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Did David Wallace from The Office transfer Holly back to Nashua because he had a crush on her and was jealous of her and Michael's relationship?

On the surface it appears that he came to the Crime Aid auction in season 5 because of the rumor that Michael had Springsteen tickets. He saw Michael and Holly kissing, and in the next episode decides to transfer Holly because the relationship was undisclosed. A couple episodes later, David seems concerned about Michael's happiness and sends him on a business trip, and later when Michael yells at David for transferring Holly and hangs up on him, he doesn't fire him and Michael tells us

Why have I stayed at Dunder Mifflin for so long? Certainly not because of the paycheck. 'Cause I could be making more money as a doctor or a professional athlete. I think it's because they respect me. A boss that will not fire you even though you just tell him off right to his face over the phone That's respect.

So did David really not fire him because he respects him or did he feel guilty for letting his jealousy dictate a professional decision?

Could an alternate explanation be that David Wallace came to the Crime Aid auction to see Holly because he had a crush on her? When he says he didn't know about the relationship, he seems visibly upset almost like the kid who finds out the girl he likes has a boyfriend. Then later he is trying to cheer Michael up, sending him on business trips first class, and letting Michael get away with hanging up on him and yelling at him.

After all, there were many coworkers on the show who had relationships and didn't get transferred.

I'm wondering if there is any more to this, maybe some kind of acknowledgment that David Wallace had a crush on Holly, either in the show or in an interview?

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    Where did you get the idea that David had a crush on Holly. I thought the transfer was because of conflict of interest since Holly was HR so not a part of the Scranton family – KharoBangdo Sep 24 '18 at 7:07
  • I outlined it in my question, but for clarity I'll restate. I got the impression that David Wallace was upset for reasons other than professional impropriety when he found out about Michael and Holly. His mannerisms on camera came across to me as the slighted boy who had a crush on the girl and found out she is dating someone else. Pair that with the fact that Michael and Holly's relationship is the only one of the many relationships between coworkers that is broken up by corporate. That includes relationships that Michael and Holly each had with other coworkers which were overlooked. – sanpaco Sep 25 '18 at 19:07
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I don't think that is really what happened.

So did David really not fire him because he respects him or did he feel guilty for letting his jealousy dictate a professional decision?

I'm going with neither. He felt guilty because Michael was clearly torn up about his relationship ending, and David Wallace knew that was his fault.

David Wallace had a wife and at least one kid; and didn't seem to show any signs of being attracted to Holly. The concerned look he gave at the Crime Aid auction was because he didn't expect to see his HR representative in a relationship with the office manager.

It's a huge conflict of interest. HR is there to protect the company, but Holly would also be motivated to protect Michael, so the company had to move Holly to make sure she wouldn't be put in a position to put Michael over the company or vice-versa.

Michael was a weird; but generally nice guy. David probably just felt bad because he had to dampen Michael's happiness for the sake of the company. It doesn't really add anything significant to the narrative to have David attracted to Holly, if anything it would be a strange addition IMO.

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    I'd add that Michael's relationship with another employee was a major plot point of earlier seasons – Quasi_Stomach Sep 25 '18 at 17:15
  • It is a plausible explanation on the surface, but I just have a problem with the fact that none of the other office relationships resulted in transfers. Jim and Pam, Dwight and Angela, Andy and Erin, Kelly and Ryan, Kelly and Daryl, Michael and Jan, etc. Office relationships seem to be common and accepted. Consider also Holly is dating a coworker after she moves back to Nashua. Maybe a better question is why is Michael and Holly's relationship the only one that is broken up by corporate? – sanpaco Sep 25 '18 at 19:02
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    @sanpaco The mix of HR and Office Manager is the big issue. It could very easily turn into a situation where Michael does something inappropriate and then Holly doesn't take the appropriate action against him. The workers wouldn't really have anyone to go to with their problems (besides going over everyone's head, which isn't how companies should operate). HR is there to make sure everything is running in a way that wont leave the company liable. The manager decides how to actually run things; but if HR isn't willing to call out management, a lot of bad things can happen. – JMac Sep 25 '18 at 19:14
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I got the impression that David Wallace was upset for reasons other than professional impropriety when he found out about Michael and Holly. His mannerisms on camera came across to me as the slighted boy who had a crush on the girl and found out she is dating someone else.

You are adding your own interpretation into the mix.

Corporately speaking, Holly is the police that is intended to keep the employees in check. When Michael says that "Toby is not part of the family", he is in fact correct in the sense that Toby's is expected to be loyal to corporate over the people he works next to.

Imagine if the only sheriff in town is married to a possible drug dealer. This would immediately raise suspicions whether the sherriff is actively helping the drug dealer get away with their criminal undertaking.

The same is true of Michael and Holly. If Holly is in a relationship with Michael, that immediately compromises how much David Wallace can rely on Holly's reports. Keep in mind that Michael is the main reason most HR reports get filed in the Scranton branch (Toby mentions this in an earlier episode).


I think you're reading the wrong thing into it because David remains quiet and doesn't make a scene.

In actual scenes where someone sees their crush kiss someone else, the person stays quiet to not make a scene (and possibly still hide the fact that they have a crush on the other person).

However, David is remains quiet as a matter of professionalism.

Secondly, Holly moving to the Nashua branch actually enables her relationship with Michael, in the sense that it's no longer a corporate liability. The unfortunate fact is that she had to move, but from an administrative point of view, you can argue that Wallace effectively chose to enable Holly and Michael having a relationship (without consequences to the company), rather than prevent it.

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