This is the story of a strange company in which nobody really knows what the company does and everyone’s job sort of folds back into the company. The sales reps sell training packages to the rest of the departments. Infrastructure management charges everyone for management in the building, charging departments for the use of windows and computers and phone lines.
Since there is a pay freeze Jones gets hired on in Sales but on paper it says that he is, well, paper. A purchase of paper.
Jones gets curious about the oddities of the company and starts to seek answers but he is told a parable about monkey’s in a lab that is meant to discourage his curiosity.
A large part of the beginning of the book focuses not on Jones but on the other characters in the sales office. A man who won’t stop obsessing over who took his donut, a woman who falls in love with her customers up until the deal is done, another woman who works out in the gym all day, a man who is secretly in love with the beautiful receptionist on the ground floor, etc. etc.
It isn’t until Jones finally figures out what’s really going on in the company that his story becomes central to the book.
It’s a light and easy read, fun for anybody who has ever suffered in a cubicle farm in a windowless room all day. It’s a satirical examination of how evil big companies can be to their employees and why having one of these jobs really sucks the life out of you.