DiscoverDystopian

Human Resources, a workplace dystopian satire.

By

Not for me 😔

A workplace dystopian satire that could be directly pulled out of our current situation

Synopsis

An office drone, Wilbur Rush, recently is promoted from a chattel to a Mid-Manager, who is always afraid of Human Resources considering him no longer useful. His fate to be turned into enough power to light a one-bedroom dwelling for less than an hour.

No one in F-Block had ever heard anything as violent as this slamming door before. Not even when HR gunned random chattels down on the street to ensure their population quota was in check. Distraught from a long day at the office, Wilbur searched his dwelling for nostalgia and found an old box and discovered he had a child he never knew about.

The search and staying under HR’s radar is at the core of interweaving plots between Upper-Management, who sit on top of the caste system, as well as the rebellion of the maintenance men, and a hidden automated enemy trapped in an abandoned amusement park. All the while the lowly chattel workers hum away in their cubicles.

Look around your cubicle. Most office dwellers already experience the nightmare that will unfold in the pages that follow. You already dread a visit from Human Resources. Resign while you can.

Human Resources follows the story of Wilbur Rush, a Chattel who is promoted to mid-management. The novel starts out with describing an extreme, and dystopian version of our own capitalism. Seeing people as actual recyclable resources doesn't seem too unrealistic for a future scenario, and it teaches us a lesson about how capitalism can ruin a society and reduce people to mere objects. The inhumanity of the HR department is not a foreign concept to most people, and it creates a natural villainous presence. The same can be said of the look into the lives of those fortunate enough to be part of the Upper Management, who have an abundance of food and resources available to them.

The population control utilized by taking away the child and recycling the mother is reminiscent of a 'one child' policy, but put to the extreme. Wilbur's life is different from the other Chattel and Mid-management people's, and it is quite exciting to see how the story unfolds as he forms a closer emotional bond with his wife, and the revelation of her secret.

Uprisings, deceit, the beginnings of vox populi, a somewhat forbidden love and inhumanity are words that could summarize this novel in quite an efficient way. The excessive dehumanization of people is the story's strongest point, and it makes you sympathize with, and in some cases, see yourself in either Wilbur or his wife, Wilma.


The concept of the novel is intriguing, it shows much promise, and I was eager to read it. However, the language and grammar used makes it a bit of a tough read. Short, stumped sentences and the occasional typographical error disturbs the flow of the story. With a few adjustments, and some proofreading, the novel could easily gain another star, and an even more positive review. If grammar is not something that will bother you, I'm sure you could enjoy this story as it has quite a lot to offer in form of dystopian scenarios and minor plot twists. It is not a bad novel by any means, it is just not for me.

Reviewed by

I'm a translation and literature student that is very fond of reading and discovering new books! I occasionally share book reviews on my blog that are both related to my studies, and books I read in my free time.

Synopsis

An office drone, Wilbur Rush, recently is promoted from a chattel to a Mid-Manager, who is always afraid of Human Resources considering him no longer useful. His fate to be turned into enough power to light a one-bedroom dwelling for less than an hour.

No one in F-Block had ever heard anything as violent as this slamming door before. Not even when HR gunned random chattels down on the street to ensure their population quota was in check. Distraught from a long day at the office, Wilbur searched his dwelling for nostalgia and found an old box and discovered he had a child he never knew about.

The search and staying under HR’s radar is at the core of interweaving plots between Upper-Management, who sit on top of the caste system, as well as the rebellion of the maintenance men, and a hidden automated enemy trapped in an abandoned amusement park. All the while the lowly chattel workers hum away in their cubicles.

Look around your cubicle. Most office dwellers already experience the nightmare that will unfold in the pages that follow. You already dread a visit from Human Resources. Resign while you can.

TICKTOCK, TICK-TOCK

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Counting down to five. Still, five minutes to five, not that it matters, as five is no longer the norm. Upper Management wants more, always more. Forty is not enough. Crush the serf. It is sixty or more now that they want. That way, Upper Management gets three workers’ output for the price of two. The others are recycled. Population decreases. Profits go up. Share prices increase. Rich get richer.

Still looking at the screen. Sixty-plus hours a week, staring at this display in a hive with a hundred more cogs in the wheel, doing the same. All the while, the overhead fluorescent lights buzz like the beating drum of a Viking master having his slaves’ row. If I listen carefully to the sound of the overwhelming no-longer-white noise, to those that have been here longer than a fortnight, it chants, “Code, code, code, return. Code, code, code, return.”

Billions of lines of code fashioned for a product that does not do a bit of good for humankind. No life-saving vaccines, no world-changing policies, no feeding the hungry nor clothing the naked. Nothing good nor bad of any sort. Just materials. Product. A new operating system with “new and improved” features.

“Code, code, code, return. Code, code, code, return.”

There is the sound, the constant hum. To think and ponder for one’s self is seen as a loss of productivity—a decline in profits for Upper Management. Maddening, typing away on a project that no one will even look at until Monday, but they want it “out the door” before a weekend of debauchery, as they call any time not making them more of the almighty dollar, I say to you.

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Still four minutes to five. All freedom is blocked. Liberties are forfeited at the door when you start and are received again when the check is deposited. And what can you do with so little a deposit before it’s all dried up by inflation out of control, rent for another master of a different sort, and goods and services not needed that we are brainwashed into needing by fellow office drones. All of them are watching God, the hand of the almighty clock.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

“Code, code, code, return. Code, code, code, return.”

They say we are free in this steamy capitalistic affair, but I say to you, yes, I very much speak to you, that it is all a charade. The lust of our capitalistic society is no more than the serf’s ability to choose their own master. Then, I say to you, you factor in something as poverty-stricken and the one percent’s ability to control you with a pretend notion that you need to serve them called unemployment. The fear of being unemployed and the stigma of it is so great that one chooses a master of harsh labor rather than to create. Some do, and at first, it is terrific, until they become one of the whip-cracking masters themselves. Thus, the serf is sometimes not even sufficient to serve, meaning they failed the interview. They did not get the job and are recycled and put to better use. Unemployment is now eradicated.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

“Code, code, code, return.”

One more minute left until five o’clock. My fingers run through my hair, resisting the temptation not to pull each strand out. Not that it matters, as Upper Management controls everything, I say to you, even when you leave. They rule. They abolished care for the old, the poor, and the unemployed. Their bodies are charred as a new form of sustainable energy to power screen time so marketers can have you consume MORE. It is called HUMAN RESOURCES.

If you are no longer productive, you are not wanted. Our democracy voted, and people cheered as taxes, and consequently, social services went by the wayside. As soon as you are unemployed and useful no more, you are recycled. Now famine and poverty are a relic of the past. You provide, and Upper Management takes. Do not even think about growing old, unless you are one of them or become one of the masters or can prove that you are not a burden on the state and are thus retired. As once you reach the vintage age of sixty and are no longer useful, no longer a cog in the wheel, the machine, then you are recycled. The resources saved will fuel them, Upper Management, as we Middle Management and the lowly chattels call them.

◆◆◆

“Paging Shirley from accounts receivable. Paging Shirley from accounts receivable … Please comply and follow the normal termination procedure. Undress, and HR will be up promptly.”

The announcement repeats. An announcement is a terrible death to die.

“Paging Shirley from accounts receivable. Paging Shirley from accounts receivable … Please comply and follow the normal termination procedure. Undress, and HR will be up promptly.”

HR, the not so secret police of Upper Management, are on their way up to terminate Shirley, a chattel, from accounts receivable. It is a standard procedure for the chosen individual to strip down and stand at attention while they wait for HR to see them for their exit interview.

HR reaches Shirley’s cubical. She is stripped naked, with her uniform folded up precisely in a bin outside her cubicle, as her replacement might benefit from the worn garment. Adhering to standard procedure, the two HR personnel are dressed in fire-resistant crimson red suits and ties, each with their renowned tool of HR, the flamethrower. Each one of them whips out their means, and with the precision and care of a carpenter with a hammer and nail, they fire Shirley. Her cubicle acts as a receptacle to transition her termination to electric power. The scene and the screaming and the smell of burning flesh does not so much as disturb her coworkers. It is just part of the job. Routine. Besides, they all have noise-canceling headphones on.

“Hey!” a fellow walking down rows of endless cornfields of cubicles said to one of the HR personnel as he was finishing up. “You caught that game last night?” he shouted over the remaining screams and scratching of Shirley from Accounts Receivable.

“Yeah, it was a hell of a game,” the HR personnel said nonchalantly as he and his cohort finished burning Shirley, the screaming had stopped. There was a specimen of a jawbone among the ash. “We won 17-14. I hope one day to referee to get the honor of terminating the losing team, and you get first dibs on their freshly retired uniforms.”

“Oh ya, can’t argue with that. It sounds like an enjoyable time. If you do get the chance, I will pay you a good sum for one of the uniforms and extra for any rings that you may find,” the office drone replied.

Then the clock buzzed five o’clock, and one-hundred Mid Management scuttled out of the cubicle fields and offices. On their way out, many waved happily to the two members of HR as they went along busily to terminate another two unproductive employees before the end of the day. The thousands of chattels had to stay longer. They had to be productive as it was their point. It was their sole purpose.

Only Mid Management earned the privilege to leave at five.

The chattel, lower-class workers, never saw Upper Management. All the conglomerates had exactly three members each. There were thousands of corporations in the Conglomerate States of America.

My name is Wilbur Rush. I am a member of Mid Management, and Human Resources no longer considers me useful. I will be recycled and turned into enough power to light a one-bedroom apartment for less than fifteen minutes.

Look around your cubicle. Most office dwellers already experience the nightmare that will unfold in the pages that follow. You already dread a visit from Human Resources. Resign while you can.

About the author

Heath grew up Wyoming in a small-town like what you see in 1980s films with the 10-speed bicycle being the primary form of transportation. He is currently working on a sci-fi novel; How the Moon was Split in Two as well as an interconnecting short horror story collection. view profile

Published on August 22, 2020

50000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Dystopian

Reviewed by

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