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16 October 2006 @ 11:19 am
National Boss Day (The Office)  
National Boss Day
Kyra Cullinan

The Office, Pam, Bob Vance. SPOILERS through 3x04, Grief Counseling.

Notes: ALAS, this is gen. Written for the office_romances Flashficathon. Unbetaed. It is, in fact, National Boss Day.

October 16 is National Boss Day. Pam groans to herself when she comes in and sees it on the calendar. On a Monday this year? That's cruel and inhuman punishment, if anything is.

Not like she needed the calendar to call it to her attention: Michael comes in beaming and drops a Rite-Aid bag on her desk.

"Pam, good morning," he says. "Could you make sure that gets taken care of? Sent around?" In the bag is a "Best Boss Ever!" card, blank on the inside, except for "Dear Michael" written in ballpoint at the top, in Michael's handwriting. Pam sighs and finds the folder they use to send around birthday cards for signatures.

Pam's not sure if this would be quite so annoying if they actually did anything for Secretary's Day, too -- or, rather, Administrative Professionals Day, which is what the calendars say now. Last year she and Jim had made up a list of other, even more PC ways to phrase it: Reception Technician, Fax Operation Consultant, Vice Chancellor of Minutes.

Michael comes to the door of his office three minutes after he first went in, hands clasped behind his back.

"Ryan?" he says. Ryan swivels around in his chair without missing a beat in his phone conversation, and points at the headset. Since getting hired, he's gotten way better at avoiding Michael: Pam can't tell if it's because he's not a temp anymore so can claim having actual work to do, or experience and sheer desperation.

"Fine," Michael says, "uh, Dwight? Can I see you for a minute?"

Dwight comes back out of Michael's office ten minutes later with a handful of lurid gold streamers, which he proceeds to Scotch tape over Michael's office door.

"Uh, I think that's enough," Pam says after he layers a fifth piece of tape on the top corner. Dwight frowns over at her, but steps back to admire his handiwork.

By lunch, Michael's already made her send out an e-mail telling the staff he's instituting an open door policy for the day, for people to come talk to-slash-compliment him about his managerial skills, and Angela's snatched the card folder out of Pam's hand with a glare, when she brought it by. Pam grabs her salad from the fridge and escapes.

She always used to take her lunch at noon, because that's when Roy got his lunch, and after he stopped coming up regularly to eat with her, she and Jim were just in the habit. She's trying to wait until later in the day these days, so the afternoon seem shorter: she can make it all the way to 12:20 now.

It's too chilly to sit outside in her skirt, and last time she did she got a weird, dirty look from Lonny when he walked by, so she heads to the empty building unit. They found out last year that the lock on it doesn't work, and it still hasn't been rented out. Pam's foosteps echo on the bare floor, as she heads over to the windowsill and opens her salad. The space in here always makes her think about rollerskating. Jim said they should rob a bank and use the money to make it into a VIP roller rink.

Outside the leaves are starting to turn, so the trees are all green and brown and orange. Pam watches the traffic go by and listens to herself chew. Too bad her Prism Durosport's been totally broken for six months.

She's almost done when the door to the unit opens, and she jumps so hard she almost falls off the windowsill. It's Bob Vance, who stops when he sees her.

"Oh!" he says. "I didn't know anyone was in here." He starts to back out. "I can come back later."

"Oh, no, no," Pam says. "I was just eating lunch. Um, I'm finished now." She starts gathering up her napkin, her soda can. Bob steps in and lets the door close behind him.

"I just wanted to take a look around at the unit," he says. "We're thinking of maybe moving over here."

"Oh, really?" says Pam. "It's, um, bigger, right?"

Bob nods, before poking his head into a closet.

"Yep," he says. "The refrigeration business is treating us well."

"Well, that's ... good," Pam says, standing up. Bob wanders over to the other window and looks out, nodding to himself.

"Love that view," he says. "We just see the highway over on the other side."

"Yeah," Pam says. He glances over at her.

"It's Pam, right?"

Pam nods, and tips her head in the general direction of the office.

"Yeah, um, I work over at Dunder MIfflin." He smiles.

"Oh, I know. Phyllis tells me nice things about her work friends." Pam blushes -- it's weird to think about them talking about her. She's always hated thinking about what people might say about her behind her back. It's been a bad year for it.

"Oh, congratulations!" she says suddenly. "By the way. For the engagement."

Bob's whole face lights up, and it makes Pam's chest tight.

"Thank you!" he says. "Couldn't be more thrilled."

Pam takes a few sideways steps toward the door, and he follows.

"Phyllis seems really happy," Pam says, and Bob smiles even more.

"We're gonna have the shower next month, I think," he says. "You're coming, right?"

"Oh!" says Pam. "Um, sure." Bob smiles again and looks at her consideringly for a moment. Pam feels like she's under the microscope again. He had been Phyllis's plus-one for the wedding. He'd asked for chicken.

"You're a good girl, Pam," he says, as they get to the door, and gives her shoulder a quick, one-armed squeeze. Pam feels herself go red, and stammers out a thank you, as he holds the door to let her go through first. It's weird and unexpected, but she catches herself smiling a little as she goes back in to work, and when Phyllis comes over to use the copy machine she gives her a wider smile.

It almost makes up for Dwight coming over to tell her hairspray in the workplace is a safety hazard, or the giant HAPPY BOSSES'S DAY cookie Michael gets delivered from that place at the mall that afternoon, and then promptly drops all over the floor.
lightning rod for criticism: office: shhhhhhut itannakovsky on October 16th, 2006 04:06 pm (UTC)
Oh, Bob VANCE. He makes my heart hurt in this story, his face lighting up - he and Phyllis being happy just kills me.

And Pam! The sad eating lunch, and the empty space, and your Michael is both annoying and pathetic, and this is great.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on October 16th, 2006 04:25 pm (UTC)
I KNOW, RIGHT? Bob Vance/Phyllis forever. There are still good guys out there, Pam!
Brandy: The Office.Michael.Retardsbrandyleigh on October 16th, 2006 04:10 pm (UTC)
I really liked this. It's cute, and it's completely realistic, like when someone you don't know very well says something to you and it just makes your whole day better.
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on October 16th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks! I don't think Pam gets to hear nice things enough. :)
sadie_licious on October 16th, 2006 04:12 pm (UTC)
He had been Phyllis's plus-one for the wedding. He'd asked for chicken.

That is awesome.

I like your Bob Vance voice here - I could hear him ;)
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on October 16th, 2006 04:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! Yeah, Bob's not a fish kinda guy.
Wipe your filthy boots.: pam pokeragate on October 16th, 2006 04:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, Bob Vance. He made my day almost as much as he made Pam's day. And I love how Pam's little memories of Jim arise here and there--matter-of-factly, no fanfare, just genuine missing him. Sad and sweet and lovely.
Kyra Cullinan: hi. hey.kyrafic on October 16th, 2006 04:28 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you. Pam and me, WE BOTH MISS JIM.
hobviously on October 16th, 2006 04:42 pm (UTC)
I love this so much! Vice Chancellor of Minutes in the house.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on October 16th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
Heeee. Thanks!
Tall drink: pam&ang--aimtomissciachick711 on October 16th, 2006 05:10 pm (UTC)
Secretary's Day, too -- or, rather, Administrative Professionals Day, which is what the calendars say now

Hee. I like Reception Technician.

And I really liked her running into Bob Vance and her being all self-conscious about what Phyllis might have said, but then he compliments her. That's such a real event in life. You see someone you sort of know and you have to make small talk with them.

Plus Pam eating lunch alone just makes me want Jim to come back.
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on October 16th, 2006 06:02 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much!

And I knoooooow, where where where is Jim? I wish now I'd made her a little more pine-y here. But maybe eating lunch all alone is sad ENOUGH.
madam_rptrmadam_rptr on October 16th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Oh, wow. The details of Ryan's convergence from worrisome temp to tactical avoider/worker bee...the sad lonely lunch...the details of her memories of the little tiny moments that should have opened her eyes to Jim's true feelings had she allowed herself to believe she deserved more (both personally and romantically)...and then the little arm squeez from Bob and the wide smile for Phyllis...le sigh. Good stuff.
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on October 16th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I think it must be tough for her, 'cause there are reminders of both Jim and Roy everywhere.
(Deleted comment)
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on October 16th, 2006 06:03 pm (UTC)
Hahahaha, are you serious? That is GREAT!

And thank you!
Melissa/Sweet: dwight is awesomesweet_seventeen on October 17th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
Awwww! Phyllis + Bob Vance= THE TRUEST OF LOVES. I so want to see that wedding! *sniff* And you know, the shower you mentioned here that would probably also happen on the show because you ARE that good.

Plus, thanks to you and other excellent writers around here, I have such a soft spot thing for Pam being all...just alone. And missing Jim and Roy, because it's so in character and true to life and well, canon now. When he comes back WHAT WILL I DO? Hahaha, anyway, this was great. :)
Kyra Cullinan: this will end badlykyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:13 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you!

I am totally fascinated by s3 Pam, her everyday life, how she is alone, but she's growing, and managing, and oh man, I love her so much.
Baby Mama: Happy dance!greenfish on October 17th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, I really enjoyed this. It's really neat to see a little slice-of-life in The Office, and I can totally see Pam going down to the empty office suite to eat alone... and all the memories of Jim, *sigh*. It's so true. We miss him, too, Pam.

And always love for BVVR!!
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!
Zozo: mark trailcleversimon on October 17th, 2006 02:02 am (UTC)
Such a sad story. Wonderful, but so sad.

she got a weird, dirty look from Lonny when he walked by

Lonny/Roy? I think so.

Bob's whole face lights up, and it makes Pam's chest tight.

Augh. I love Bob Vance and Phyllis, and Pam is so sad. I just want to hug her. And then smack her and tell her to call Jim already, and then hug her again, I guess, 'cause she's Pam.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Heee, Lonny/Roy vs. Darryl/Roy 'shipper war!

Pam deserves lots of hugs, from Bob Vance and many others!
i'm incendiary too, man: [Office] hi // zeppo1630allthingsholy on October 17th, 2006 02:19 am (UTC)
And now I'm suffering from experiencing massive amounts of Bob Vance love. Aw. Adorable. He and Phyllis are just too precious. (And I'm now 80.)

Anyway. Very nice.
Kyra Cullinankyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!
elsbeth_lynnelsbeth_lynn on October 17th, 2006 02:58 am (UTC)
I love Bob Vance SO MUCH. You've captured his sweetness that we've only gotten glimpses of on the show; I like to imagine that he shows off Phyllis to all his buds and is always saying, "Nothing is too good for my girl!" I'm linking this over at TWoP, 'mkay?

P.S. What does "gen" mean?
Kyra Cullinan: winnerskyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:16 pm (UTC)
Aw, thank you for the feedback, and the rec!

Gen means fic that's not 'shippy ('shippy = features a romantic or sexual pairing). So you've got het (male/female 'shippy), slash (m/m or f/f) and gen (nonromantic). Het and slash usually has a slash between the character names (Jim/Pam, Michael/Ryan), while gen has a comma or an ampersand (Pam & Bob Vance). :)
*honey_wheeler on October 17th, 2006 06:59 am (UTC)
Sniffle. Bob Vance is all that is good and true in the universe!

Also, Michael's self-administered Boss Appreciation Events were truly divine. And clearly canon. And they also reminded me of the woman I used to work with who bought crappy 99 cent Boss Appreciation cards for the partners of our firm and then expensed them.
Kyra Cullinan: interracial homoeroticismkyrafic on October 23rd, 2006 09:17 pm (UTC)
Hahaha, are you SERIOUS? That's hilarious and awful.

Bob Vance Appreciation Club ho!
(Anonymous) on December 14th, 2006 12:19 pm (UTC)
This is a very sweet story with some wonderful imagery. As the actor who plays BOB VANCE, I am honored. Keep writing!

Kyra Cullinankyrafic on December 21st, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
Oh, thank you so much!