chair-based deception is the very worst kind

17. Then We Came to the End – Joshua Ferris

I love books and television shows and movies about work. Especially from the drudgery end. I don’t care about how anyone got to the top, I care about the people who are stuck. Then We Came to the End is about the people who are stuck and sometimes about how they become un-stuck or go nutballs. Ferris chose to use the first person plural tense to tell their stories and that was a ballsy choice. First person plural is really hard to get used to in a short story let alone a novel but it works. Because many people have been in these people’s positions. The “we” could be any combination of people except those people who made it to the “top.” Leaving a resume on the copier, wearing a version of the same outfit every day, the pursuit of a better chair, everyone does these things at some point or a version of these things. I’ve never worked in a real office and I do these things and I am slowly going nutballs just like many of the characters in Then We Came to the End. We need motivation.

Thaddeus is a creature of routine as well. His morning involves whistling at me as early as possible and then perching on the side of his cage and doing his own version of the Snoopy dance until I feed him. He’s a hard worker.


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