Credit in TV land: "The Office"

Posted On : September 19, 2011 by Geoff Williams

The OfficeCredit rating: 9.5

Characters: Jim and Pam Halpert

Show: "The Office" (NBC)

Credit card role models: Responsible

Our reasoning: In seven going on eight seasons, we haven't seen much evidence that the Halperts aren't responsible with their credit cards, and in fact, Jim and Pam are probably the most responsible people at Dunder Mifflin's fictitious offices in Scranton, Pa., or possibly right behind Toby Flenderson and Oscar Martinez.

The Halperts did have some poor luck with their Capital One credit card while they were on their honeymoon in Puerto Rico. Capital One's identity theft department noticed the offshore charges and, concerned that the card might have been stolen, called Jim at his office.

Unfortunately for Jim, his coworker Kevin was occupying his office at the time because Kevin liked the privacy of Jim's office better than he liked working at his own desk. When Capital One called, Kevin answered the phone and pretended to be Jim. Kevin promptly instructed Capital One to cancel the credit card, forcing the newlyweds to spend a chunk of their honeymoon restoring their good name with Capital One.

Jim and Pam did nothing wrong, of course, but we'll take half a point off since they could have prevented their misfortune had they called their credit card about their travel plans, something credit card users should be doing in real life before they go on a trip. Plus, when you work somewhere like Dunder Mifflin and desire to have a normal life, you should be thinking proactively about everything you do.

Incidentally, Kevin may be, even more than former manager Michael Scott, the least responsible with his credit cards. Showing off what the office shredder could do, he inadvertently shredded his own credit card.


About the Author


Geoff Williams is a freelance journalist who has covered personal finance for several years. A former features reporter for The Cincinnati Post, Williams's work has also appeared in numerous magazines including Consumer Reports, AARP Bulletin and Ladies' Home Journal. He is the author of Living Well with Bad Credit (HCI Books 2010).

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