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The Office Fans Think David Wallace Made A Huge Mistake With This Decision

For as lovable and hilarious as the characters on "The Office" are, it would be difficult to say all of the employees of Dunder Mifflin are good at their jobs. There were moments, though. Michael Scott (Steve Carell) may have had the self-awareness of a sand flea, but there are several episodes throughout the series where we get to see his almost savant-like aptitude for sales and negotiation. Even LinkedIn recommends we learn something from the goofy head of the Scranton branch.

Case in point: Toward the end of Season 5, when Dunder Mifflin is forced to incorporate Michael's upstart competitor paper company, he bests CFO David Wallace's (Andy Buckley) attempts to play hardball by pointing out that their little company is costing Dunder Mifflin clients. "So I don't think I need to wait out Dunder Mifflin. I think I just have to wait out you."

Wallace blinks, and the upstarts of the Michael Scott Paper Company — who were broke and in debt and had no other cards to play — get everything they want in exchange for dissolving back into the Dunder Mifflin fold. In some ways, it also shows that David Wallace isn't exactly the competent CFO we might think he is. To some fans, this is further proven by his actions just a few episodes later.

Fans think Wallace made a huge mistake making Jim and Michael co-managers

"Did David Wallace make a mistake making Jim and Michael co-managers?" That's what u/TsunderePeopleRules asks at the r/DunderMifflin subreddit. They're referring to the end of Season 6, Episode 2, when, at Michael's urging and much to Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) outrage, Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) is made co-manager along with Michael.

"For a paper company in a failing industry it was incredibly stupid to have two people salaried in the same position," wrote u/Lanthemandragoran. "For the funnies it was a fantastic decision." Plenty of other comments seem to agree that there was little sense in deciding to make Jim and Michael co-managers. But perhaps Andy Buckley, who played David Wallace, can offer some insight into his character's decision-making. 

In an interview with CinemaBlend, Buckley confirmed David ultimately thinks highly of Michael. In fact, it seems that Michael is a far more competent figure at Dunder Mifflin than David: "But I mean, my goodness, he was –- Steve [Carell] certainly -– but Michael is such a lovely guy, and he delivered the best results. I mean, that's why I had him into the office that one time, you know? 'What are you doing right?'" Based on what Buckley had to say, it helps recontextualize David's decision. It didn't take much convincing from Michael to make Jim co-manager because David held his opinion in high regard.

The co-manager arc lasts for 12 episodes, during which David confesses to Jim that Dunder Mifflin will be insolvent by year's end. Eventually, the company is sold to Sabre, and Jim returns to sales after discovering he could make more money there under the new regime. In retrospect, Wallace's decision may have been the flawed reasoning of an executive flailing to save a company and taking advice from the one guy who seemed to have everything figured out, at least in terms of the business.