The sign above his door reads “Riley Docherty, Regional Manager.” And the sign outside the building reads “Dunder Mifflin.”
Okay, not really. But in his dreams.
“The Office” is at the center of it all — sitting in his Netflix queue, rattling around in his brain and at the heart of the jokes his friends make about his career path.
Riley’s a paper engineering major.
“I’ve probably seen the show through at least 20 times,” Riley said. “And it’s all about paper, so people just kind of joke that I chose paper engineering because of my obsession about a show about a paper company.”
Originally, the 100 percent job placement for the major and scholarship opportunities called Riley’s name. But the fact that his major and all-time favorite TV show shared a theme hadn’t escaped anyone’s attention. Except Riley’s.
But now he’s in on the joke, and he embraces it.
“Maybe it played a role without me knowing because it is the best show ever,” he said. “When people just say I probably chose my major because of ‘The Office’ I kind of just go along and say I did.”
Even beyond paper, Riley’s life can always find its way back to Dunder Mifflin and its famous employees.
“I know everyone thinks they’re Jim, but I am,” Riley said. “I’m someone who’s laid back and likes to make jokes and prank people. I’m serious, but only when I need to be.”
Even his girlfriend of almost four years fits into Riley’s life as the show — taking the role of the other half of the famous “Office” couple, Pam.
“I think Emily is Pam, if she’s anyone,” he said. “She’s made big life changes and gotten a lot more courageous over the years, just like Pam.”
Riley’s just an ordinary guy, and the “The Office” is just a show about ordinary people.
But, as Pam Beesly said, “There’s a lot of beauty in ordinary things. Isn’t that kind of the point?”