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36Quotes from ‘Business Ethics’

The Office: Business Ethics

503. Business Ethics

Aired October 9, 2008

Holly is frustrated when Michael disrupts her ethics seminar and doesn't seem to care about the wrongdoing taking place at the branch.

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: [whispering] People expect a lot from these meetings: laughter, sudden twists, surprise endings. You need to be Robin Williams and M. Night Shyamalan. You need to be Robin Shyamalan.
Holly: Well, I just have to get through the binder.
Michael Scott: Just you're kind of losing them.

Quote from Holly

Holly: Okay, so I've gone over this, and I've thought about it, and I just don't think there's any way I can write a report that doesn't end with her being terminated.
Michael Scott: Wow. Terminator.
Holly: [as Arnold Schwarzenegger] I'm from the future.

Quote from Kelly

Kelly: Why is it okay for smokers to take breaks all the time? If I want to go outside and hang out once an hour, then I'll just take up smoking. I'll do it. I don't care.
Meredith: I'll smoke with you. I got a bag of cigars in my purse.

Quote from Jim

Jim: He has not stopped working for a second. At 12:45, he sneezed while keeping his eyes open, which I always thought was impossible. At 1:32, he peed, and I know that because he did it in an open soda bottle under the desk while filling out expense reports. And on the flip side, I've been so busy watching him that I haven't even started work. It's exhausting being this vigilant. I'll probably have to go home early today.

Quote from Holly

Dwight K. Schrute: I got it. I got it.
[Olivia Newton-John's "Let's Get Physical" starts playing on]
Michael & Holly: Let's get ethical, ethical I wanna get ethical Let's get into ethics Yeah, let me hear Dunder Mifflin talk Your body talk Let me hear your body talk-
Michael Scott: Whoo! All right!

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: Why are you helping her? You're not even dating. She's my friend, and ultimately my strategy is to sort of merge this into a relationship without her even knowing.

Quote from Ryan

Ryan: Okay, elephant in the room. Let's talk about it. Do I regret what I did? Of course I do. Even though it was an amazing ride, and I'll give you an example. Anyone see Survivor, season 6? Anyone know Joanna on that show? In New York city, I hooked up with a girl who looked exactly like that. Indistinguishable, so...
Michael Scott: Well done. Good speech, Ryan. You're a good guy.

Quote from Stanley

Holly: "In fact, spending a half hour at the watercooler during work hours is a form of stealing."
Kelly: What?
Holly: Yes, it's called time theft, and it's the same as taking money from the company. Can anyone think of examples of things that are over-the-line time-wasters?
Stanley: This meeting.
Michael Scott: Can't set them up like that.

Quote from Andy

Andy: I'll drop an ethics bomb on you. Would you steal bread to feed your family? Boom!
Michael Scott: Exactly, Andy.
Andy: I took intro to philosophy twice, no big deal.
Dwight K. Schrute: It's a trick question. The bread is poisoned. Also, it's not your real family. You've been cuckolded by a stronger, smarter male.
Andy: No, that's not how it works.
Michael Scott: I would not steal the bread. And I would not let my family go hungry.

Quote from Michael Scott

Holly: Okay, but we should get back to business. Have any of you ever faced any ethical dilemmas in the workplace?
Michael Scott: Anybody? This is a chance for you to say something without any repercussions. Stanley? Oscar, come on.
Oscar: Pass.
Michael Scott: I will go first. When I discovered Youtube, I didn't work for five days. I did nothing. I viewed Cookie Monster sings Chocolate Rain about 1,000 times.
Holly: What was the dilemma?
Michael Scott: To tell you or not, and I'm glad I did. I feel very, very good and "catharctic."

Quote from Oscar

Michael Scott: I promise you that you are not going to get into trouble. You can say anything you want with total and complete immunity.
Holly: Oh, no. No, no.
Michael Scott: Come on. Anybody? Let it fly.
Oscar: Once in a while, I'll take a long lunch.
Michael Scott: A siesta.
Dwight K. Schrute: Time thief. Time thief. Fire him.

Quote from Meredith

Michael Scott: Well, let's keep this party moving on.
Meredith: I'll go. Have you guys ever met Bruce Myers, the Scranton rep for Hammermill?
Michael Scott: Bruuuuuuuce!
Meredith: Well, for the past six years, I've been sleeping with him in exchange for discounts on our supplies and Outback steakhouse gift certificates.
Jim: Jackpot.
Holly: Meredith, that is serious. I mean, not only is that a conflict of interest, but there's also an exchange of goods.
Meredith: Exchange of steak. Have you ever had sirloin steak, honey?
Michael Scott: That's crazy. That's crazy talk. The "Merenator", sleeping with suppliers.

Quote from Meredith

Holly: So, regarding the supplier, approximately how many liaisons have there been?
Meredith: Liaisons? You mean meet-ups? I don't know. Once a month for six years, something like that.
Michael Scott: Meredith, why don't you tell Holly it's not what she thinks, nothing unethical happened, and that you just like to sleep around.
Meredith: Am I in trouble here or something?
Michael Scott: No. No. This is just a stupid formality.
Holly: No, it's not a formality. Now, were these meet-ups, just personal, unrelated to business?
Meredith: Nah. I wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for the discount paper. There's not a lot of fruit in those looms.
Michael Scott: For the love of God, we're trying to help you, you stupid bag.
Holly: What I don't understand is why the steak coupons? I mean, if you were already getting the discounted paper?
Meredith: Well, it's funny. Maybe it's a girl thing, but after we did it, when he would give me those coupons, I just felt good about myself. What's going on here? I thought I had immunity.

Quote from Jim

Jim: Yawn, four seconds.
Dwight K. Schrute: What are you doing?
Jim: Oh, you had said that you don't do anything personal during work time, so I'm just making sure.
Dwight K. Schrute: Wait a minute. So you're gonna time me every time I yawn? That's absurd. Really? Oh, hey, look, monkey knows how to use a stopwatch, everybody. He's ti-
Jim: Personal conversation, seventeen seconds.
Dwight K. Schrute: There is no way that that was-
Jim: One second.

Quote from Jim

Jim: Hey, Andy. By any chance, did you see Battlestar Galactica last night?
Andy: No, I did not. Is that any good?
Jim: Actually not. It is really so-so.
Dwight K. Schrute: Okay. [As Dwight turns around, Jim holds up his stopwatch]
Jim: I mean, I like all the crazy monsters and stuff, you know, like Klingons and Wookies and all that, but- Sorry, was there something you wanted to add, Dwight?
Andy: Is that anything like the original Battlestar Galactica?
Jim: You know, it's weird. It's practically a shot-for-shot remake.
Andy: Really? That's cool.
Jim: Story's kind of bland. It's about this guy named Dumbledore Calrissian-
Dwight K. Schrute: Oh, okay.
Jim: Who needs to return the ring back to Mordor.
Andy: It's really- That doesn't sound right.

Quote from Holly

Holly: It's been a little tense. People are suspicious of me, and my best friend in the office won't even talk to me. Turns out being the morality police does not make you popular. I should know, because in middle school, I was the hall monitor, and the kids used to stuff egg salad in my locker. I was just hoping middle school was over.

Quote from Michael Scott

Ryan: Kendall from corporate H.R. is on line 1 and Holly's on her way too.
Michael Scott: What's the only thing worse than one H.R. Rep?
Ryan: Two H.R. Reps.
Michael Scott: You get me.

Quote from Meredith

Phyllis: Thank you, Meredith. This was delicious.
Meredith: Hey. Where's the steak sauce?
Kevin: I think we're out.
Meredith: I got some in my minivan somewhere.
Andy: Wait a second. How does the steak factor in again?
Kevin: I think she got it as a tip, but I don't know why she didn't just take cash.
Phyllis: I don't care what she's doing. I hope she just keeps doing it.
Stanley: Amen, just keep the ribs coming.

Quote from Holly

Holly: Let's start discussing those questionnaires that you filled in this morning. "It is wrong to make personal calls during work hours?" Now, some of you marked that you very strongly agree. But ideally you would've selected "totally agree."
Phyllis: I thought "very strongly agree" sounded stronger than "totally agree."
Holly: Corporate would like to emphasize that ideally you would all totally agree with that statement.

Quote from Jim

Pam: [on the phone] Come on, it won't be that bad.
Jim: Okay? You know what? Here we go. Uh. Everybody, just wanted to make an announcement. Pam and I are engaged.
Pam: [on speaker phone] Hi, everyone!
Oscar: I thought you were already engaged.
Jim: Nope.
Angela: That was Roy. She was engaged to Roy.
Jim: Thank you, Angela.
Kevin: I got a gift for Pam and Roy. Do I have to get another one?
Jim: Yes.
Andy: A little close to my engagement there, Tuna. What's your game here?
Jim: To get married.
Dwight K. Schrute: She's not a virgin, you know.
Pam: Wow.

Quote from Jim

Michael Scott: What's going on?
Pam: [on speaker phone] No, nothing. Nothing, Michael. Just saying hi.
Creed: The tall guy got engaged.
Michael Scott: To be married?
Jim: Yep.
[Michael bear hugs Jim to the ground]
Pam: Sorry.

Quote from Holly

Holly: Pencils down! Just kidding. Take your time.
[aside to camera:]
Holly: Today is ethics day. After they finish the quiz, I'm gonna run my first meeting here. It's gonna be in-sane! No, it's not. I have to read from the binder.

Quote from Kevin

Michael Scott: Okay, let's give it up for Miss Holly Flax!
Holly: Thanks, Michael. Today we're gonna have a business ethics seminar, because recently, without mentioning any names, there has been some misconduct at corporate. And we have a very strict ethics policy, and that employee has been fired.
Kevin: Come on! He's right there. He was hired. Check it out: Hired guy.

Quote from Oscar

Holly: Well, Michael makes a really good point. So let's just open this up a little bit. Say my name is Lauren, and here I am shopping in a supermarket, and I steal a pencil. That's not right.
Michael Scott: [coughing] Lauren, enough with the pencils.
Holly: No, I have to go over pencils and office supplies. It's part of the ethics thing.
Oscar: That isn't ethics. Ethics is a real discussion of competing conceptions of the good. This is just the corporate anti-shoplifting rules.

Quote from Michael Scott

Jim: Dwight, you've really never stolen any company time?
Dwight K. Schrute: Never.
Michael Scott: You are a thief of joy.

Quote from Angela

Michael Scott: Anybody else?
Kelly: Sometimes I download pirated music onto my work computer.
Michael Scott: Who hasn't? Good. Good! What else?
Holly: No, I'd like to hear more about that.
Angela: I once reported Oscar to the I.N.S. Turns out he's clean, but I'm glad I did it.

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: Well, well, Holly-lujah. It's a miracle. You're at your desk.
Holly: It's Mike-raculous.
Michael Scott: Ooh, reaching! You'll get there. Anyway, I was giving it some thought, and there's no reason that two attractive, good-looking intelligent, funny, attractive people can't, you know, just sit down and work this whole Meredith thing out.
Holly: Sounds good.
Michael Scott: Good. Would you care to bang it out over lunch?

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: Let's go out, Dunder Mifflin's treat. Actually, you're not a client, so we'll just split it? Ethical.

Quote from Michael Scott

Holly: So I've gone over corporate policy.
Michael Scott: What do you think? What do you think of this place?
Holly: Oh, it's very nice.
Michael Scott: Isn't it? It's kind of business/romantic. So you're from Des Moines?
Holly: Mmm-hmm.
Michael Scott: That sounds so warm.
Holly: In summer.
Michael Scott: Here too. You know what my favorite season is?
Holly: Maybe we should talk about Meredith first.
Michael Scott: Yes. Get the boring stuff out of the way. Autumn was what I was gonna say. When the leaves change. It's just- I think it's the most contemplative of seasons.

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: I just don't want my employees thinking that their jobs depend on performance. I mean, what sort of place is that to call home? And Meredith needs this job. This is her main source of money.
Holly: Well, that's very sweet, but we have to follow the protocol. Those are the rules.
Michael Scott: Okay, new idea. We don't report at all. We just punish her.
Holly: We punish her?
Michael Scott: Uh-huh. Tell her, she can't have sex for 6 months.
Holly: I don't think we could enforce that.
Michael Scott: I don't know. I saw this thing, like a belt with a key.
Holly: A chastity belt.
Michael Scott: Yeah, it's more of a underwear garment that has little spikes, like, made of I think sometimes they're made of metal. You know what I'm talking about. You unlock a little door that- Down- Where you- Where you put- Where you put the...

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: I am just saying that I don't think that you understand what I am saying.
Holly: No, you are saying that we should sweep it under the carpet, accept the discount on supplies, not fire Meredith, and pretend like the whole thing never happened.
Michael Scott: Yes.
Holly: What am I saying?
Michael Scott: Well... busted. I don't-
Holly: I'm saying that her behavior is unethical and a little icky, and I don't think I want to work in an environment where that sort of conduct is tolerated.
Michael Scott: You have to tolerate a lot when you're part of a family.
Holly: It's not a family. It's a workplace.

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: I will be honest with you, that car ride did not go well. And that was not my fault. The only reason I am standing out here right now is because I don't want to take the elevator with her. And I am holding on to her leftovers. [throws the leftovers away]

Quote from Dwight K. Schrute

Jim: 19 minutes and 48 seconds. What were we doing for 19 minutes and 48 seconds?
Dwight K. Schrute: None of your business.
Jim: So I guess I can assume that was personal.
Dwight K. Schrute: Fine.
Jim: So maybe you're not completely ethical after all.
Dwight K. Schrute: Yes. Maybe I'm not.

Quote from Holly

Michael Scott: Kendall, my main man.
Kendall: [on speaker phone] Listen, Holly, Michael, I just got the report that your branch submitted, and there's a lot of stuff about a relationship Meredith is having-
Holly: Yes, that came out during the ethics seminar.
Michael Scott: And let the record show that it was during the immunity part of the seminar.
Kendall: I'm not sure these circumstances warrant any action.
Holly: Oh, I think it's pretty clear it was unethical.
Kendall: what I can gather, it seems like a gray area. Look, to be honest, the company's getting a discount at a tough time in our balance sheet, I don't know that the right thing to do for the company is to turn our noses up at that.
Holly: Um, Kendall, I understand that the discount is good for the company, but I'm just not happy about the way we're getting it.
Kendall: I thought it was clear with you, Holly. Your task was to get signatures from the employees showing that they completed the training.
Holly: No, I understand-
Kendall: Cause every other branch has managed to get those. So if it's not something you can handle, then that's a different discussion.
Holly: No. No, I can do it.

Quote from Michael Scott

Michael Scott: How do you tell somebody that you care about deeply, "I told you so"? Gently? With a rose? In a funny way, like it's a hilarious joke? Or do you just let it go because saying it would just make things worse? Probably the funny way.

Quote from Michael Scott

Holly: Can I have everyone's attention? Excuse me! May I have everyone's attention, please? We need to finish the ethics seminar.
Andy: No way, lady.
Kevin: It's a trap.
Holly: Everyone, please, I just need your signatures to show corporate I gave you the training.
Meredith: Don't sign anything.
Michael Scott: Okay, everybody listen up. If you are not in that conference room in 2 minutes, I'm going to kill you.
Stanley: It's a quarter to 5:00, and I have started to gather my things.
Michael Scott: Get in there right now, or I'm gonna lose it!


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