Wednesday 11 March 2020

Work, Joseph Heller

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Vintage Mini, this is an excerpt from Heller’s second novel Something Happened. Bob Slocum is our narrator for a darkly humorous take on office life. Full of brutal truths followed by corporate platitudes, he doesn’t pull any punches. Slocum navigates the complex web of office politics by lying to his colleagues and sleeping his way around the secretaries, a not uncommon approach. He is keenly aware of the pecking order and the little power games people play, although he isn’t entirely immune from them himself.
A book very much of its time but also relatable to modern workers. He comments that he doesn’t intend to stay with the company for the rest of his life but is making no plans to leave, a familiar attitude to many. He is able to objectively see that his colleagues are falling for their own propaganda, believing that what they do is important yet seems unaware that he also falls victim to this on occasion.
A concise, witty take on surviving office life. I’m not rushing out to buy the full novel but as a vignette it works well.

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