The Room by Jonas Karlsson
Publication Date: 2015
The Short Version:
Soon after starting a new job Bjorn discovers a secret room that may be the key to his productivity.
Why I Read It:
A friend in my LibraryThing group read this and his descriptions of it intrigued me.
From the publisher:
Bjorn is a compulsive, meticulous bureaucrat who discovers a secret room at the government office where he works–a secret room that no one else in his office will acknowledge. When Bjorn is in his room, what his co-workers see is him standing by the wall and staring off into space looking dazed, relaxed, and decidedly creepy. Bjorn’s bizarre behavior eventually leads his co-workers to try and have him fired, but Bjorn will turn the tables on them with help from his secret room.
Bjorn talks in corporate speak. He’s clearly odd but is he as mad as his co-workers think? Or is he even more off his rocker than they can imagine? Bjorn is the narrator so his perceptions are how you experience the events.
The new job was no better paid, quite the opposite, in fact, it was actually slightly worse in terms of perks like flextime and vacation. And I was forced to share a desk in the middle of an open-plan office with no screens. In spite of this, I was full of enthusiasm and a desire to make a personal platform for myself and show what I was capable of from the start.
I worked out a personal strategic framework. I arrived half an hour early each morning and followed my own timetable for the day: fifty-five minutes of concentrated work, then a five-minute break, including toilet breaks.
This book is part corporate workplace satire, part psychological drama, part character study, part darkly humorous
It’s odd. It’s funny in places. It’s disturbing in others and leaves you thinking of how you’d handle it if you worked with or worse yet, supervised an employee like Bjorn.
Karlsson’s minimalistic style suits the story. It’s a quick read and one that may have you watching your co-workers with a bit more care.