The Black Books: Social critique

You are most probably not familiar with the show The Black Books. It is a rather niche British TV series which, let’s be frank, you probably wouldn’t find funny unless you have a special taste for the British humour.

Anyway, there is a rather curious scene where one of the characters, Fran, gets a generic office job. The issue is, Fran is not told what the job entails and what she is supposed to do. Watch how she handles a board meeting she is summoned to:

As the events unfold, Fran gets a promotion. Yup, she gets a promotion despite the fact that she does not even know what the job is about.

The show makes an obvious point in showing us the ridiculous job positions and the way the system is set up. There are people, somewhere in the world, and their numbers are not as low as you might expect, whose job is pretty much completely useless. An example of this is obviously paperwork. You are probably aware of this if you yourself started a business. It varies from country to country but the amount of papers you need to fill and the reports and taxes you need to submit is outright ridiculous in some cases. Furthermore, someone actually needs to read all those pieces of paper and sort them and move them about into their proper pigeonholes. The show actually explores the issue of taxes in the very first episode where the main character, Bernard, literally sticks and tapes all of the receipts together to make a “smart, casual jacket” rather than doing his taxes.

On the other hand, managerial positions are far from being useless, contrary to the popular opinion. While it would be nice to explore the importance of managers in the corporate world, this post would be far too wordy for that.


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