The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 65
Starting work

My first day at work was quite a lot of fun. I arrived shortly before 9am and walked straight to the large room on the ground floor for the morning’s psych up. I was feeling a bit self-conscious, as I imagined was normal for anyone on their first day. Everyone was very friendly, which did help things a lot. Whenever someone is employed, they’re given a nickname. They called the nickname one’s ‘BI’ name. ‘BI’ is of course the acronym for Beyond Insurance. I was given the name ‘Mischief’. People said I looked mischievous. One lady even told me that I looked like a mischievous kitten that was planning to steal some milk. Dave’s BI name was ‘Big Cheese’, and Edward’s was ‘Van Man’.

The first thing that I had to do was to get a psychological check up. I was so used to unexpected things happening that nothing surprised me anymore. My check up consisted of a very long chat with the psychologist, who had a five page evaluation form about me to fill out. After that I was instructed to get to know the BI names of everyone in the building. It was a task which I had to do by myself. I was told to visit every room in the building, except, of course, for the ladies’.

My tour around the building introduced me to some interesting rooms. The building had a gym, changing rooms with showers, a home cinema, a large kitchen where some people were making breakfast and a games room with pool tables, dart boards, a cupboard full of board games, and the ‘secret room’. The door to the secret room was closed. It had a big sign on it saying ‘The Secret Room’. I was instructed to visit all the rooms, and so I turned the door handle. It was locked. I knocked. There was no response, and so I continued to make my way around the building.

After my self-guided tour, I had to go to my desk and fill in a test on a website, where photos of all the employees were displayed, and I had to match each person with their BI name. The test was easy, probably because most people’s names had something to do with what they looked like. I scored 97%. I was pretty sure that I had not seen the people that I didn’t recognize. Perhaps they were on leave.

Edward came to visit me at my desk and handed me a copy of the business bible, ‘How to Run the Most Successful Business Ever’. ‘Every employee needs to know this backwards’, he told me. ‘If you like, you can take a few days off and read this at home. When you’re done you’ll be tested on it. The pass mark is 100%, and you don’t get paid until you get 100%. It’s the same rule for everyone, so everyone in this building had to pass the test before they got paid.’

‘How many times did you take the test before you got 100%?’ I asked.

‘About 5 times,’ he replied.

As I turned to leave I called him back. ‘Edward.’

He turned around.

‘What’s the secret room?’

He smiled and looked up, as if contemplating whether or not to tell me. ‘Ask me again in a few months... if you haven’t figured it out yet.’

I drove home, and sat on the couch, reading the book. It was an enjoyable book; not the kind of book that you’d expect if you had to read a book on running a business. All the strange things that I had seen in BI were taken from that book. It even had a section on strategic employment, where it mentioned that when one had found a suitable candidate for employment, they should be taken to do something that they want to do, and it should be paid out of the business account.

The whole mindset of the book was completely different to how one would expect a business to be run. Employees were not given fixed times to work, and so it was one of the goals of the business to make working so attractive that no-one would ever want to go home. People were also given multiple jobs, so, for example, the janitor could also be a manager. Everything was designed to make the employees feel as happy as possible, and also to make them as efficient as possible. No-one was paid according to the work that they did. Instead, everyone was paid equally, according to the profit made by the business.

It took three days until I was confident enough to go back to work and take the test. After studying the book I felt as if my mind had been opened to a whole new way of thinking. I used to hate the idea of having to work, but the book explained various techniques for changing one’s view on work into something that one really looks forward to. Above all, the book taught one to be honest with oneself, not caring about what adverts said, or what was cool, but to open one’s mind to what really matters.

The test was also done on a website on the computer at my desk. I scored 100%.

 

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