First Day on the Job

B. S. Incorporated is a new book by Jennifer Rock and Michael Voss, recommended for fans of The Office and Office Space. Funny, insightful, and heartfelt, B.S., Incorporated is a feel-good story about people finding themselves and coming into their own while simultaneously skewering every aspect of life in Corporate America. It’s a book that anyone in the business world will get a huge kick out of… After all, every job contains a certain amount of B.S.

Although it is a work of fiction, B.S. Incorporated draws from the authors’ real-life corporate experiences.  

B.S, Incorporated – Excerpt for CareerCloud.com - Buy the Book Here

Anna slipped past a line of people at the muffin shop and then slowed to admire her destination. Straight ahead, the twenty-two-story tower with blue-tinted windows acted like a divining rod. She nodded at the shoeshine guy in the doorway and stepped into the Business Solutions, Inc. lobby. Morning light poured through the floor-to-ceiling windows as Anna’s authoritative heels echoed on the marble floor. She took a deep breath to calm her exuberance. First day on the job.

Rumored to receive 5,000 résumés per month, BSI had its pick of prospective employees. Landing an interview was tough—getting a job, damn near impossible. But Anna didn’t base her professional plan on impossibilities. She built her goals on determination, persistence, and Alissa—Anna’s freshman-year roommate and one of the metro’s top headhunters. Alissa called Anna a dear friend. Anna called Alissa when she needed to move on. According to the carefully mapped, patent-pending Anna Reed Career Trajectory, this occurred every 3.2 years.

Approximately.

“May I help you?” the receptionist asked.

The lobby looked fresh and well funded. Anna could smell the lilies in the enormous vase on the table nearby. A far cry from her previous employer, a once-promising tech startup that lacked an actual business model, BSI had called her up to the majors.

“I’m Anna Reed. For Kari Fisher, please.”

The receptionist smiled, despite juggling a headset call, three flashing phone lines, and an open laptop. “One moment, please.”

Anna strolled to the windows, feeling the caffeine from her latte kicking in. This job is going to rock. Carole was wrong.

Carole—a hot mess with a chronic antacid habit—had hired Anna at the tech startup. When Anna submitted her two weeks’ notice, Carole shook a few Rolaids straight from the bottle into her mouth. “Why become a small fish in a big pond?” she asked while crunching the chalky tablets. “There’s so much opportunity here.”

But Anna saw through the underhanded tactic to get her to stay. The company had just agreed to an ill-advised buyout, and layoffs would surely follow. Anna prided herself on reading the chessboard and staying one step ahead of the fray. Any time things got complicated—bad bosses, restructures, layoffs—she found a way to make a clean exit.

Kari Fisher—who did double-duty in HR and as a change manager for the senior VP of Operations—burst through the glass double doors and tripped as she crossed the lobby.

“Great to see you again. So great.” She tugged on her crooked hair barrette, attempting to right her falling brown curls.

Hard to fathom how someone so disheveled and distracted could be the direct line to Lyle Kirkland, Anna’s new boss. Still, if he could put up with her, so could Anna.

“Thanks for skipping orientation and jumping in. It’s been crazy,” Kari panted.

Anna grinned, noting Kari had missed a button on her blouse, causing a gap that revealed her gray sports bra.

“Your parking pass worked okay?”

Anna started to respond, but Kari had already spun around and trekked back toward the employee entrance. Anna clicked after her, taking care to land every step. Her heels functioned well on modular carpet or hardwood but created one hell of a risk on marble tile. She didn’t want to pull another Bambi. Last month, her stilettos had disagreed with a restaurant’s slick floor, turning Anna into a flailing baby deer on ice—limbs splayed, skirt up, Spanx exposed.

“You’ll get your workspace and laptop later.” Kari nudged Anna to turn left at a hallway intersection. “Our schedule today is packed! So packed. We’re already late for PMO.”

Anna weaved around employees, trying to stay alongside this tiny sandstorm.

“Oh, and don’t forget to TEPIL your time today.”

“TEPIL?” Anna asked. “I’m not familiar with—”

“Silly me. It’s our Technology-Enabled Productivity Increment Log. Great system Synerpoint built for us. You know them? One of the ‘big six’ consultancies.” Kari’s short legs continued churning, and she tapped Anna’s shoulder to turn left again. “Anyhoo, we got rid of timecards—thank God! Now we use TEPIL to bucketize our work and track productivity in fifteen-minute increments. Just choose one of the fifty-six sanctioned workplace activities from the drop-down menu.”

Anna couldn’t help but smirk. “Sanctioned workplace activities?”

“So great, right? For today, you can TEPIL your time under code 249: Training, Learning, and Self-Advocacy.”

Kari stepped onto a waiting elevator and punched the button. “Cafeteria is on the fifth floor. Company store, too. Great place to pick up a BSI T-shirt or umbrella.” She put a hand on Anna’s arm, her eyes wide. “Ooh, and be sure to check out the store’s new spa services. Today is Massage Monday. TEPIL that as 298: Employee Wellness. Last week was Wax-It Wednesday! Got a Brazilian. Not gonna lie: I’m still tender. So tender.”

Anna wrinkled her nose at the unusual employee perks. What ever happened to gym passes and free pizza? “So how did you TEPIL that, if you don’t mind me asking.” She chuckled. “Landscaping and Grounds Maintenance?”

Kari continued ticking off today’s to-do list. “Gotta get your security badge, too. Can’t get back in the tower without it.” She tugged on the laminated card clipped to her waist, flashing the image at Anna. The ID photo featured the same striped shirt, the same I-just-woke-up hair. The plastic card snapped back on a retractable cord.

“The most important meeting you have today is in Loni Anderson.”

Anna chuckled. “With Loni Anderson?”

“In,” Kari corrected, lowering her voice to a raspy whisper as they stepped onto their destination floor. “It’s a conference room. For a meeting about Optelligence.”

“Optelligence?”

Kari nodded. “Top-secret strategy. Total game changer.”

Anna straightened her shoulders and smiled. She wanted to inquire further, but Kari threw open the door to a room full of people, mid-discussion.

About the Authors:

Jennifer and Michael have a shared passion for storytelling that goes back – way back – to when Jennifer published haikus in her first-grade newsletter, and Mike entertained other kids on the school bus with his creative fiction.

Not surprisingly, their jones for crafting a tale fueled their individual career paths, where each held roles in journalism, advertising, public relations, marketing and corporate communications. Jennifer and Michael had the good fortune to work for and with companies that spanned industries and impact – from privately held start-ups to Fortune 50 powerhouses to, now, their own communications agency.  

Both authors live near Minneapolis where they work as speakers and consultants. They share their best stories during happy hour. B.S., Incorporated is their debut novel. For more information, visit http://www.rockandvossbooks.com/.

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