Places like Royal Oaks are the new union halls: People go there not only to relax but also to find tradespeople for particular jobs, like auto repair. When an entire area, like Youngstown, suffers from high and prolonged unemployment, problems caused by unemployment move beyond the personal sphere; widespread joblessness shatters neighborhoods and leaches away their civic spirit.
John Russo, the Youngstown State professor, who is a co-author of a history of the city, Steeltown USA , says the local identity took a savage blow when residents lost the ability to find reliable employment. In Youngstown, many of these workers have by now made their peace with insecurity and poverty by building an identity, and some measure of pride, around contingency. The faith they lost in institutions—the corporations that have abandoned the city, the police who have failed to keep them safe—has not returned.
But Russo and Woodroofe both told me they put stock in their own independence. And so a place that once defined itself single-mindedly by the steel its residents made has gradually learned to embrace the valorization of well-rounded resourcefulness. The evaporation of work has deepened the local arts and music scene, several residents told me, because people who are inclined toward the arts have so much time to spend with one another.
Whether or not one has artistic ambitions as Schubert does, it is arguably growing easier to find short-term gigs or spot employment. Paradoxically, technology is the reason. A constellation of Internet-enabled companies matches available workers with quick jobs, most prominently including Uber for drivers , Seamless for meal deliverers , Homejoy for house cleaners , and TaskRabbit for just about anyone else. And online markets like Craigslist and eBay have likewise made it easier for people to take on small independent projects, such as furniture refurbishing.
Some of these services, too, could be usurped, eventually, by machines. But on-demand apps also spread the work around by carving up jobs, like driving a taxi, into hundreds of little tasks, like a single drive, which allows more people to compete for smaller pieces of work.
These new arrangements are already challenging the legal definitions of employer and employee , and there are many reasons to be ambivalent about them. Today the norm is to think about employment and unemployment as a black-and-white binary, rather than two points at opposite ends of a wide spectrum of working arrangements. Most people lived on farms, and while paid work came and went, home industry—canning, sewing, carpentry—was a constant. Even in the worst economic panics, people typically found productive things to do.
The despondency and helplessness of unemployment were discovered, to the bafflement and dismay of cultural critics, only after factory work became dominant and cities swelled. The 21st century, if it presents fewer full-time jobs in the sectors that can be automated, could in this respect come to resemble the midth century: an economy marked by episodic work across a range of activities, the loss of any one of which would not make somebody suddenly idle.
But some might thrive in a market where versatility and hustle are rewarded—where there are, as in Youngstown, few jobs to have, yet many things to do. As Martin Ford no relation writes in his new book, The Rise of the Robots , this story might be apocryphal, but its message is instructive.
Both are expensive and tightly constrained. But the decline of work would make many office buildings unnecessary. What might that mean for the vibrancy of urban areas? Would office space yield seamlessly to apartments, allowing more people to live more affordably in city centers and leaving the cities themselves just as lively? Or would we see vacant shells and spreading blight? Would big cities make sense at all if their role as highly sophisticated labor ecosystems were diminished? As the hour workweek faded, the idea of a lengthy twice-daily commute would almost certainly strike future generations as an antiquated and baffling waste of time.
But would those generations prefer to live on streets full of high-rises, or in smaller towns? Today, many working parents worry that they spend too many hours at the office. As full-time work declined, rearing children could become less overwhelming. And because job opportunities historically have spurred migration in the United States, we might see less of it; the diaspora of extended families could give way to more closely knitted clans. But if men and women lost their purpose and dignity as work went away, those families would nonetheless be troubled. The decline of the labor force would make our politics more contentious.
Deciding how to tax profits and distribute income could become the most significant economic-policy debate in American history. But to preserve the consumer economy and the social fabric, governments might have to embrace what Haruhiko Kuroda, the governor of the Bank of Japan, has called the visible hand of economic intervention.
What follows is an early sketch of how it all might work. In the near term, local governments might do well to create more and more-ambitious community centers or other public spaces where residents can meet, learn skills, bond around sports or crafts, and socialize. Two of the most common side effects of unemployment are loneliness, on the individual level, and the hollowing-out of community pride. A national policy that directed money toward centers in distressed areas might remedy the maladies of idleness, and form the beginnings of a long-term experiment on how to reengage people in their neighborhoods in the absence of full employment.
We could also make it easier for people to start their own, small-scale and even part-time businesses. New-business formation has declined in the past few decades in all 50 states. One way to nurture fledgling ideas would be to build out a network of business incubators.
Near the beginning of any broad decline in job availability, the United States might take a lesson from Germany on job-sharing. Such a policy would help workers at established firms keep their attachment to the labor force despite the declining amount of overall labor. Spreading work in this way has its limits. Eventually, Washington would have to somehow spread wealth, too. One way of doing that would be to more heavily tax the growing share of income going to the owners of capital, and use the money to cut checks to all adults. Many liberals currently support it, and in the s, Richard Nixon and the conservative economist Milton Friedman each proposed a version of the idea.
That history notwithstanding, the politics of universal income in a world without universal work would be daunting. The most direct solution to the latter problem would be for the government to pay people to do something, rather than nothing. It hired 40, artists and other cultural workers to produce music and theater, murals and paintings, state and regional travel guides, and surveys of state records.
What might that look like? Several national projects might justify direct hiring, such as caring for a rising population of elderly people. But if the balance of work continues to shift toward the small-bore and episodic, the simplest way to help everybody stay busy might be government sponsorship of a national online marketplace of work or, alternatively, a series of local ones, sponsored by local governments.
Individuals could browse for large long-term projects, like cleaning up after a natural disaster, or small short-term ones: an hour of tutoring, an evening of entertainment, an art commission. To ensure a baseline level of attachment to the workforce, the government could pay adults a flat rate in return for some minimum level of activity on the site, but people could always earn more by taking on more gigs.
Although a digital WPA might strike some people as a strange anachronism, it would be similar to a federalized version of Mechanical Turk, the popular Amazon sister site where individuals and companies post projects of varying complexity, while so-called Turks on the other end browse tasks and collect money for the ones they complete. Mechanical Turk was designed to list tasks that cannot be performed by a computer. The name is an allusion to an 18th-century Austrian hoax, in which a famous automaton that seemed to play masterful chess concealed a human player who chose the moves and moved the pieces.
A government marketplace might likewise specialize in those tasks that required empathy, humanity, or a personal touch. Mastering these skills requires discipline; discipline requires an education; and an education, for many people, involves the expectation that hours of often frustrating practice will eventually prove rewarding.
Modest payments to young people for attending and completing college, skills-training programs, or community-center workshops might eventually be worth considering. This seems radical, but the aim would be conservative—to preserve the status quo of an educated and engaged society. Whatever their career opportunities, young people will still grow up to be citizens, neighbors, and even, episodically, workers.
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Nudges toward education and training might be particularly beneficial to men, who are more likely to withdraw into their living rooms when they become unemployed. Decades from now, perhaps the 20th century will strike future historians as an aberration, with its religious devotion to overwork in a time of prosperity, its attenuations of family in service to job opportunity, its conflation of income with self-worth. The three potential futures of consumption, communal creativity, and contingency are not separate paths branching out from the present.
Entertainment will surely become more immersive and exert a gravitational pull on people without much to do. And with or without such places, many people will need to embrace the resourcefulness learned over time by cities like Youngstown, which, even if they seem like museum exhibits of an old economy, might foretell the future for many more cities in the next 25 years.
On my last day in Youngstown, I met with Howard Jesko, a year-old Youngstown State graduate student, at a burger joint along the main street. A few months after Black Friday in , as a senior at Ohio State University, Jesko received a phone call from his father, a specialty-hose manufacturer near Youngstown. Around the same time, a left-knee replacement due to degenerative arthritis resulted in a day hospital stay, which gave him time to think about the future. Jesko decided to go back to school to become a professor.
One theory of work holds that people tend to see themselves in jobs, careers, or callings. Those with pure careerist ambitions are focused not only on income but also on the status that comes with promotions and the growing renown of their peers. But one pursues a calling not only for pay or status, but also for the intrinsic fulfillment of the work itself.
There is no universal basic income that can prevent the civic ruin of a country built on a handful of workers permanently subsidizing the idleness of tens of millions of people. But a future of less work still holds a glint of hope, because the necessity of salaried jobs now prevents so many from seeking immersive activities that they enjoy. After my conversation with Jesko, I walked back to my car to drive out of Youngstown. If Jesko had taken a job in the steel industry, he might be preparing for retirement today.
Instead, that industry collapsed and then, years later, another recession struck. The outcome of this cumulative grief is that Howard Jesko is not retiring at It took the loss of so many jobs to force him to pursue the work he always wanted to do. A dangerous trend in fake news has the potential to affect the upcoming U. There have, of course, been massive changes to the institution over the past few generations, leading the occasional cultural critic to ask: Is marriage becoming obsolete?
But few of these people seem genuinely interested in the answer. More often the question functions as a kind of rhetorical sleight of hand, a way of stirring up moral panic about changing family values or speculating about whether society has become too cynical for love. In popular culture, the sentiment still prevails that marriage makes us happy and divorce leaves us lonely, and that never getting married at all is a fundamental failure of belonging.
Dolly Lucio Sevier evaluated dozens of sick children at a facility in South Texas. She found evidence of infection, malnutrition, and psychological trauma. More than 1, migrant children sat in the detention facility here, and Sevier, a local pediatrician, had been examining as many as she could, one at a time.
Five years ago, the flight vanished into the Indian Ocean. Officials on land know more about why than they dare to say. At a. The designator for Malaysia Airlines is MH. The flight number was Fariq Hamid, the first officer, was flying the airplane. He was 27 years old. This was a training flight for him, the last one; he would soon be fully certified. His trainer was the pilot in command, a man named Zaharie Ahmad Shah, who at 53 was one of the most senior captains at Malaysia Airlines. In Malaysian style, he was known by his first name, Zaharie.
He was married and had three adult children. He lived in a gated development. He owned two houses. In his first house he had installed an elaborate Microsoft flight simulator. Government lawyers faced an irate federal judge on Wednesday, after the president publicly contradicted what they had told the court.
Don't believe the biased and phony media quoting people who work for my campaign. The only quote that matters is a quote from me! That left the door slightly ajar for further attempts, and the president thundered about the decision and mused publicly about whether he could delay the census. These words came from an elderly woman sitting behind me on a late-night flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.
The plane was dark and quiet. To hear more feature stories, see our full list or get the Audm iPhone app. I listened with morbid fascination, forming an image of the man in my head as they talked. I imagined someone who had worked hard all his life in relative obscurity, someone with unfulfilled dreams—perhaps of the degree he never attained, the career he never pursued, the company he never started.
If humans ever discover life on Mars, this is how it might start: with a breaking-news alert heralding a startling development well beyond Earth. NASA quickly published a press release acknowledging the detection, which, the Times had reported , marked the largest amount of methane ever registered by the Curiosity rover, a NASA mission that touched down on the red planet in But after that, the agency went quiet. The news had come from an email between scientists on the Curiosity team that had been leaked to the Times.
When kids separated from their families on the U. On Monday, when ProPublica released the now infamous seven-and-a-half minutes of audiotape recorded inside a U. Within seconds, however, Narvaez, a professor of psychology at the University of Notre Dame who specializes in parenting and child development, had hit the mute button.
Many describe conditions in which, whether by official policy or not, shelter staff are prohibited or prevented from hugging or touching the detained kids —hundreds of whom are younger than 13 years old—to comfort them. Hello, comrades! Unless, of course, our Sherman tanks after their arduous trip through the Time Tunnel plunge through the Arlington Memorial Bridge and we have to fish them out of the Potomac.
In which case, it will clearly be the result of sabotage by wreckers determined to ruin yet another celebration of the Most Abused President in All of Human History.
Should you know everything? Should you throw in the towel? An expert has answers
T he horrors detailed in the press were hard to believe. The images so traumatized the Northern public that after the war, the warden of the prison, Henry Wirz, became one of the only people tried for war crimes. In his rambling screed against the soccer star, the president revealed a lot about his worldview. Finish the job! Be proud of the Flag that you wear. A frequently printed error has caused widespread misreadings of the seminal text—and the interpretation of democracy. A World Without Work For centuries, experts have predicted that machines would make workers obsolete.
Share Tweet. Latest Video Ahead of , Beware the Deepfake A dangerous trend in fake news has the potential to affect the upcoming U. Elyse Kelly Jul 2, About the Author Derek Thompson is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, technology, and the media. Most Popular Presented by.
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Andy assumes the role as Jim's emotional rock, which Jim goes along with, as a prank. When Andy makes an announcement to the office for them to respect Jim's emotional needs, Phyllis informs him that Jim is just messing with him. When he goes to confront Jim over the matter, Jim tells Andy that he is very happy with Pam, and assures Andy that, while his breakup with Angela was "A bummer", he will find someone else. In the episode " Cafe Disco ", Andy and Kelly compete in a dance-off, and he proves himself to be as enthusiastic about dancing as he is about music.
In the last scene of the episode, Kelly and Andy are seen in the men's bathroom, where she is about to give him an ear piercing , something that he fears the pain of, as well as worrying that he will be pierced on the "Gay ear". Andy continues to develop a friendship and an attraction to Erin, which began late in the fifth season. However, the pair are both too timid to reveal their feelings for one another. In " Murder ", Andy asks Erin out on a date while playing a game called Belles, Bourbon, and Bullets , but is confused whether she was just playing along with the game. When she implies that she said yes as Naughty Nellie, he says that he also asked her out in character, leaving both disappointed.
In " Gossip ", Michael spreads the rumour that Andy is actually homosexual , which causes Andy to question his own sexuality throughout the episode. He then proceeds to give Erin the Twelve Days of Christmas. Subsequently, Erin becomes injured by the geese , terrorized by the other gifts of birds , and angered at whomever is her secret Santa. Michael, disgruntled by the fact that Phyllis was made office Santa that year instead of him, reveals to the entire office that Andy is Erin's secret Santa. Unfazed, Andy hires 12 professional drummers to perform for Erin and the rest of the staff at the end of the episode, which Erin enjoys.
In " Niagara ", the night before Jim and Pam's wedding, Andy rips his scrotum on his car keys while in the midst of a dance-off competition with his co-workers. Andy confesses that he had never done the splits before, but he is motivated to perform this dance move to impress Erin. Pam takes Andy to the hospital the night before her wedding as everyone else is too drunk to drive.
In " Sabre ," he believes that after hiring professional drummers for Erin, she should ask him out. However, she believes that he will ask her out and she can't wait to see how he "tops [the drummers]. In " The Delivery ," after Michael arranges a date between Erin and Kevin, this incites Andy to finally and successfully ask Erin out, although initially his ploy to ask her out backfires.
In " New Leads ," after Michael distributes the sales leads to rest of the staff, Erin hides Andy's leads. At the end of episode, a "hot-blooded" Erin offers a cold Andy her jacket in a landfill where they share their first kiss. Earlier in the episode, Andy lets the new sales leads get to his head and greatly offends Darryl. He, along with the rest of the sales staff, is convinced by Jim that their poor attitudes have alienated everyone else, and agrees to Jim's proposal to smooth things over with the staff. During " Happy Hour ," Andy and Erin's attempts to keep their relationship under wraps, backfires constantly when they're too overzealous about hiding it.
Finally sick of hiding the truth, Andy declares their relationship during the company's happy hour gathering. In " Secretary's Day ", Andy pulls out all stops in making sure that Erin has a memorable Secretary's Day, even asking Michael to treat Erin out to lunch, which the boss reluctantly agrees to do. However, when Michael reveals that Andy was engaged to Angela, Erin reacts badly. She even throws cake in Andy's face when he tries to serenade her with one of his songs, and wants to take a break from their relationship.
Michael does smooth things over a bit with Erin, but Erin does not change her mind about breaking up with him, and Andy remains distraught.
Melanie Tonia Evans
During " The Cover-Up ", one of his clients informs him that their Sabre printer catches fire, which worries Andy. When he decides to investigate the matter, he enlists Darryl to assist him. However, Darryl wants to get revenge on Andy for almost getting him fired a while back over mistaken shipments, and goes along with the ploy by playing up his fears.
But when Andy video tapes the printer that catches on fire, it confirms his suspicions. This prompts Darryl to call off his prank, when he realizes it could get himself in trouble. When Michael is revealed to be dating a married woman in " The Chump ", Andy is furious because of his own cuckolding at Angela's hands, and is driven to make Michael realize the error of his ways. Andy drives Michael to a high school baseball game that the woman's husband is coaching and makes the two meet, making it uncomfortable for Michael and eventually leading to him ending the affair.
Andy initially denies it, even though he is accused of this. But he eventually comes clean with the truth by admitting to submitting a letter to a news editor and the video he recorded of a printer catching fire. Andy admits this as he doesn't want to see the printer fire cause a catastrophe to a school or hospital, but finds himself harassed throughout the day by the sales staff when they all suspect he did it. However, as he leaves at the end of the day, Andy is commended by Erin for his bravery, and he leaves smiling.
He invites the entire office to come and is particularly hopeful to impress Erin with his performance—but when Erin agrees to babysit for Pam and Jim's daughter Cece so that they can attend, Andy nearly blows the performance checking his phone for word from her on stage. Erin ultimately is revealed to have been watching from the back, Cece in tow, to Andy's delight and to Jim and Pam's chagrin. Andy is sad once again when Erin leaves quickly to attend to a cold-suffering Gabe, but he then sings for the delighted office crew and finishes his evening on a happy note.
In " Costume Contest ", he mentions in a conversation with Darryl that he wrote daily op-ed columns for his college newspaper, The Cornell Daily Sun. After realizing that he did not want to become editor of the paper, he walked right out of Walter Bernard Hall, which is the name of his father. In " Sex Ed ", he holds a sex education seminar for the office because people are insulting Meredith, but is really only doing so to find out if Erin and Gabe are sleeping together the answer is "Yes". When the employees make fun of him, he gets angry and throws a pizza box at the wall.
Later Gabe bluntly tells Andy to never behave like that again, especially after Andy gave Gabe permission to ask Erin out over the previous summer, but Darryl cheers him up. In " The Sting ", Andy gets jealous over hearing of a former Here Comes Treble member's musical success, and forms an underwhelming but enjoyable office band with Darryl and Kevin. In " Christening ", Andy joins Michael Scott's plan to travel with the church group to Mexico, as both men are deeply unhappy with their personal lives in Scranton, but they quickly realize their mistake and return to their regular lives. In " Viewing Party ", Andy isn't happy to be attending a " Glee " viewing party at Gabe's apartment, and takes so much of the obscure Asian potency items Gabe had collected that he becomes visibly ill.
In " Ultimatum ", Andy reveals that his New Year's resolution is to "learn how to cook for one", since his regular cooking leaves him with twice as much food as he needs. He flatly tells Pam that he's not going to meet anyone, and that "some people are destined to be alone". He later goes with Darryl and Dwight on a trip to a bookstore, and they later have fun at a local roller skating rink. In " The Seminar ", Andy holds a small business seminar in the office with some special guests because he needs to overcome his pathetic sales figures.
At the end of the seminar, Andy is able to sell three packages, thanks to the advice of Michael. Andy is at first reluctant but relents at Erin's friendly urging. The hunt starts with a puzzle picture, which leads to Gabe's stereo in Darryl's office, which leads to glow in the dark stars in Ryan's closet, leading to sparkling cider with Hank the security guard, and finally to a Valentine's cookie in the break room. When the cookie tells her to enjoy her Valentine's kiss, Erin thinks she's supposed to kiss Andy.
Andy points out Gabe blowing a kiss through the window and leaves awkwardly. When the staff gathers in the Conference Room to see the screening of Michael's movie "Threat Level Midnight" in the episode of the same name , Andy is shown playing a character with a New Jersey accent named Billy the Bartender. Jim starts laughing uncontrollably at a particular scene, causing everyone else to laugh with him. Michael angrily stops the movie and takes it away, to which everyone protests, including Andy, who says that some people are doing a superb job in the movie.
In " Todd Packer ", when office administrator Pam gets a new computer for the receptionist's desk to replace the current, ancient one, Andy wants a new computer too. Pam states that if she were to get a new computer for one sales rep Andy , she would have to get one for every sales rep, which leads the entire office into believing that new computers are being freely handed out. Since Pam refuses to give him a new computer, Andy switches his computer with Erin, a trade Erin seems to be fine with. Pam is angry with him, saying that the computer was not meant for Erin personally but for the receptionist's desk in general, and therefore it was not hers to switch.
Pam tells Andy that the only way he can get a new computer is if his breaks, which leads to him accepting all cookies , intentionally opening pop-up ads , and placing food in the disc drive. Pam then buys Andy a new computer, which they scratch up so it figures into Pam's fake cover story finding a spare model in the warehouse , and Pam later doles out some vacation days to Darryl to keep the whole lie nicely bottled up. As the instruction booklet is not with the game, Andy and Darryl make up the rules as they go along, much to Kevin's objection.
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Eventually, Kevin notices the money they had bet on the game with is missing, and storms out. As Darryl and Andy look at each other in confusion, Kevin reveals to the cameras that he has the money, stating, "And that Deangelo loves the antics of Andy, who has resorted to physical comedy when his jokes fall flat, getting to the point where he pours hot coffee on his pants and, at Deangelo's urging, eats soap; Andy tells the camera with dazed sadness that "this is my life now".
In " Goodbye, Michael ", Andy is given Michael's client list as a going away present, and after losing one, requests the help of Deangelo to retain them. Deangelo nearly screws up a relationship with a client, but Andy gains enough confidence to salvage the sale. Meanwhile, Erin confides to Michael over dealing with breaking up with Gabe, that she might be in love with Andy again, while Gabe becomes venomously angry towards Andy because he wrongly believes Andy triggered Erin's brutal public breakup with him. In " The Inner Circle ", Andy is shown to want in on Deangelo's "inner circle" of office workers, but changes his mind about Deangelo when the women say he's sexist.
However, when Jim brings the rumor of Deangelo being sexist to his boss's attention, he replaces Jim with Andy, who eagerly accepts. While Andy says he going to infiltrate and change from within the circle, as soon as he steps into Deangelo's office, he calls the meeting place "man cave" and barks like a dog before closing the door. In " Dwight K. Schrute, Acting Manager " Gabe makes Andy promise not to date Erin while crying to which Andy agrees in order to get Gabe out of the room.
When Dwight becomes the interim manager, Andy suffers temporary hearing loss when Dwight accidentally fires a gun near him. Erin runs to his side out of concern. Later, when Andy and Erin are talking, Gabe tells Erin what Andy said about them not dating, but Andy shuts Gabe up by pointing out Gabe's pathetic crying fit, and tells both of them that he's keeping his final view on whether he wants to date Erin or not "between me and my diary".
Also, Erin asks Andy out on a date and he eventually refuses, claiming that he has gotten over her. However, Andy later tells the camera that he does think Erin is great. Andy also remains a managerial candidate once Gabe's behavior gets him transferred out of Scranton, and tells the office he won't make any changes at all, but his status like everyone else's is left unclear as the episode ends.
Robert California, selected by the search committee, declines to become Branch Manager and convinces Jo Bennett to give him her position as CEO, thus giving Robert the authority to appoint Andy as the new manager between the events of " Search Committee " and " The List ". Upon discovering a list that divides the office into winners and losers and being moved into the loser division after questioning Robert about it, he retaliates by hosting a pizza party for the losers and publicly confronts Robert with the positive attributes of the losers.
This act earns the respect of Robert and the office, in addition to an extended Columbus Day weekend. In " The Incentive ", Robert California urges the doubling of sales growth, which Andy attempts to fulfill with an incentive program. This program spirals out of control when Andy has one of the prizes of the program to be a tattoo on his posterior, worth 5, points. In comedic fashion, the office pools their points and succeeds in winning this prize, to which Andy bravely owns up to, only for the office to change the originally more-raunchy tattoo design to one that honors Andy's nickname of "The Nard Dog.
Darryl, depressed from the fact that he didn't win the lottery because he works in the office now, assembles a conference room meeting with several potential new hires, but utters several discouraging remarks about the job and exits, leaving Andy alone to take charge of the process. Andy doesn't know what he's doing and all of the workers simply leave. Later, Andy finally manages to hire three warehouse workers. Andy steps up when Darryl tells him to give him the manager job, saying he deserves it and wants that or a pink slip, and bluntly tells Darryl he not only isn't going to do that, but Darryl was not the runner-up to Andy in the selection process; as he brings up Darryl's short temper, his hiring of the unqualified Glen, and his loss of interest in taking business education courses, Darryl finally snaps out of his funk and listens to him.
Andy tells Darryl that Jo Bennett loved him and saw something in him, and he simply stopped striving after that. He convinces Darryl to stay on board. Josh Groban in attendance. However, it's evident that Andy is also trying to prove himself to his parents, who were under the impression that he was CEO of the company until later. He goes to great lengths to try and impress them, even with a toast that gets progressively worse when Andy resents his father and brother performing a duet that Andy tried performing with his father.
This indicates that Walter, Jr. When Walter, Sr. This conversation is overheard by Jim, Pam, Darryl, Oscar and Erin via Jim and Pam's baby monitor, prompting everyone to understand why Andy feels the need to get everyone to like him. After his family leaves, Andy feels dejected and plans to head home himseld, but Darryl and Oscar cheer him up with food from their impromptu barbecue, and Andy finishes his day smiling as he enjoys good food and company.
In " Spooked ", Andy dresses up as a construction worker. He assigns Erin to set up the Halloween party, as he wants to live up to the expectations set by Robert. When Robert arrives, he notices that the party is more tailored to kids than adults. Andy asks Angela and Phyllis to help take over and re-tailor the party and asks to speak with Erin at the end of the day. Andy and Robert later talk with Erin in his office regarding Erin accidentally ruining the Halloween party by putting on a disturbing movie of Gabe's creation. Erin says she got nervous when Andy asked to have a talk with her and that she thought he was about to fire her over the party.
However, Andy tells her he's dating someone, and she is shocked to hear they've been out on 31 dates so far. Erin doesn't speak up and leaves dejectedly, however, at the end of the episode, Erin talks to Andy about her feelings. In the cold open of " Doomsday ", Andy, to commemorate and "bring closure" to the end of each work day, plays "Closing Time", much to the dismay of his visibly annoyed co-workers. Andy, frustrated that no one but him and Erin enjoy the tradition, starts to scold the workers until Stanley comes in happily singing the song alongside him.
After it is discovered that an accounting error lead to a client getting a free order, Robert tells Andy to clamp down on the mistakes. In turn, Andy enlists Dwight to implement a system, nicknamed "The Doomsday Device", which can record five errors and generate an automatic email report to Robert, putting fear into the office.
Realizing this could jeopardize his staff, Andy along with Erin, Pam and Kevin try to talk Dwight out of sending the email to Robert. But they're eventually phased out when Robert's more talented bandmates step in. The three end up having their own jam session outside. Andy takes much of the staff to " Gettysburg " as part of a motivational speech, but his attempt to galvanize the staff in relation to the historic war, does little.
Fed up, Andy storms off and later argues with Jim, who tells Andy that the staff simply like him as a manager, and that he doesn't have to prove himself to them, putting Andy at comfort. Andy meets " Mrs. California " and at Robert's hasty instruction, is not supposed to hire his wife Susan, for a job in the office. Although in front of his spouse, Robert contradicts his instruction quite well, leaving Andy and later Jim in a hard place when Andy is trying to not hire her.
When Susan is hired and then later quits her job, Andy goes to speak with her and she asks him out on a date, leaving him in shock. In " Christmas Wishes ", Andy dresses up as Santa for the office's annual Christmas party as an effort to makes everyone's holiday wish comes true. He also introduces Jessica, his new girlfriend to the office, much to the confusement and later drunken chagrin of Erin, who resents her. Erin drunkenly tells Andy that her Christmas wish is for Jessica to die, offending and angering Andy.
He tells Erin to get over the fact that he turned her down for a date and storms off. Although when he suspects Erin is getting unusually close to Robert when he drives her home, he tails them to her apartment as Meredith's designated driver. But to his relief, he sees Robert hug Erin goodbye with comforting words and instructs her to take care of her hangover.
Desperate to meet the company's sales quota to impress Robert, Andy tries numerous methods to reach the number such as buying up paper stock himself and asking Oscar to "fix" the sales quota number. Andy gets the idea to bring the staff with him in an effort to win the prize, only to be surprised that they end up in a gay bar. To Oscar and his trivia team's chagrin, the staff splits off into teams and to Oscar and Andy's surprise, the underdog team of Kevin whom Andy passive-aggressively rejected for his team , Erin, Kelly and Meredith win the cash prize for the office to meet their quota.
Seemingly despondent over his impending divorce, Robert hosts an impromptu " Pool Party " at his soon-to-be-sold mansion. The staff attends with Andy and his girlfriend, much to Erin's consternation. Andy carries around the engagement ring his parents had, which he claims that his parents fell head over heels in love with Jessica. Desperate for Andy's attention, Erin enlists Dwight and they engage in a series of competitive pool games with Andy and Jessica.
Later on, Dwight asks Andy about his love life as he's trying to find out how Andy feels about Erin, which Andy deflects with weak answers, prompting Dwight to tell Andy "you're an idiot" before walking away in disgust. At one point during the night, Andy accidentally loses the ring and goes frantically searching for it but to no avail.
However, Erin recovers the ring in the pool and gives it to Andy, knowing the history behind the ring. Andy confides to Erin that he's confused about his relationship with Jessica, which gives Erin hope. He decides to go to Florida to win her back and does so during " Get the Girl ", later respectively breaking up with Jessica, saying he was gay to do so, but later returning and admitting to his lie, soon after returning with Erin. However, while he is in Florida, Nellie claims the manager position at Scranton and Andy is demoted to salesman.
After one of his anger outbursts " Angry Andy " he is fired from Dunder Mifllin. He also calls Robert and threatens to get him fired if David buys the company. In " Free Family Portrait Studio ", Andy returns to the office and pretends to be hopeless and jobless and begs Nellie for a job. Andy reveals he's faking this to the documentary crew and that David Wallace is going to buy back Dunder Mifflin, fire Nellie and Robert, and reinstate Andy as manager. While Andy is reinstated, Robert swindles his way into getting a million dollars from David and Andy hires Nellie out of guilt and sorrow.
In " New Guys ", it is revealed that Andy was sent to Outward Bound manager training by David Wallace, which caused him to revert to his cockier and meaner persona from season 3. He wants revenge on Nellie for what happened during the second half of season 8. In the episode, Andy aggressively pushes Nellie off of a slack-line that he set up in the parking lot. In " Andy's Ancestry ", Nellie pranks Andy into believing that he is related to Michelle Obama , which concerns the office and makes them wonder if his family owned slaves.
Andy then phones his mother asking whether this is true. He then tells the office that his family did not own slaves, but they did transport them. In " Work Bus ", Andy continues to torment Nellie, especially when she needs an employer's signature to verify her employment to an adoption agency. He refuses in front of the entire office, which upsets her and Erin. Andy later finds Erin crying after this, which prompts him to sign the papers and add in a few kind words in the paper saying how good a mother Nellie could potentially be.
The Exes' Revenge
In " Here Comes Treble " and " The Boat ", Andy discovers his father has abandoned their family, leaving them nearly penniless. He consults with Oscar and Darryl to sell enough family assets for his mother to live. He resists their urging that he sell off their family boat, which Andy had always wanted to drive, but finally relents to sell it to a dealer in the Bahamas. During this, Erin attempts to cheer him up, though Andy doesn't not appear receptive until she suggests they drive up to Connecticut to see off the boat themselves.
Once there, Andy discovers his brother Walter Jr. Andy decides to sail the boat to the Bahamas himself, along with Walter Jr. Though grateful to Erin for cheering him up, he doesn't notice how hurt she is at being left behind. In " The Whale ", Andy, still sailing to the Bahamas, communicates with Erin and several of his co-workers. After three days, he appears badly sunburned , dehydrated , and somewhat affected by the isolation. Their conversation is cut short when Andy's computer falls off the boat into the ocean.
Andy decides to stay there for several more weeks to find himself, something that upsets Erin greatly, and causes her to become closer to her friend and co-worker Pete Miller. Andy returns in " Couples Discount " in a rapidly different appearance as a result of being away from three months in the Bahamas. He surprises the staff by returning a day early and immediately alienates everyone with stupid, tone-deaf behavior: ignorantly expecting the staff to take him seriously as if he never left, voiding a major sale that Dwight had with Jan Levinson , shamelessly collecting his paychecks plus the "merit bonus" he acquired for the staff excelling their sales quota.
He holds a meeting with the staff in order to catch up on what he missed, so to meet with David Wallace, who has been under the impression that Andy has been at the office the entire time via phone calls and e-mails. The staff in turn, tell him false stories that he manages to spin when meeting with David and he manages to get through the meeting without repercussions.
However Erin, after feeling 3 months of neglect from Andy, plans to break up with him until he convinces him that they can fake love each other like his parents. Although Erin later decides against this, and dumps Andy for mistreating her and for being irresponsible by skipping work, a conversation heard by David Wallace on speakerphone, who asks Andy "What was that about three months?
Distraught over their breakup in " Moving On ", Andy's professional relationship with Erin and the rest of the staff is bad. David Wallace chastises Andy in a closed door meeting but allows him to keep his job, thanking Andy for getting him the company, but warns him that he's on very thin ice for his antics. When he tries imposing his authority over Pam, Dwight and Angela when they leave mid-day, he finds himself subject to insults related to his three months away.
Throughout the day, Andy avoids work-related matters such as client messages if they come from Erin. He confides in Clark and Pete, the latter whom is secretly dating Erin and Erin confides that keeping their relationship secret from Andy, has kept the relationship "hot". Andy is suspicious of Erin dating someone else, as he goes through her cell phone, and is later able to figure out that Pete is her new beau. Andy impulsively fires Pete, who turns to Toby, who tells Andy that he can't fire Pete over a personal grudge, even when Andy tries to crush up the relationship agreement form that Erin and Pete signed.
Erin and Pete start lecturing Andy that he needs to move on, turning Andy vengeful.
He decides to hire their exes such as Alice Collette Wolfe , a marketing consultant and Gabe to the branch in a bid to make Erin and Pete uncomfortable. The ploy works to the point where arguments break out in the conference room between the parties, as Erin and Pete's past relationship issues surface.
Andy smugly says to the camera that seeing Erin and Pete unhappy has made him feel better. During " The Farm ", Andy along with the rest of the staff falls victim to Todd Packer 's revenge prank by eating drug-laden cupcakes that Todd gave to the staff. The documentary features footage of both Andy and Kevin engaging in strange antics as a result of hallucinating from drugs.
In '" Stairmageddon ", as promos circulate for the documentary series about the branch, Andy comes to realize that he's disillusioned about his job. Inspired to follow his acting dreams, Andy makes a series of calls to talent agencies with no success. Andy books his first job in an industrial film about a chemical lab in " Paper Airplane ", where he plays a lab employee. Throughout the shoot, Andy ends up annoying the production crew with frequent suggestions.
However, Andy gets cold feet when he has to perform a stunt by pouring cold water in his eyes as to re-enact a chemical burn scenario. Carla sternly warns Andy to get his act together or he won't book any more work. With Darryl's encouragement, Andy does the stunt and at his insistence, does it twice. Carla exclaims "The kid can act! Inspired to finally go for his dreams, Andy musters up the courage to quit his job in " Livin' the Dream ". Although he was initially going to be fired by David Wallace as Andy's pursuit of his career came at the expense of his job such as auditioning during the work day for student films, buying an expensive photo printer with company money for his head shots and asking David to pay for facial cheek implants during a teleconference.
However, Andy hands in his resignation before David can fire him, leaving David relieved.