Pam had never considered herself photogenic, she still didn’t. So to say she was uncomfortable when she saw the group of people carrying cameras and, what she assumed were, microphones, would be a large understatement.
She had heard of the documentary crew in Scranton, so she assumed these were a part of that ‘project’, but why were they here? This very thought put her on edge, but she plastered on a smile, and asked, “How may we help you?”
The response she got was curt, “Yeah, just pretend we’re not here.”
She didn’t bother to reply, instead only offering a straight face and a sigh, while rolling her chair backwards.
With nothing to do she began playing with her loose curls, until the phone ringing made her jump. Letting her hair fall back down she lifted the phone and said in a warm tone, “Dunder Mifflin, this is Pam.”
Jan’s cold tone, contrasting to her’s, said, “Yes. Hi Pam, can you transfer me to Josh?”
After the taps into the keypad, Pam was left to her own entertainment again. Deciding to lift her head she saw the annoying salesman Andy Bernard or ‘The Nard Dog’ as he calls himself, lip syncing to the silence. Just looking at him seemed to annoy her so she looked further down into the office, to see Josh in his office having a talk with Jan on the phone.
The Documentary Crew (she assumed) were there too.
The conversation seemed to have come to an abrupt finish, as she saw Josh place the phone back into its cradle. He sighed and stood up, before opening the door to his office with the cameras following close behind.
He then called a meeting in the conference room, for every member of staff to attend. So slowly, everyone in The Stamford Office, made their way to the conference room.
After Pam entered, she took the last seat around the table, next to the HR representative, George. As she sat down, he gave her a brief, forced smile. She guessed it was about the nosy strangers with the invasive cameras, so she replied with her own awkward smile, unaware of said invasive cameras zooming in at the interaction.
Josh’s loud voice, then cut through any interaction, “You all may be wondering why we have called this meeting. As per usual, it has something to do with the Scranton Branch.” A brief, business like chuckle spread across the room. Only going quiet once they realised their boss hadn’t taken part. Josh began to talk again with a tint of shame in his tone, “However, unlike other times it has nothing to do with Michael Scott’s meetings. This branch is being closed, some of the salesmen will be transferred but the rest of you will have to be let go of.”
“What will happen to you?” A salesman (Tony) asked.
Josh replied with arrogance laced in his tone, “Well I recently accepted a job at ‘Staples’ as a Senior Manager, so I would have been leaving Dunder Mifflin either way.”
Pam wasn’t surprised by this at all and rolled her eyes, and slumped into her chair.
Josh then concluded the meeting by saying, “Jan will be coming here soon, to finalise the details.”
And with that, everyone left and went back to work. However, unlike the rest of the day, The Documentary Crew stayed behind in the conference room setting up a stand of some sort. Pam observed this, she was confused by why the people who had seemed to have been following their every move, were now settling down in the conference room.
Her confusion only grew, when Andy was called into the conference room, and he was answering questions.
“What are your thoughts on the branch closing?”
“What are my thoughts? Well, The Nard Dog is not worried. At all.”
“Who is “The Nard Dog” and why are you mentioning him?”
“Tt. I am The Nard Dog, it was a nickname in college, you know I went to Cornell. You ever heard of it? I graduated in four years, I never studied once, I was drunk the whole time and I sang in the acapella group ‘Here Comes Treble’.”
Pam observed Andy and from the small snippets she could hear, and from him leaning forward, she made the educated guess that he was talking about his time in Cornell.
Realising this she leaned back and looked for something to do, not even thinking about the fact she was soon going to be jobless. She then managed to distract herself by filling in random paperwork that would soon have little to no meaning. Only breaking out from her daze, when an unfamiliar voice called her name from the conference room and ushered her in. To which, she complied.
When she entered, she was sat down in front of the camera, about two or three metres away. And then one of the people behind the camera began to explain, “That when they asked a question, she couldn’t respond to it like a conversation, she would have to somehow morph the question into her answer.” She nodded, again, and the ‘talking head’ as they called it, had begun.
“What are your thoughts on the branch closing?”
“I’m actually glad the branch is closing, I’ll finally be able to get off my ass and do something,” she responds with ease.
One of the people behind the camera asks, “What do you want to do?”
“Well I got an art degree in college, so maybe I want to do something with that. I mean on the weekends I do a lot of oil paints, acrylics and watercolors, I don’t do computers though, I hate them.” As Pam continued talking the realisation dawned on her, and she said aloud, “Oh my God. I’m going to be jobless.”
She then heard the click of a camera zooming into her face, which had a stricken, worried expression.
“Well, that’s a wrap, thank you,” the cameraman paused, waiting for a name.
“Pam.” She supplied, rather confused at the fact they forgot her name when they said it mere minutes ago.
“Right. Thanks Pam, you can leave.”
So she slowly stood up and quietly made her way to her desk, before she sat down and grabbed her cell phone and called her mom.
After a few seconds of ringing, Helene Beesly picked up and offered a warm tone that normally would have slightly calmed Pam’s nerves, “Hi Pam, I wasn’t expecting to hear from you today. What’s a matter, dear?”
Pam’s words all rushed out in a hurry, “Mom! The branch is being closed down!”
“Oh, well you know if you need any help, you know you are always welcome to stay at our place,” She offered.
“I know but that isn’t fair to you guys,” Pam whispered, not wanting to catch the attention of any of her co-workers.
“Nonsense dear, and I’m sure it won’t take long for you to get back onto your feet.”
“But,” Pam softly interrupted.
“No Pam. And besides, do you know for definite that they won’t offer you a job in Scranton.”
“Well, it sounded like only salesmen were going to be transferred, but I don’t know, maybe if I’m lucky,” Pam offered.
“Right, that’s the spirit,” Helene said encouragingly.
Just then Jan entered the room, so Pam hurriedly whispered, “Listen mom, I’ve got to go.” Before ending the call.
Jan then continued walking before stopping in front of Pam’s desk and announcing a meeting for all workers. Pam nodded, even though she knew Jan couldn’t see her, and then looked back into the conference room, where the documentary crew was packing up from the station and moving to two separate corners with cameras in hand. She wondered why no one else had been asked to have an interview, why only her and Andy had been asked, she knew she wasn’t an interesting person and she knew Andy was the most annoying person, so why just those two?
Her pondering was interrupted when chairs were sliding back, and people were making their way into the conference room, she took that as her cue to join in.
She took the same seat from earlier, and looked at Jan bracing herself for bad news.
“As you’ve heard, this branch is being closed. Three salesmen will be transferred to Scranton and they will be Andy Bernard, Tony Gardner and Olivia Williams. Pam you will also be transferred to Scranton, as the receptionist, Polly, has recently announced her retirement. The rest of you will, unfortunately, be let go. The company and I are very sorry for the abruptness of this situation, but it is something that needs to be done. All of you that has been let go will be paid severance pay. And, those of you that are being transferred, Dunder Mifflin will pay for a hotel for you to stay in for a month, while you look for a place to live in.”
After Jan had finished her mini speech, Pam let a weak smile take over her lips, she thought, ‘I still have a job.’ She then decided to look around the conference room, she expected to find gloomy faces, but instead all the people being let go, looked relieved. Confusion flushed over her, until she thought, ‘Scranton. Michael Scott. Documentary.’ Her eyes widened and she whispered, “Oh no.” She looked straight ahead at Jan, unaware of the camera zooming in at her face from the side.
Jan, oblivious to the realisation of Pam, dismissed the meeting.
Pam hurried out to tell her mother the good, and bad news. She grabbed her cellphone once again and called her mom.
“Hello Pam, so what’s happening?” Helene Beesly asked.
“Well good news, I got the job in Scranton, the old receptionist retired, bad news, I’m pretty sure I’m going to be working for a lunatic.”
“Well,” Helene paused, “A job is a job.”
Pam giggled, “Mom!”
“It can’t be that bad, if he managed to keep the branch going,” Helene reassured.
“I guess,” Pam replied unconvinced.
“Well over the weekend me and your father will help you pack up your apartment, and you can sort out your apartment with your landlord. Didn’t you say you needed to resign your lease.”
“Yes, wow, this has been a really convenient thing hasn’t it?”
“Yes, but you have to promise me you'll sort this out, as soon as possible,” she instructed gently.
“I will, mom, I promise.”
The company had given the workers transferring two weeks to get sorted, and before Pam’s last week at the branch had finished she was almost fully packed. The only things left were her paintings and pictures that were hung up. Her parents had been very helpful through all this and she was very grateful. Her lease had been sorted out and she was ready to temporarily move back in with her parents. She was lucky that none of the furniture belonged to her otherwise would probably be a completely different story.
So after she put the paintings and photo, she got into her blue Toyota Yaris and began following her parents to their home.
After arriving in Scranton with no break after two and a half hours of driving they finally drove to her parents house which was in the city of Dunmore, a town that was quite close to Scranton. Pam stepped out of the car, and stretched her legs before immediately entering her parents house after they opened the door, to then flop onto the sofa. She then looked around the living room to see boxes piled around the outskirts of the room, she was glad that this was the final trip back and forth, and that hopefully she would have an apartment that finally felt like home. It wasn’t that she hated her former apartment, or Stamford, or even her workplace, she never felt that at home, as stupid as it sounded.
But before she even thought about looking for apartments, she was going to sleep.
Another few days passed, and she had already narrowed it down to two apartments within her limited budget. So she was planning to give Jan a call, to say that she can cancel the hotel reservations and if it was a dire situation, she could start work a bit earlier.
She was also very excited, for the two viewings of the apartments. Pam could picture herself in either of them hanging her paintings on the walls, and she could imagine herself painting in either one. Although she started to think more about it and realised she was starting to prefer one to the other, the one with two bedrooms, she could use the spare one as a studio area, because it wasn’t like anybody would be staying over. But she was still going to stick with her idea of seeing them both, just in case.
Hours passed, and she was in her Yaris, driving to the first address, the one she realised she would be less likely to rent. Once she arrived, she walked around the area to have a good look of the neighbourhood, she seemed happy with it and made her way up to the apartment. She then knocked on the door and was greeted by the landlord.
“Are you Pam Beesly?” he gruffly asked.
“Err, yes,” she replied nervously, taken by surprise of his tone and look.
“Well, you can have a look round.”
So she awkwardly nodded, and did so. To start with she looked around the living room, where it was a nice open space, she then walked through to the kitchen, where there was no door to separate the two spaces. There was a window in the kitchen, it was where the sink was and it gave her a nice view of the parking lot for the apartment. She exited the kitchen/living room area and went to the bedroom. It was quite large for the apartment and it had an en suite. But as she paused to take everything in, she realised it was very similar to her Stamford apartment, something she didn’t want.
So she walked back to where the landlord was and told him this wasn’t the apartment she was looking for. He was very accepting of it, which surprised her, and so she went straight from the apartment too much like Stamford to the one, where she had put all her hopes into.
Once Pam arrived she did the same thing, where she had a slight peek around the area. Once satisfied, she went upstairs to where the apartment was. She knocked on the door and was greeted with a smiley lady, the landlady.
The lady introduced herself as Grace and the owner of the apartment, she offered a tour of the apartment and Pam accepted.
Pam mostly stayed quiet through the tour only making noises of happiness and awe. Grace showed the living room, the kitchen which was separated with a door. The kitchen had a counter, with stools around it which was a nice addition. The living room was a lot cozier than her one in Stamford, but Pam liked it a lot. The next thing Grace showed was the master bedroom, that was similar to the living room, in the sense that it was very cozy, something Pam appreciated a lot. It didn’t have an en suite, but the bathroom was right across from where her bedroom would be. The last thing that needed touring was the spare bedroom. The spare bedroom was very small, but when Pam saw it she saw herself in the future painting in the room and experimenting.
That was when Pam opened up her mouth, “Wow. Erm, would it be alright if I were to live here I could maybe paint or something?”
“Oh yeah! That’d be fine, as long as you were to cover up the carpet and such, that would be fine.”
Pam smiled and said, “Yeah, that would be perfect.”
“Alright then! Let’s head back to the living room, and if you want I would be willing to get a lease ready,” Grace said.
The lease was a 12 month one, and Pam signed it and she would be able to move in within two weeks as she was all packed up. All she needed to get was the furniture.
So the next day her and her mother went to a furniture shop and ordered furniture: a double bed, a couch, a wardrobe and a bedside table. Her mom helped out with some of the payments and Pam promised she would pay her back when she could.
So within two weeks, her clothes boxes were packed once again, and she was moving into her new home. It took her the whole weekend, but somehow the whole thing went very smoothly. Pam knew that this most likely meant, that her life was most likely going to go to absolute crap. And she could only guess that it was going to start when she began in her new branch, Dunder Mifflin, Scranton.