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The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise

by Georges Perec

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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254787,226 (3.77)11
A long-suffering employee in a big corporation has summoned up the courage to ask for a raise. But as he runs through the coming encounter in his mind, his neuroses come to the surface: What's the best day to see the boss? What if he doesn't offer you a seat when you go into his office? And should you ask that tricky question about his daughter's illness? You can try to navigate these difficult decisions for yourself at www.theartofaskingyourbossforaraise.com ...  The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise is a hilarious account of an employee losing his identity--and possibly his sanity--as he tries to put on the most acceptable face for the corporate world, with its rigid hierarchies and hostility to ideas and innovation. If he follows a certain course of action, so this logic goes, he will succeed--but, in accepting these conditions, are his attempts to challenge his world of work doomed from the outset? Neurotic and pessimistic, yet endearing, comic and never less than entertaining, Perec's Woody Allen-esque underling presents an acute and penetrating vision of the world of office work, as pertinent today as it was when it was written in 1968.… (more)
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» See also 11 mentions

English (6)  French (1)  All languages (7)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
It was Perec, so: It was fun, it was exhausting, it was a delight. ( )
  et.carole | Jan 21, 2022 |
This is either an amazing litereary achievement or it isn’t it’s one or t’other but let’s just assume to keep things simple – for we must do our best to keep things simple – that it is a work of art where perec demonstrates a unique ability to think like a computer so far ahead of his time and let’s not forget a marvellous translation by david bellos but what if it isn’t an amazing book in which case you circumperambulate to the beginning of this review and ( )
  ephemeral_future | Aug 20, 2020 |
Unlike anything I've ever read. The true title is the art and craft of approaching your head of department to submit a request for a raise. Although the book's cover says something different, this is listed in all its long-winded glory on the title page.

Weird little book. No punctuation. No capitalization. I would recommend stealing away to a comfy, quiet spot to take in this book-length sentence. Let the narrator's anxiety wash all over you. Is the boss in? Is your coworker in a good mood? What the hell is a T60? Will the office need to be quarantined to prevent an outbreak of measles!? But more importantly, how many times can I approach my boss and fail to get this raise?

It's a challenge to find a suitable place to pause and set the book down. I don't really think there is one. Trying to jump back in, even a few minutes later, is disorienting. Perec dances circles around me. Here is his experiment. A short book, presenting a problem, and working it out as if a computer were thinking things through. ( )
  diovival | Oct 14, 2013 |
A funny little book recommended by Darryl (kidzdoc) in which Perec set out to write an "unreadable" circuitous text which is free of punctuation and based on a flow chart that describes the almost insurmountable challenge that an employee faces when attempting to ask for a raise from his superior. Perec attempts to present every possibility demonstrated in the flow chart: You go to see your boss, Mr. X in his office. Is he there? No. You stop by the PA, Miss Y's desk for a chat. Is she in a good mood? No. Too bad, you walk around the office for a while and try again. Is Mr. X There this time? No. You try Miss Y again: is she in a good mood now? Yes. Good, you chat with her for a bit until Mr. X arrives. Does he invite you into his office? No. He tells you to come back later. Only later, he might be felled by an attack of measles, and you'll have to attempt the circuit one more time when he's recovered. This time trying to overcome the possibility of your boss suffering from food poisoning, sending you to another irrelevant department, or maybe not one but two of Mr. X's daughters having caught the measles, with risk of contamination, and so on. The book is only 100 pages long, and what makes it amusing is the repetition of the same actions over and over again, into which Perec introduces tiny variations for great comic effect. I liked it a lot, though I made the mistake of putting it down about halfway through and when I picked it up again on a different day and in a different mood, I must say I couldn't help but ask myself why I was even bothering. Recommended if you're into experimental and quirky. If you're curious, the interactive flow chart is right here: http://www.theartofaskingyourbossforaraise.com ( )
2 vote Smiler69 | Jun 29, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Georges Perecprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bellos, DavidTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hofstede, RokusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magné, BernardAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Introduction: Forty years ago there was no Windows, Web, or email;  there were no laptops and the Mac Classic had not been invented.
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A long-suffering employee in a big corporation has summoned up the courage to ask for a raise. But as he runs through the coming encounter in his mind, his neuroses come to the surface: What's the best day to see the boss? What if he doesn't offer you a seat when you go into his office? And should you ask that tricky question about his daughter's illness? You can try to navigate these difficult decisions for yourself at www.theartofaskingyourbossforaraise.com ...  The Art of Asking Your Boss for a Raise is a hilarious account of an employee losing his identity--and possibly his sanity--as he tries to put on the most acceptable face for the corporate world, with its rigid hierarchies and hostility to ideas and innovation. If he follows a certain course of action, so this logic goes, he will succeed--but, in accepting these conditions, are his attempts to challenge his world of work doomed from the outset? Neurotic and pessimistic, yet endearing, comic and never less than entertaining, Perec's Woody Allen-esque underling presents an acute and penetrating vision of the world of office work, as pertinent today as it was when it was written in 1968.

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