Short Story: The Crying Of Those Who Refine


“The code is completely bananas. Don’t get me wrong, the guy who first wrote this must have been a genius, but he’s gone for a long time now and left absolutely no documentation behind.”

“I always tell them to work in small increments. It’s critical to get feedback early and often to avoid wasted effort and to have a short feedback cycle. One delta t at a time so to say.”

“Our Manager likes to tell us to iterate quickly. But she has no idea. You try to change a line or two and suddenly something breaks apart in a completely unexpected way.”

“I might be one of the only ones left here to actually remember him. Really private guy. Always working remotely, never coming into the office, not even turning on his camera when we were on a call. So when management introduced mandatory office days? He was just gone. Left without notice. I would love to know what he’s up to now. Rumours are he is working in insurance?”

“Development back then was really unprofessional. Like including typos just to be cute. Can you believe they did not even use version control?”

“I don’t understand how we think we can make visible progress by just hiring fresh college graduates. What we really need is a full-blown senior cabalist.”

“The problem is that the different teams don’t talk to each other. The historians might fix an Anachronism but then it turns out that it was actually intended by the art department to portray the alienation of the present moment or some shit.”

“I’m really sick of marketing forcing us to implement all of these pop culture references. I know we have to make our partners happy, but is it really necessary to include these Wizard of Oz references virtually everywhere only because their new trading card game just came out?”

“These requests by legal are getting more absurd by the minute. Sure, we want to be able to sell the book over the counter. But removing the Anubis section completely is just crazy. They don’t even know how much refactoring that would involve.”

“What the company is missing is a way to make decisions. Someone finally has to take care of the major issues we face. Is it all a dream? Or not? At this point I don’t really care anymore, some clarity is all I ask for.”

“We should think more about our end users. Customer surveys found that most people absolutely despise the toiletship section. So why keep it? Only because Maria from Freud Detection is adamant about it being a reference to one of the guy’s dreams? Nobody but her will care about it!”

“Enough is enough. We call it calculated narrative incoherence and push it out to all major outlets.”


As this story probably only makes sense to a handful of people, let me explain the somewhat odd premise:

It’s meant to be a collection of complaints from people working in a modern corporate environment that somehow are tasked with finishing the manuscript of Gravity’s Rainbow from Thomas Pynchon and making it a commercial success.

Artwork by Max Haering. Check out his other Pynchon-inspired work here.

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