The Manager and the Salesman

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"The Manager and the Salesman"
The Office episode
Episode no. Season 6
Episode 16
Directed by Marc Webb
Written by Mindy Kaling
Production code 616
Original air date February 11, 2010
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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List of The Office (U.S. TV series) episodes

"The Manager and the Salesman" is the 16th episode of the sixth season of the U.S. comedy series The Office and the show's 116th episode overall.[1] It was written by Mindy Kaling and directed by Marc Webb. It originally aired in the United States on February 11, 2010 on NBC.

The series—presented as if it were a real documentary—depicts the everyday lives of office employees in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, branch of the fictional Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. In this episode, new CEO Jo Bennett visits the Scranton branch and insists that either Michael or Jim step down from manager to salesman. Jim decides to step down after realizing that he could make more money as a salesman, but Michael soon learns this as well and sweet talks Jo into making him the salesman and Jim the manager. Meanwhile, Andy gets Erin a Valentine's Day card, but gets everyone else in the office one as well to avoid suspicion, and accidentally gives a very romantic card to Kelly, and Dwight and Ryan conspire to get Jim demoted.


The office is eager to welcome Sabre CEO Jo Bennett (Kathy Bates) to Scranton, and are dazzled by her Southern ways. Jo announces that in addition to paper, the Dunder Mifflin branches will now sell Sabre printers. When Jo finds out about the two branch managers, she says either Michael (Steve Carell) or Jim (John Krasinski) must go back to being a salesman. Both are initially reluctant to be demoted, but Pam (Jenna Fischer) points out to Jim in the Sabre manual that since Sabre has multiple incentive programs and no cap on sales commissions (the part about limitless commissions has changed by the episode "", where the ceiling for revenue is high but capped on a yearly basis), he would make much more money being demoted back to salesman. Jim tells Michael that he will go back to sales and Michael can keep his sole manager spot, and Michael is delighted. However, when Michael learns about the sales commission benefit from Oscar (Oscar Nunez), he sweet talks Jo into demoting him instead. She complies to his demands due to his vast experience, and Michael gloats to Jim.

Meanwhile, Andy (Ed Helms) decides to give Erin (Ellie Kemper) a Valentine's Day card as a way to getting her to ask him out. However, to avoid suspicion, he gives one to everyone in the office. Erin receives a friendly one from him, but Kelly (Mindy Kaling) accidentally gets a much more romantic one. Kelly is touched and shows Erin, who is surprised and disappointed. Kelly develops a romantic crush on Andy and publicly kisses him. Learning of his mistake, he sends out an email to everyone in the office claiming that he does not like any of them more than a friend. An angered Kelly confronts him, and he admits that there is one person whom he likes, but does not say who. Erin is relieved that he does not like Kelly in that way.

As Michael sets up his desk at the sales section, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) calls a meeting with Ryan (B. J. Novak) to think of ways to take Jim down. Ryan angers Dwight with his tardiness and The Lord of the Rings references. They ultimately try getting Nick, the new IT worker, to give them Jim's computer password, but he refuses. Meanwhile, Michael has a difficult time adjusting back to sales, particularly since he can no longer command Erin's services and is exposed to Phyllis's noxious flatulence, a side effect of her new allergy medication. He confides to Jim that he wants the manager job back and they both tell Jo. While frustrated by their fickleness, she allows them to switch. Michael and Erin celebrate his return to his office, and Dwight taunts Jim about his demotion. In a return to his old ways, Jim dips Dwight's tie in his coffee as Pam grins.

At the end of the episode, Dwight and Ryan decide to go out for drinks to celebrate Jim's demotion, but they instead end up arguing about where to go.


In its original American broadcast, "Manager and Salesman" was watched by 7.44 million viewers, with a 3.7 rating and a 10 share in the 18–49 demographic.[2] Dan Phillips of IGN gave the episode a 7.9 saying it was "Good" and "But again, even with all the episode's strengths, it's impossible not to look at the way it teases at new possibilities with a little frustration and regret. At the very least I would have loved to see Michael on the sales floor for a few more episodes."[3]


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