Saturday, March 31, 2007

Company - Max Barry

Read this a couple of months ago. Yeah, you'd think I'd have learned not to leave it so long by now.

Jennifer Government had me in stitches with it's bleak, absurd and dark humour, and so I had the same expectations of Company. I wasn't disappointed.

This book follows Jones, a graduate just starting a job in Zephyr, and the differences encountered between what is taught in business school, and what actually goes on in the work place, among a myraid of other things. It focuses on the mundane, ordinary, trivial things that nevertheless become great drama in the work place. If you've worked in an office, you know what I mean. I consider my own office pretty tame, and still this book resonated strongly.

Despite being pretty much non-stop giggles, it is a disturbing book, precisely because it resonates. You know, truth, and all that. The potrayal of Senior Management in particular (being representative for all upper echelons of management in every company anywhere) was frighteningly close to the bone, and highlights, quite starkly, the distance between those who make the decisions, and those who do the work.

I would love to go into more detail, as Company provided all sorts of food for pondering, but there are things that I just don't want to spoil.

That said, this book won't be a laugh for everyone. I pushed this on mum, as her office is being 'reorganised', figuring she'd need to laugh at the situation. Unfortunately, her reaction was the opposite; she couldn't read it because it was ridiculous and unfunnily true. Art mirroring life mirroring stupidity.

Verdict: Terribly funny stuff. If you are in a management position of any sort, you should read this. It will make your staff like you more. Also, it makes a good hat.

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