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Max Barry wrote the novels Syrup, Jennifer Government, Company, Machine Man, and Lexicon. He also created the game NationStates and once found a sock full of pennies.

Blog

Mon 12
Dec
2005

Tales of Corporate Oppression

Company While researching Company—I mean, while doing unrelated things in the hope that something would happen that I could use in the book—I heard lots of corporate horror stories. Some funny, some terrifying, most in the same theme: it’s amazing just how clear a company can make it that you’re completely unimportant.

Some of these stories went into my novel, but there are so many others that I’ve created a new web site to capture them: Tales of Corporate Oppression. I want it to become a repository for the best, funniest, and most appalling stories of everyday workplace inhumanity out there.

This is where you come in. If you’ve got a tale, help me get started: jump on in and submit your story. If you don’t, you can still read other people’s tales and vote for them.

In other news, I’ve updated the Company section of this site to include a description of what (more or less) the novel is about. It’s relatively spoiler-free, so should be safe reading… but if you’re one of those people who doesn’t want to know anything at all about it, I applaud you. Assuming you’re motivated by a desire to preserve the mystery, that is, and not because you have no intention of ever reading it. If it’s the latter, I’m not so impressed.

Comments

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Thomas (#1221)

Location: Germany
Quote: "One more, and I'm going to consider you my penpal."
Posted: 5030 days ago

"one of those people who don't", please.

I'm gonna read about oppression right away, Sir. Your wish is my command.

Narain (#824)

Location: Los Angeles, right between civilization and a desert
Quote: "NI!"
Posted: 5030 days ago

Dilbert?

M. Kilbain Lazer (#1709)

Location: Holland
Quote: "I guess we're awesome"
Posted: 5030 days ago

This is fun!

Luiz Eduardo (#1601)

Location: Minas Gerais, Brazil
Quote: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"
Posted: 5030 days ago

Right, I don't have any story to submit, but I promise I'll look for it. ;)

I also thought that Company was already out in the stores...

Sophie (#891)

Location: Devon
Posted: 5030 days ago

Nice one ... some of those stories are shocking. The one about the Gold Star was awful ... she did a good job and they treated her like she was 5 years old. And then they didn't even give her the gold star! I swear, there's something about the office environment that can turn people into complete idiots.

Miles (#1833)

Location: UK
Quote: ""Ask not what you can do for your country, ask what's for lunch" - Orson Welles"
Posted: 5030 days ago

Hmm. Shocking perhaps, but so far nothing really funny or entertaining.

Eric (#1761)

Location: "The seat of Capitalist Power
Posted: 5030 days ago

link isn't working for me. maybe it'll work in another 10 minutes, in anycase, i'll subit my story as ASAP.

Machine Man subscriber Max

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Quote: "I'm my number one fan!"
Posted: 5030 days ago

Yes, the site appears to have crashed under the load... but it should be back again soon.

Grace (#1225)

Location: Melbourne aka The Cliffs of Insanity
Quote: "I refuse to have a battle of wits with someone who is unarmed."
Posted: 5030 days ago

Yes, definitely needs to link to the Dilbert site somehow.
Or maybe you should try to have a chat with the Great Man.

I'm sure you could swap horrific corporate tales...

Greg Karber (#1568)

Location: gregkarber.com
Posted: 5030 days ago

One is singular. Doesn't is correct. You ignore the prepositional phrase when determining tense. I'm not trying to start a flame war, and I'm not a grammar Nazi. I just gasp at the thought of someone correcting Max when he need not be corrected.

Machine Man subscriber Bushra (#36)

Location: Fremont, California
Quote: "www.caffeinatedmuslim.com"
Posted: 5030 days ago

I haven't been in the corporate world long enough to experience corporate oppression. Well, except for being laid off last year but considering I barely did anything and was getting paid for it (I was reading novels in my office since I had nothing to do and no one could see me) it was more character building than anything else and now I have a better job. Although, I do miss being able to read at work.

mike lietz (#1735)

Location: Columbus, Ohio
Posted: 5030 days ago

Any chance you might write a RSS feed into that site, Max? I'm a big fan, in the aggregate, you could say. Your feed for this site works great.

Tony Quin (#1310)

Location: Plymouth -urgh
Quote: "Yoga is NAILS"
Posted: 5029 days ago

I don't check my e-mail for a week and I get a funny story, a chance to win something (real) and a new website to browse!
Fabulous!

Picto (#64)

Location: United Kingdom
Quote: "Who is more foolish, the child afraid of the dark or the man afraid of the light? - Maurice Freehill"
Posted: 5025 days ago

I don't have a tale, but I saw a funny thing on the internet if I'm entitled to post that? Oui, ou Non?

Michael (#1299)

Location: Northern California
Quote: "Chugachugachoochoo"
Posted: 5023 days ago

So Far the Best Litmus Test I know for telling a 'good' company from a 'bad' company:

The Quality of concern by a company for it's employees is directly proportionate to the qual;ity of the toilet paper in the restrooms.

If they dont give a damn, you end up with cheap, 1 ply stuff that feels like it's been rejected from newsprint lines. It is harsh, easily tears and may even chaff your hindquarters.

If they care, they will spring the extra 10 cents per roll to give you the cushy, comfortable double ply stuff. Wiping yourself with this TP is so glorious, it's half the reason for going to the restroom. In fact, it's so comfortable that you are likely to carry around a few handfuls in your pocket when you have a cold, because it's softer and more resiliant than kleenex.

If they care a little TOO much about you, in kind of a creepy, stalker-esque, maybe there are cameras watching you right now while some exec scratches himself in a provacative manner, above tissue paper is SCENTED.

AlteraX (#1984)

Location: Portugal
Quote: "My 62 year-old dad is reading Jen Gov. He's an Economist. - 2005"
Posted: 5007 days ago

"You are member # 1984." Cool!

You have to allow people to preorder Company at the uk branch of Amazon. Loads of EU citizens order from there.

James Travers (#1512)

Location: Callander, Scotland
Quote: "To make cheese penguins you need cheese and penguins."
Posted: 4997 days ago

Amazon delivered my copy of company today... i thought it wasn't out till the 17th, either way im loving it so far and just thought i would say how much i ma enjoying it.

Machine Man subscriber Alex (#237)

Location: London, England
Quote: "We're today's scrambled creatures, locked in tomorrow's double feature (Bowie)"
Posted: 4994 days ago

For those in the UK, here's where I got a copy of Company (well, two copies if you count the one with mising pages that they replaced with no quibbles.)

It's an Amazon.co.uk zShop called the_book_repository

http://s1.amazon.co.uk/exec/varzea/ts/my-zshop/SOO41RICFL7KH/026-4779252-4316437

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