sure how he felt about it. Dwight says it’s not true and he wants it redacted. He also wants to know if withdrawing names applies to the “permanent misbehavior file” in New York. Toby humors him and says it does. As Michael encourages Stanley to share his complaints, Pam snaps at Angela for ratting her out. Angela says she didn’t, but Pam doesn’t believe her since she has problems with everyone in the office “except Bobblehead Joe.” Michael notes that someone complained the men’s room is whites only, and he thinks Stanley said that. It was Creed, actually, and he thought so because there’s a picture of a white man on the door. Michael reads Phyllis’ complaint about Angela giving her dirty looks; Phyllis denies trying to get off of the party-planning committee as a result. Stanley has complained that Phyllis cries too much, but Phyllis says they’re close. “We sit close,” Stanley corrects.

In the kitchen, Pam complains to Jim about Angela. Jim notes that Angela redacted her complaints and might be trying to make friends. He asks how Roy feels about the whole thing, but Pam is trying not to bug him with “this kind of stuff.” Jim interprets that as her feelings and thoughts. In the conference room, Michael gets Angela and Phyllis to discuss their conflicts over a parking spot. Phyllis finally admits that she doesn’t like Angela. Michael brings up a complaint Ryan had about how Creed smells. Creed interviews that he gets it - he sprouts mung beans in his drawer. In the conference room, Michael brings up a complaint Angela had about Kevin making sexually suggestive remarks to her. His solution is for Angela to do the same; Kevin accepts. In the break room, Jim suggests to Dwight that they get their ID picture taken together to save time; every morning they can meet in the parking lot and walk in together. Dwight refuses and has his very serious picture taken alone. He interviews that he never smiles if he can help it because showing one’s teeth shows submission.

Jim makes Dwight’s badge huge, filling out his middle name as Fart instead of Kurt. Dwight goes straight to Toby and asks to make another complaint for Jim’s file. Toby tells him that Michael has the complaint box, which Dwight knew nothing about. Dwight hightails it to the conference room and blasts Michael for being on Toby’s side instead of his. He announces that he can’t work with Jim anymore and one of them will have to go. Later, Michael tries to calm Dwight in his office but can’t help laughing over the fact that his ID badge says he’s a security threat. Dwight gives him until 5:00 to choose between him and Jim, then heads off to find a new job for Jim. He starts chanting “transfer” until Michael calls both of them into the conference room. Michael starts running down the extensive list of pranks Jim has pulled on Dwight over the years. Later, everyone glares at everyone else as Michael talks about how shiatsu massages make you feel sick, but the next day you feel great. He’s never had one, however, because they sound horrible. Michael realizes what he’s done to everyone just as his ID photo is taken.

Jim suggests to Dwight that they both move to Stamford for the job Dwight found for him. Dwight says he can’t because he has a girlfriend, but Jim doesn’t believe him. Dwight still wants an answer from Michael, but Michael gets a postponement. At the end of the day, the photographer starts to leave but Michael asks him to stay and take a group photo. He agrees to for $20. No one wants to take the photo, since they’re upset with everyone else, and the first shot doesn’t come out well. Michael asks for another, but Pam chooses that moment to confront Angela about her complaint. Jim tells her to stop - he was the one who complained about her. He didn’t know Toby was going to file the complaint, and he was just venting after a bad day, which is why he took it back so quickly. Michael interviews that after eight shots, they still didn’t get a good group photo, so he’ll use Photoshop to make it look nice. As he voices over that you can’t outrun your problems, Pam gets a message from Jim that he won’t be in the office until the afternoon because he has a doctor’s appointment in the city. He’s actually meeting with Jan about the job in Stamford. Toby takes the box of Dwight’s complaints to a warehouse, where it’s placed alongside a bunch of similar-looking boxes.

PRANKS JIM AND PAM PLAY ON DWIGHT: Over the years, Jim has replaced all of Dwight’s pens and pencils with crayons, paid everyone $5 to call Dwight “Dwayne” for a day, used a bloody glove to try to convince Dwight he committed murder, made him walk in on Meredith in the bathroom by telling him there was an abandoned baby in there, put nickels in his phone, changed a computer macro to make him type “diapers” instead of “Dwight,” and spent an entire day moving Dwight’s desk an inch closer to the copier every time Dwight went to use the restroom.

MEMORABLE QUOTES: “ID badges are long overdue. Security in this office park is a joke. Last year I came to work with my spud gun in a duffel bag. I sat at my desk all day with a rifle that shoots potatoes at 60 pounds per square inch. Can you imagine if I was deranged?” - Dwight

Michael: “How about the Phyllis/Angela dispute?”
Angela: “You already did me.”
Michael: (as Jim mouths along) “That’s what she said.”

“Cage matches? Yeah, they work. How could they not work? If they didn’t work, everybody would still be in the cage.” - Michael

Back to Office episode guides

Back to Fun and Games