Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The Situation – art imitates life (or life imitates art)

About a month ago I downloaded the online version of Jeff VanderMeer’s novella The Situation and read it. It seemed appropriate that I read it at work, here on the 25th Floor of a building housing the large bureaucracy from whom I earn my daily bread. I found The Situation to be a delightful reading experience and very true to the situation I work in every day. Jeff’s story is a surreal satire on corporate life and the people one is obliged to work with – the many betrayals and shifting alliances inherent in this type of industry. I was so impressed by The Situation I ordered a copy of the book and it arrived two weeks ago. As a physical object it’s a lovely little book with fantastic cover art by Scott Eagle.

You can order it from PS Publishing here.

There’s a great review of it on OFBlog of the Fallen here.

The following email message, which landed in my inbox last week, could almost have been written by a character in The Situation.

Dear All,

After much consideration I have decided not to attend M's function. I am writing to let you know that I would be happy to " break bread" with any of you at any time and I am not being anti-social per se but the reason for non-attendance is a deliberate snub to M.; my attempt at a protest if you like.

A lot has gone on behind the scenes regarding incidents emanating from my unpleasant encounters with L S and I hold an opinion that M has treated me very badly and unfairly. So much so that I have come to this considered position. I told M a couple of days ago that I will not be coming to his lunch.

Recently I clearly outlined my concerns to M and I requested that I wanted him to apologise to me in the presence of E D over certain matters but M is sticking to his ideas of how he perceives the world. We have diametrically opposed opinions about some certain matters.

Thankfully, M will not be able to do me any more harm once he retires. I also hope that he is not invited to the staff Christmas party this year either.

Myself, I keep a low profile here at work, and even if I have no close friends I don’t have enemies either. There are some people whom I pretend don’t exist and who do likewise to me, but in the main I get on alright with my colleagues, unlike the LS mentioned in the above email message, who had a talent for making enemies wherever she worked. I remember a staff meeting a year or so ago, where she managed to insult two fellow staff members and disgust the rest in less than 30 minutes. Normally I’m bored to death in these staff meetings, so it was certainly a memorable occasion and a more interesting meeting than I’ve before or since attended.

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