Brian S. Ekasala
May 29, 2013
Journal Response #2
Retrospective Narration of “Orientation”
“Orientation” written by Daniel Orozco (McMahan 454) was to me, mostly a comical read. I have that dark sense of humor I guess. I liked the way the story was presented. By using primarily first person narration, I felt as if I was the one being shown around the office on my first day of work.
I found myself conjuring up question after unanswered question as I was being pulled into a story line about yet another employee. I became less interested in the particulars of who exactly was the narrator, the intended audience, or the office itself; and more interested in the inner workings of the office dynamic. I guess I had not much of a choice since the narrator nor the audience was ever clearly defined. One thing that did break the cycle was when the narrator pointed out “this is your phone.” and “That was a good question. Feel free to ask ...view middle of the document...
This effectively drew me in, by using statements like “He subjects her to an escalating array of painful and humiliating sex games, to which Amanda Pierce reluctantly submits” (McMahan 455). Discussing such a taboo subject in the context and setting of the read, really caught my attention!
The way the narrator professionally kept on point with the orientation effectively made it impossible to stop reading or question what was being said.
From the sexual activities of Amanda Pierce to the bleeding palm fortuneteller Anika Bloom, I noticed that anytime my mind started to analyze, the author effectively controlled the read by using contrast. For example, immediately following the quick background about Anika Bloom having her palms bleed and foretelling Barry Hackers’ wife’s death, you’re told not to talk to her or you may end up like Colin Heavey; who became doomed after having talked to Anika. This effectively stopped me in my tracks; no wonder Daniel Orozco has gained so much notoriety for this short story, there’s so much depth to it.
Anytime the storyline started to become boring the author would interject something so contrast that it demanded attention. To go from describing the benefits plan and showing the kitchenette into a description of how Barry Hackers’ wife is now haunting the office. To go from a description of the Supplies Cabinet and Gwendolyn Stich’s penguins into a very detailed description of Kevin Howard, a known serial killer, in such a callous way was shocking!
I was left with a view of what I believe is San Francisco. A description of the view from the photocopier room mentioned, “It overlooks the park, where the tops of those trees are. You can see a segment of the bay between those two buildings over there” (McMahan 457). I did a little research on the author and found in an interview he mentioned “his worst job and growing up in San Francisco” (KQED).
I found it amusing that one of the very last visuals consisted of, “There’s Anika Bloom in the kitchenette, waving back” (McMahan 457). I hope, for everyone’s sake, her palm isn’t bleeding.
Word Count: 626
"KQED." Public Media. N.p., n.d. Web. 30 May 2013.
McMahan, Elizabeth, Susan Day, and Robert Funk. "Orientation." Literature and the Writing Process. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1996. N. pag. Print.