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Above the office antics rises a sullenly sensible Stanley

Leslie David Baker, who stars as ’Stanley’ in ’The Office,’ will attend ’The Office Convention’ in Scranton this weekend.

When Leslie David Baker was growing up in Chicago, his first job – and so far, worst job ever -- was as roller-coaster operator at an amusement park.

“I hated it,” he said earlier this week in a telephone interview. “The coaster would stall, and my supervisor would tell me to climb up on the scaffolding and push a lever to release it.

“I flat out refused to do it because I was so clumsy, I was convinced I would have fallen and been paralyzed from the eyebrows down.”

Can’t you just hear Baker’s calm, sonorous voice saying, “No, Michael?”

In his role as Stanley on “The Office,” Baker plays one of the few sensible people in a roomful of lunatics, led by perhaps the most immature regional manager ever, Michael Scott.

“I do think of (Stanley) as the voice of reason, the voice of Michael’s more-adult self that tries to rein him in when he gets too out of control,” Baker said. “He’s a stable factor in the sense of saying, ‘I’m a real adult. This is my real career. I have a family.’ ”

Despite the Dunder Mifflin employees’ propensity for wasting time, Baker said, he believes a similar office would not necessarily be headed for bankruptcy.

“The audience is seeing a 10 percent snapshot of what goes on at Dunder Mifflin. They don’t see the grind that keeps things going.

“There are companies all over the world that are exactly like our office,” Baker said.

He’s one of several cast members who have held jobs outside of show business. “We bring to the show that dialogue, that mentality. We’re able to tap into it,” he said.

Baker will be among the cast members appearing at The Office Convention in Scranton this weekend. He expects to attend the question-and-answer forum and the lookalike contest and to give out awards at “The Office” Olympics.

“I’m looking forward to it because we don’t perform in front of a live audience, and this is a chance to get direct feedback.”

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