Robert California (on The Office)

Robert California (on The Office)

T&A1987 T&A1987
I never cared for the character (the new CEO of Sabre on The Office) and after the season finale (spoilers) he seems even worse. For most of the season the writers established him as a brilliant, but bizarre boss, using psychological tactics both to motivate the workers and as a twisted game. yet towards the end of the season he appeared less brilliant and more like an idiot. keeping Nellie on for no good reason was the main issue, but there were others.

Then, during the finale, when David Wallace buys Dunder Mifflin after Sabre went bankrupt, California cons Wallace out of one million dollars. He does so under the moniker (or possibly real name) Bob Kazamackas and the money is going to be used to "mentor" young (though presumably legal) eastern European gymnasts. This doesn't seem to fit for a number of reasons.

1. California was CEO for about a year and even with his divorce, he should have had plenty of money, more than enough to finance his sexual tourism.

2. throughout the show, while he seemed somewhat unbalanced and even a touch cruel, he never attempted to take advantage of anyone. Perhaps Wallace being new to him and far better off than everyone else, made him different, but there's nothing suggesting that was the case.

3. in the season premiere he convinced Jo (the founder and former CEO of Sabre played by kathy bates) to give him her job. While the lack of explanation for this bugged me, it does establish California as a smooth talker, suggesting he'd have little difficulty finding money elsewhere in a more legitimate fashion.

Considering this, why did he con wallace? There are two explanations as I see it.

1. He was a conman the entire time. During the season he never actually DID anything. there were no indications that he was actually a skilled businessman, just a smooth talker. Further, before he became CEO, Sabre was supposed to be a well managed company. Yet during his one year tenure, it collapased to the point of necessitating a liquidation. During the garden party episode he comments that managers don't do anything but bark orders like babies sitting in messy diapers. Is it possible that he force himself on the job for the sole purpose of milking Sabre for all of its value and then leaving? I believe so, because the alternative is

2. Even the writers didn't understand him.
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