What is the worst job you have ever had? I know everyone has a story about it. I bet it makes you chuckle to yourself now wondering how in the world you ended up there. I for one still laugh at my own worst job story which goes like this:
I decided one day I needed to leave Butte for a little while to see what was out there. My quest led me to the state of Arizona and with my grandparents which is basically a small extension of Butte but, who cares, I left. I set up a bunch of interviews and went down to see if anything would pan out. After a couple interviews to cold call selling vacation packages I was on the verge of calling it quits until I had my very last interview. The building was gorgeous, everyone was wearing new suits and dresses. The receptionist offered me water with cucumber! I was sold already on this place and I haven’t talked with anyone. I completed my interview which was pretty standard and was also my 4th one of the day so as you can imagine I don’t even really recall what all was said other than they would let me know. The next day they called and said I got the job and I was so jacked I just said yes right away. Two weeks later I was walking into my first day on the job with my fresh new suit (that my grandpa bought because I didn’t have that kind of change on me) ready to take on the new gig in a big city. This is the point of the story where you are probably asking yourself “what the hell is the job you are doing?” And sadly that’s exactly when I asked myself the same question.
I found myself in a marketing training similar to what you would think is a class from college. After half a day of stuff I do not recall I jumped in a car with three other employees and we pulled into a burger king in south Phoenix. They gave me a pair of shorts and a lime green shirt. As I am changing inside the burger king I already know I have made a mistake but I have to go through it. Yes, I found myself walking door to door in south Phoenix selling internet and cable packages in the middle of summer! Needless to say I gave myself two weeks and after ZERO sales in a company that only pays commission I had to leave. Not my proudest moment but naturally I took it as a learning experience. You may be wondering what all this has to with a book and I brought the story up because it reminded me so much of this book.
“Company” is a book about a new hire, Stephen Jones, at Zypher Holdings in Seattle. Zypher Holdings is a lavish downtown Seattle building that is 25 stories high and comes off as any workplace building you might see in the movies. Stephen, like me, goes into his new job full of ambition and excitement but isn’t exactly sure what he is doing. On his first day there are doughnuts brought in for the members of his department. If you have been in an office building and treats come in you know how special this is. Well on this occasion there happens to be one doughnut short and I promise it is worth it to remember this as the mystery of who took the doughnut is an underlying plot point throughout that had me laughing out loud at the hummingbird. What Stephen eventually finds out is that not only does no one else really know exactly what Zypher actually does other than sell training to their own departments throughout the company but no one has seen or heard from the CEO in years. There are certain floors that the elevator wont go to and the receptionist drives a Mercedes. The book continues about how Jones finds out that the company is actually a front to experiment on employees and how they react to company wide changes. When Jones finds this out he is so appalled that he wants to take it down from the inside.
The book is one of the funnier books I have read in a long time considering that people get fired over the fact that there was one doughnut missing. As each chapter goes by Jones cannot understand how the company has got away with massive layoffs to see how employees will react, taking away the internet, consolidating every department into one and turning the phones off. If you have ever worked in a large company or been involved in those days where the treats are one short you will enjoy this read.
Overall I give Company 6 out of 10 coffee cups for its ability to make me laugh out and loud and make me reminisce about my own past experiences.