Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Organisation Man: Chapter 1

What is this? Why it is chapter 1 of the novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2011. I am going to post a chapter of it a day for the next while, with chapters typically being somewhere between one and two thousand words in length. I am posting them so that the curious can see what a novel made up as the author goes along reads like. If that is not your thing then check out some of the other amazing posts Inuit Panda has to offer.

Please be warned that this is a largely uncorrected first draft. I have removed any obvious typographical errors that leaped out at me, but I have not proof-read it properly or corrected stylistic errors.

I'm as unimpressed by the title as you are.

Barry Ryan worked for an organisation that did not exist. As it did not exist, it did not have a name, and was known to those aware of its existence simply as the Organisation. The Organisation did of course exist for Ryan in the sense that he worked for it, that it provided him with a desk to sit at, that he had colleagues and a boss who instructed him on what to do. He even had some juniors he could get to perform mundane clerical tasks for him. But if Barry were to mention his employer to anyone, they would look at him blankly or think he was making some kind of joke. The Irish parliament did of course vote monies to the Organisation each year, but the amount was deliberately kept so low that no actual body could credibly exist on its official budget, and for all the monies voted for it the Organisation never delivered an annual report (at least, not a public one) and maintained no official premises or presence. The Organisation instead maintained a shadowy existence, nested within one of the less glamorous government departments, drawing parasitically on it for resources. Barry and his colleagues existed on paper as a division within that department, one whose purpose seemed at best unclear to the rest of its staff. This notional division operated out of an anonymous office building in central Dublin whose other occupants were from a different department entirely. They had no inkling of the deep work being carried out in the building they worked in.

Barry arrived into work on what seemed like it would be a morning like any other. His unctuous colleague Lyon was loafing around his desk.

"Well well well, Mr Ryan, you're a bit late, aren't you?" Lyon asked in an accusatory tone.

"I think not, I swiped in before the deadline", replied Ryan, taking off his coat and wishing Lyon would fuck off to any someone else.

"Well I'm not sure the boss would agree – he was down looking for you an hour ago".

Ryan noticed a sticky on the monitor of his computer, with a handwritten scrawl in the distinctive pidgin Irish favoured by the Chief:


"Thanks Lyon, I can read". Ryan sat down at his desk. "Any idea what this is about?"

"No no, but the boss seemed very agitated. I bet you're in big trouble, better get up there sharpish". Lyon sniggered.

"I suppose I should", Ryan said, trying to affect an air of nonchalance but actually worried. Having to deal with the Chief was always difficult and often involved such unpleasantness as being given work to do. "But don't you have things to be doing? Maybe you should fuck off to do them?"

Lyon adopted a facial expression suggested a highly exaggerated sense of hurt at Ryan's expletive and retreated away, though as he disappeared behind a partition Barry was blessed with a last glimpse of his grinning maw.

I'd better go and see the Chief, thought Barry.

written 4th November 2011

An inuit panda production

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