Jim Halpert from the hit US version of ‘The Office’ is everyone’s ideal person, right? Lovely Jim, what a great guy. As the best account on Twitter @Dril famously described “the wise man bowed his head solemnly and spoke: ‘there’s actually zero difference between good & bad things. you imbicile. you f**king moron.” Except the difference in this case is James Halpert. He’s a representation of everything bad in our god forsaken civilisation. My eyes too were closed to how bad he was, before being opened by this tweet, and then half-closed again in a cynical glare.
The opening few series of ‘The Office’ revolve around Dunder Mifflin’s financial issues and the need to cut costs and downsize. Ryan Howard alleges that their struggles are because “Dunder Mifflin can’t compete with the modern chains, and management is unwilling, or unable, to adapt. Their customers are dying off.” But what would he know? He’s just a temp who nearly burnt down the entire office after leaving his cheese pitta in the toaster-oven on the oven timer rather than the timer for the toaster.
The real issue, is that one of their top salesmen and all round good guy Jim Halpert, spends more time harassing Dwight (who is incredibly loyal and committed to the company) and flirting with Pam than doing work, getting sales and improving the company’s balance sheets and ultimately save jobs.
In the fifth episode of season 2, Michael is told by corporate he has to let one person go in order to save money for the company. Pam and Jim conspire to try to push Dwight out by sending his impressive CV to a rival company, Cumberland Mills. When it doesn’t work out for Dwight, Jim then absolutely bottles the chance to go for the job himself, deciding to stay at his cushy job stealing a living from Dunder Mifflin.
After initially failing to fire Creed Bratton, Michael leaves his office, looks over Jim (who is sat at his desk, staring into space and with his computer monitor logged off) to call Devon into his office. Devon was on the phone at the time talking to a customer and yet Michael still fires him. Jim Halpert cost someone their job because he was too much of a coward to try and improve himself, but this is by no means the worst thing he does throughout the series.
The only effective boss in the entire series is Charles Miner, played by Idris Elba, who calls out Jim’s bullshit in his very first encounter with him. Instead of changing his impression by hard work, Jim still tries to spoof his way along, pretending to be a “soccer” fan to impress the new boss, before his cowardice injures Phyllis when he ducks out of the way of a football.
We find out that by episode 9 of season 7, Jim has shown himself to be such a good sales person that he has maxed out his commission for the year. Instead of carrying on doing his job and boosting overall sales figures; ‘lovable’ Jim decides to down tools, make fart noises and re-record the intro to audio books, because that’s a really mature thing to do. Congrats Jim on being a great team player.
He doesn’t even turn up to Pam’s art display. God love Pam, she suffers from an extreme lack of confidence, all she wanted was her friends to show. Only Michael (her only true supporter) and her partner Roy show up to support her, while Jim distracts Dwight by pretending to be a vampire. Lets not beat about the bush, Roy is a terrible partner as well, however it is universally accepted as such. He is an incredibly insecure person and Pam was his rock. His subsequent actions after Pam breaks up with him cannot be excused, but it can be explained by the fact that Jim Halpert quite literally ruined his life.
Jim’s worst behaviour is reserved for the creepy way in which he pursues Pam in the early series, despite the fact she is engaged to Roy. He eventually makes a move on Pam during the charity Casino Night before being turned down by Pam, because y’know, she is engaged. This is no issue to ‘loveable’ Jim though, he still follows her to the empty office and kisses her anyway, even though she said no. That’s fine isn’t it? There’s absolutely nothing problematic about that…. Then when that somehow doesn’t win her over, he sulks off to Stamford, and then proceeds to ignore Pam, who is his best friend… When Pam finally summons up the courage to use her talents and go to Art College in New York, Jim couldn’t be less interested in how she is getting on, seemingly more annoyed that she isn’t there to distract him and that he will have to do actual work for a change.
We can see with the Athlead project, which Jim does actually care about, he is actually extremely dedicated and hardworking. However he takes this job without consulting Pam, invests $10,000 of their money into the project and then misses Cece’s dance recital in favour of staying in Philadelphia for a meeting. Jim takes out his stress from the loss of an investor on Pam for not being able to video the recital properly, rather than accept he’s a dead beat Dad who put his vanity project ahead of one of the formative experiences of his child’s life.
This leads to the question of whether Jim actually loves Pam, or if she is just a female who will fulfil his desires for him. She’s less than an afterthought when he moves to Philly or Stamford, and he couldn’t care less when she is in New York. He gets to Stamford and immediately shacks up with Karen, who was again the closest female in sight. In fairness, Jim does eventually rectify this by moving back to Scranton, but only after Pam effectively threatens to break up with him.
Jim is a metaphor for everything wrong with the world. A lazy W.A.S.P. who gets by on charm and bluff and expects everything from the world despite offering nothing. He spends most of the episodes staring down the camera, playing up to his own ego. You aren’t the star of the show pal, stop trying to make everything about yourself. Jim is just the worst, and if you have any hate mail after reading this, please direct it to William Charles Schneider. But yet, I still can’t help but like the guy. There truly is actually zero difference between good & bad things. I am the imbecile. I am the f**king moron.