Perec On Asking For A Raise


Everyday life is surprisingly full of hair-raising adventures. Sometimes you don’t realize it until you’re in the thick of it.

Waiting for the grocery store manager to confirm that you are not in fact the same guy who stole the roast chicken three days prior.

Finding yourself in your boss’s office, waiting for him to angrily adjust the nodules on his new Executive office chair while you are assailed by a bizarre coughing fit.

And you say to yourself: wow, this is absurd and vaguely like a scene from a novel. You pile enough of these singular details together and you have a comic epic.

Georges Perec was one of those writers who made high (and very playful) art out of the intricacies of day-to-day life. His Life: A User’s Manual is one of the great books of the last century. Today I discovered that this month Verso published an English translation of his 1968 novel,  The Art Of Asking Your Boss For A Raise.

To honor it, please follow this flow chart on how to actually ask that question.

Michael Berger is a barely-published writer and book-seller living in San Francisco. He is one of the founding Corsairs of the Iron Garters Bike Club and is currently pursuing a degree in applied pataphysics. He sometimes eats oatmeal for dinner. More from this author →