Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
—"It's the Economy, Girlfriend," NYT
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
In a sunny economy, workers joke about frittering away the hours during traditional slow times, like January, confident that things will eventually pick up. Looking busy when you’re not in order to fool the boss can be something of an art form.
But now, when business is verrry slow and the possibility of layoffs icily real, looking busy is no joke. In retail and real estate, restaurants and law offices, many workers are working hard to look necessary — even when they don’t have all that much to do. —Jan Hoffman, "
Working Hard to Look Busy," NYT
Friday, January 23, 2009
Personal Days: A Novel by Ed Park
See all pages with references to "distress frog".
Manual of Animal Technology by Stephen W. Barnett
See all pages with references to "distress frog".
*I deleted one spoilerish phrase.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Ed Park’s Personal Days is a beguiling and completely unexpected combination of Walser’s aggressive modesty and Raymond Roussel’s poetic stratagems. I can’t think of a first novel that I liked more this year.
—Ready Steady Book
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Một tiểu thuyết về đời sống nhân viên văn phòng lấy bối cảnh của một công ty vô danh đang trên đà thất bại. Personal Days khắc hoạ sự căng thẳng ngày càng tăng trong văn hoá công ty, mọi người sống ngày càng khép kín và nhạy cảm với từng trường hợp sa thải đến mức không còn chịu đựng nỗi lẫn nhau. Cuốn tiểu thuyết vừa hài hước vừa đầy chất hiện thực trong giai đoạn suy thoái kinh tế hiện nay.
The ComPsych Corporation, an E.A.P. provider, observes similar conditions. Calls are up 30 to 40 percent over last year, spurred by unease about job prospects, it said. “There is a sense of panic that we have not seen in our 24 years in business,” said Richard Chaifetz, the chief executive. “We’ve had an increase in calls on anything from feelings of depression or stress to refinancing mortgages, handling adolescents and dealing with bankruptcy.”
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
What is a layoff narrative? It’s a story about your work life that you construct before you get the ax, as one of the characters in my novel explains.“The idea,” Pru says, “is that you look back on your period of employment, highlight all the abuses suffered, tally the lessons gained, and use these negatives and positives to mentally withstand what you anticipate will be a series of events culminating in expulsion. You look to termination as rebirth, liberation, an expansion of horizons…. Once you start constructing the layoff narrative, it’s only a matter of time.” In other words, to think it’s going to happen means it’s going to happen.
Photo: Peter DaSilva/NYT
Monday, January 5, 2009
Joshua Ferris' Then We Came to the End and Ed Park's Personal Days may be two of the short-list best novels ever written about work—imagine Catch-22, set in mid-sized 21st century offices—but they're more than that, they're finely observed and fully realized renderings of how young professionals live. —Common Sense Dancing
"Books of the Year"
I can't recommend it highly enough if you've had a terrible office job. Park use two different tricky POV's to construct a story full of delicious digressions that never lags for a second. The POV choices also capture the weird hazy timelessness of office life in a way I didn't totally think was possible. —Meg McCarron
Saturday, January 3, 2009
In his widely acclaimed novel The Ax (filmed by Costa-Gavras as Le Couperet), Don imagined a serial killer unlike any other in fiction. A middle-aged man is downsized out of his job in the paper industry and has a hard time finding another because there aren't many jobs suitable for him, and there are a lot of middle-aged executives competing for the few that are. So he runs his own classified ad for a job that would be perfect for him, collects the résumés of the people who respond, and sets about killing them, one by one. So he can get a job, you see. Not because he's a maniacal super-villain playing a sly game of cat-and-mouse with a handsome police detective. Because he needs a paycheck. It's a stunning, frightening book, inhuman and so very human all at once.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
From St. Louis Magazine, a work-oriented interview with Jenna Fischer, of TV's The Office:
What other policies or perks would you add?
I would give people the option of a 90-minute lunch, if they wanted to stay a half hour later in the day or come a half hour earlier. I found that when I was working in an office it was very difficult to go anywhere and have a meal in under an hour. Also sometimes there are those errands that can only be run during the day. If people had a 90-minute lunch, they could accomplish a lot of things mid-day and actually take less time off for appointments and things.