Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Current WIP (Work in Progress)

My blog as finally reached over 1000 hits!  I'm thrilled and I'd like to thank everybody.  From here on out, it's up, up, up!  Excelsior!  

I've decided to write a book about where I work.  Those I work with will automatically wonder if they're going to be in this book and I have to say, yes and no.  Yes, in that some of the things I've seen you do will be included, but no because I'm going to change the character enough so I don't have to pay you.  And so you can't sue. 

But yes, I think it's time. 

My current place of employment isn't the first call center I've worked at.  The previous one was a madhouse with dozens of extreme characters, events and scenes.  It was ghetto. 

The only problem I'm having is what kind of novel should it be? 

Ideally, it would make for a great mainstream literary novel in the vein of Catch-22, where we all are stuck in a monstrous system run by weirdos, idiots, and flakes.  And I already know somebody I can say has "flies in his eyes," because I know it'll make him crazy.  In a world where all people are looney, how could a system built and run by these people have any chance at all at being sane?  I love Catch-22!  I've read that novel several times and each time I see something totally new and insightful. 

But it would also make a great place for a horror novel.  There are so many ways to go with it. 

A call center run by Satan, the last stop on earth for the souls of the damned, tormented with the knowledge that their hellish lives are the best it will ever get for them.  Doomed and condemned to Hell for eternity, the souls take calls from angry and idiotic customers of a cable company owned by Lucifer, while they are tortured by idiotic policies and procedures that make no sense at all. 

Or better yet, a call center run by Satan, who poisons the water and gets every female pregnant with his demonic spawn.  Once hired, they drink the water, and when they are about to give birth suddenly disappear.  All the while, they take calls from various demons, who give subliminal instructions to the unborn hellspawns. 

Even better, a call center possessed by a dark, evil presence that slowly drives all who work there insane.  People snap on the phones, commit suicide while on calls, and run outside while jamming pens into their ears so they can never hear again.  It would be a good old fashioned fight between Good and Evil.  But key employees who have been there for a long time and are bonded with the Evil Presence try to keep things as they are in exchange for powers beyond their imagination. 

More realistically, a call center run by a cabal of religious zealots who worship a dark spirit from Pre-Christian times.  They employ people so they can suck out their souls slowly, call by call, until there is nothing left but a soulless vessel.  The souls they take are fed to the dark spirit, who then bestows all manner of gifts upon his worshipers.  

Or perhaps a call center run by a mad scientist doing outlawed experiments with human test subjects in the realms of audio-induced insanity.  A brave soul, with a rare auditory impairment, discovers the awful truth and fights to save her friends and co-workers from a gruesome end.

Other genres could be represented, too.

Science Fiction offers all kinds of possibilities.  How about a call center full of aliens and Human Resources accidentally hires a human?  The human learns the terrible secret and some of the aliens try to kill them while some try to protect him.  It become a civil war between aliens on a planet where nobody knows they exist.  I can see some of the people I work with being aliens.  Actually, if you look at it that way, a whole lot of shit makes sense.  Damn. 

And then it could be a murder mystery.  Everybody loves a good murder mystery.  And it could go a number of different ways.  People all over the country are turning up brutally murdered and the only thing they have in common is the same cable company.  Some detective figures it out after a dozen or so dead bodies stack up and realizes it might be a telemarketer doing it.  It becomes a race to see if he can catch the killer before he kills again. 

Or it could be somebody killing off telemarketers.  But after a hundred or so are wiped out, nobody really gives a shit, until the company gets tired of replacing workers and has to investigate on their own. 

Personally, the genre that offers the most intriguing opportunities I think, would be erotica.  Half the damn place has read the 50 Shades of Gray series.  The plot would be simple--a person searches for love while employed at a call center that is like a meat market.  Couples hook up and randomly spend their lunch breaks in the parking lot for nooner romps.  The MC's friend, a man-ho that sleeps with every woman he can, helps guide his friend in the ways of love while teaching him to be a better lover.  All the while, we see a glimpse into the exciting-but-hollow lives of various people as they give themselves over to the overly sexualized workplace. 

The socially aware side of me wants to make this book into a statement about the decay of the Midwest as manufacturing jobs leave and we are reduced to low-wage service industry jobs.  The struggle of a young couple with children as they fight to raise their family in such impoverished conditions while runaway inflation eats their meager paychecks.  All the while, they have to work a minimum wage job with a smile on their faces as their marriage strains under the pressure.  I never liked William Faulkner's novels much but his short stories really did tell the tale of the South after the War of Northern Aggression. 

There is one other novel that could be written.  One that I can't say too much about here.  But there is a subculture in America that generally gravitates towards call center jobs.  And this subculture is full of tragic characters making bad choices and struggles to escape their lives. 

I can imagine folks I work with might wonder about a few things.  All I can say is this:  The things that happen in my life are mine.  And if you didn't want certain things to appear in the book, then you should have behaved better around me.  However, I will accept bribes to be nice, but the costs are high.  This is why I don't write about my family.  I like most of them too much to tell the truth. 

1 comment:

  1. You know, this has possibilities. Of course I see it as a horror story (shouldn't surprise you at all)with an evil creature--possibly a Chihuahua--pulling the strings.

    If you haven't yet, read A Confederacy of Dunces. I don't much like the book, though it won beaucoup awards,but I could see your story going in that direction too.

    Lots of ways you could go with it.