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Why Jo Bennett Was The Worst Boss On The Office

"The Office" sees many bosses come and go, but Jo Bennett is one of the most memorable. Jo, who's played by the legendary Kathy Bates, arrives in Season 6. She's the CEO of Sabre, a Floridian printer company that buys Dunder Mifflin. To be honest, it's hard not to like her: She's funny, laid-back, and one heck of a go-getter. But she's also the worst boss "The Office" ever sees.

To Jo's credit, Michael Scott (Steve Carell) and Holly Flax (Amy Ryan) wouldn't get back together without her, as she has Holly transferred to the Scranton office. And of course, no boss on "The Office" is perfect (though some are more likable than others). But the fact remains that during her time at the helm of Dunder Mifflin, Jo makes a slew of bewildering, frustrating, and downright awful suggestions that have viewers thanking their lucky stars they don't work for her. She's the worst boss on "The Office," and we're here to explain why.

Hiring a manager with no experience

Jo Bennett is one of the most powerful bosses to ever walk through the doors of Dunder Mifflin's Scranton branch. She has one heck of a resume, a plethora of wild stories, and a successful autobiography to her name. But all of that amounts to nothing in the face of her terrible hires.

After Michael Scott leaves Scranton for Colorado, Jo fills his empty seat with Deangelo Vickers (Will Ferrell). Though he sparks some laughs during his brief stint as manager, from a qualifications standpoint, Deangelo is a seriously poor hire. The only reason he gets the job is because, once upon a time, Deangelo saved one of Jo's dogs — something you might notice has absolutely nothing to do with selling paper. Furthermore, Deangelo immediately sets up an inner circle of his favorite people in the office, which many employees note contains no women. And have we mentioned that he's also terrible at sales? When he departs because of a head injury sustained while playing basketball, his employees breathe a sigh of relief. But we're still wondering why the heck Jo gave him the job in the first place.

Keeping Dwight on after he shoots a gun at work

At long last, Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson) becomes the regional manager of Dunder Mifflin — well, the interim regional manager — after Deangelo Vickers' departure in Season 7. Unsurprisingly, he uses his powers to become a makeshift dictator, controlling every aspect of his employees' lives.  In Dwight's defense, even Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), a notorious prankster, applauds the work that gets completed during his tenure. He also cracks down on wasted time and resources. But he does this by installing punch clocks and giving everyone individual codes for the printer, so we're not really going to call it a win.

But then Dwight does the unthinkable: He fires a gun in the office. This event not only scares his employees, it damages Andy Bernard's (Ed Helms) hearing. This is the kind of thing that should lead to immediate dismissal — but Jo just strips him of his managerial position and sends him back to his sales desk. "The Office" isn't meant to be taken that seriously, but we really can't ignore how bad a decision this is on Jo's part.

Making Creed the manager

Creed Bratton (played by ... Creed Bratton) is one of the most intriguing characters on "The Office." No one ever really seems to know what Creed does all day, yet no one questions his presence. His past is a murky mystery, containing everything from cult leadership to musical performance. He's a wild card through and through, and prompts plenty of laughs — but he is by no means manager material, as anyone who's spent even five minutes around him could tell you. But that doesn't stop Jo from appointing Creed as a temporary manager, simply because he's worked in the office the longest.

To keep him from doing too much damage, quick-thinking Pam (Jenna Fischer) gives him senseless tasks to achieve while he's "running" the Scranton branch. Nevertheless, considering Creed barely has a job at all before becoming a manager, it's pretty ridiculous Jo gives him the top spot. Couldn't she have asked literally anyone who works with him for some insight before she signed the right papers? Thankfully for the Scranton branch, his tenure is short — but "BOBODDY" is forever.

Robert California convinces her to make him CEO

For all her success and intelligence, Jo is not above being manipulated. The way she's convinced to give up her job says everything you need to know about the limits of her management skills, and what it says isn't pretty. After Robert California (James Spader) is hired as the manager of the Scranton branch, he immediately walks out, drives to Florida, and has a chat with Jo. During this unseen conversation, he apparently talks Jo out of her own job: Robert is promoted to CEO. 

Though Robert California is certainly charismatic (in a deeply creepy way), the fact that Jo  acquiesces to him so easily makes us wonder if she's actually meant to be a boss at all. Someone in charge needs way more spine than she displays in this moment. Furthermore, Robert ends up running the company into the ground. How does Jo lose in a game of wits with this absolute enigma? How does she not see the disaster he brings coming? And how the heck did she get to where she is with such a total inability to read people?

Jo supports Nellie at her absolute worst

Nellie Bertram (Catherine Tate) might be ambitious, but she's not competent. Yet she rises through the ranks anyway, simply because Jo supports her. As the search committee interviews candidates for the manager position, Nellie proves she has no idea how to run an office: Were she to get the job, she muses about removing all position titles, adding more position titles, and bringing in a masseuse. But she's still confident she'll get the job because Jo is a personal friend who'll put in a good word. Though she technically doesn't get the job — at least not yet — Nellie does land a juicy position in charge of "special projects." After things go south, she snags Andy's job as the Scranton manager simply because he's temporarily out of state. 

A lot of this technically happens on Robert California's watch, who has no idea how to handle the situation. Moreover, Nellie ends up becoming a pretty likable character in the show's final seasons. But her hiring is yet more evidence that Jo puts the wrong people in top jobs. No wonder the company ends up collapsing.

Letting dogs loose in the office

Some workplaces allow employees to bring their dogs to work. While it works for many, Jo is pretty much the poster child for doing this the wrong way. She shows up at the office with her gigantic dogs without ensuring everyone is okay with it — if any Scrantonites have allergies and haven't brought their medicine with them, they're pretty much out of luck. Moreover, the Scranton branch isn't set up for animals. The walkways are narrow and the warehouse is dangerous, yet these four-legged furballs roam where they wish.

A pet-friendly workplace can have many benefits. But Jo's dogs get in the way of her employees' work, and she does nothing to stop them. With proper preparation, this could have gone far more smoothly — and proper preparation is really pretty basic. All Jo had to do was ask people if they're cool with it, figure out how to pet-proof the office, and perhaps see if other people might like to bring their pets to work as well. But none of that happens, and surprise surprise, things go badly.

Mismanaging a scandal

Andy is deeply shaken after a client complains that their Sabre printer has started to catch on fire. This is, to say the least, cause for concern: Andy is tormented by visions of a Sabre printer burning down a school or a hospital. Eventually, the press finds out, and it becomes a potential scandal for the company. But when Jo shows up at the office to solve this issue, she's more concerned with finding out who told the media about the malfunctioning products than she is with actually addressing the fact that her printers are a massive fire hazard.

Jo and Gabe Lewis (Zach Woods) investigate the whistleblower while letting Michael take the fall for this gigantic error. Sure, he volunteers to apologize at a news conference, but it's still not exactly her finest moment. Though it all works out in the end, this event proves that Jo's management style is flooded with flaws.

Making employees work late on St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day is one of Scranton's biggest holidays — and Jo makes her employees work through it. What's worse, she manipulates Michael into thinking he and his employees haven't worked hard enough during the day, thus bearing the responsibility for their extended hours.

Now, the Scranton branch is known to be wasteful with time. But Jo should realize how big a holiday this is for them, and what it means to miss it. The office is decorated for the occasion, after all — even the water cooler has green liquid in it. But the workers end up staying well past the time they usually clock out, all because Jo is a workaholic who doesn't bother to ask if St. Patrick's Day is a bigger deal in Scranton than it is in her native Florida. She's not a complete tyrant — she lets Erin go home early when she's not feeling well. But ruining a major event just to make a point is a majorly petty move.

She doesn't trust the Scranton branch to do their jobs

Michael Scott isn't everyone's cup of tea. He can be lazy and defiant, and he routinely interrupts his employees with nonsense while they're actually doing work. He also hates change, and loathes the way Sabre remakes the Scranton branch, even though Sabre's purchase of struggling Dunder Mifflin is basically what lets him keep his job.  

Michael's defiance has more to do with him wanting to set the rules than anything else. Though this is annoying, he should have a say in the matter, since his branch is known to be one of the company's rare successes. But Jo is willing to undermine Michael if he doesn't agree with her methods. When she makes the Scranton branch work late on St. Patrick's Day, it's because she doesn't trust Michael and his employees to have actually accomplished a full day's work in the allotted eight hours. Michael is ridiculous, but she should trust him to know what he's doing on this basic level — especially since Scranton stands alone as a money-making outpost of the company.

The eventual liquidation of Sabre

One major part of the overarching story of "The Office" is that Dunder Mifflin is a dying business. As a paper company in a world going digital, its days seem pretty numbered. Sabre is in a better position as a printer company with apparently decently leadership — but then Jo decides to let Robert California lead the company. Things go so badly under him that Sabre is eventually forced to liquidate. In a surprising turn of events, David Wallace (Andy Buckley) storms back into the paper game by buying Dunder Mifflin. Thus, the company lives — for now.

The fact of the matter is, Sabre sinks on Jo's watch. This doesn't exactly scream "world's best boss." Is it Robert California's fault in a more immediate sense? Sure. But she's the person who handed the reins to him. Though she rides into the show as an elite businesswoman with a private plane and big ideas, she exits with the company she led in ruins. It's not exactly impressive — but it is entertaining.