Orientation by Daniel Orozco Critique

Freshman (College 1st year) ・English ・MLA ・1 Sources

I am fascinated by office space because of the question of how one balances who he is with who you have to be at work.” (Schilb and Clifford 174). Orozco’s quote portrays absurd and mundane character traits of office life. Orozco’s story clearly exhibits a true reflection of the real situation at the workplace. According to his workplace, it is an environment that is governed by strict rules that employees are supposed to abide by. Those who cannot uphold the established regulations risk being fired. Based on “Orientation” story this essay holds that workplace is an environment, whereby all people are governed by set rules and regulations and for the organization to achieve his or her goals some driving forces should be applied. These forces are supplemented by organization structure that has been established to oversee the running of the organization activities.

‘Orientation” story goes further to provide details on employees’ personal lives and how management seems to only focus on corporate goals at the expense of workers. The analysis of Orozco story "Orientation,” indicates that corporate world values anonymity and structure and hence special rules and coercive mechanisms have to be embraced if the organization anticipates achieving its objectives.  It is out of this argument whereby this essay seeks to explore how Orozco has illustrated corporate mindset in the workplace.

According to Orozco, workplace is "an extremely structured and regulated environment." (Schilb and Clifford 175). Those who work in the office have to conform to organization rules and established structure despite numerous harmful effects they face. For example, Gwendolyn Stich psychological breakdown experience represents many of the conditions in the workplace that may have negative impacts on employees' lives. Orozco brings it out clear that “many people suffering from illness at the workplace have critical decisions to make.” (Schilb and Clifford 177).  Just like Gwendolyn, they may decide to let the cat of the basket or be ready to face the risk of interfering with their work status. Else, “they may decide not reveal their suffering and continue to suffer in silence.” (Schilb and Clifford 180). This is a difficult to decision to make between personal health and employment which should be given priority. 

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Workplace seems to be unfriendly and a torturing environment from the perception of employees. This can be attested by the Orozco's quote, “those are the offices and these are the cubicles. That’s my cubicle there, and this is your cubicle.” (Schilb and Clifford 185). However, despite the situation in the workplace, the management does not care about the employees' welfare providing that the company core objectives are achieved. Even the little communication freedom given to the employees is highly monitored. “Employees are provided with the phone. However, they are not supposed to answer but should let the Voicemail System answer it.” (Schilb and Clifford 185).  Alternatively, employees are supposed to follow directives as given without questioning or being initiative “employees are provided with Voicemail System Manual.” (Schilb and Cliffor, 185). This essay opines that corporate utilize employees to realize corporate goals without putting into consideration employees outside life. 

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Workplace strict rules and structure brings in life the aspect of social alienation. Orozco describes what are termed such offices as cubicles. This shows how workers are being monitored at the workplace as well as how they have to be separated from the outside world. The life of the employees seems unbearable. “There is no guarantee of permanent employment."  (Schilb and Clifford 189). Instructions have to be followed as given and an employee is not supposed to question, “an employee is permitted to heat food in the microwave oven. But unable to cook food in the microwave oven.” (Schilb and Clifford 186). Again, employees are overworked compared to the meager salary they earn as compensation for their services.  Despite difficult work situations employees have to bear the effects to avoid harsh economic conditions. “Corporate enervation and jittery social isolation were quite evident among the employees." (Schilb and Clifford 185). Therefore, it is clear that management does not recognize that employees have to achieve balance between work and personal life to be productive during their working hours. Based on this analysis and evaluation, it is evident, that “Orientation” represents real life situations which happen at organizations’ workplace. 

In conclusion, the analysis of the story "Orientation" reflects what happens in the societal setting. In real life setting, people accept harsh and difficult situations for fear of jeopardizing their interest. Society will accept what is wrong and make it look as if it is normal. Orozco portrays how employees who suffered illness were afraid to reveal their status for fear of being fired. Marxist criticism approach makes it clear that we are living in a materialistic society where the rich and the elite will continue to utilize the poor for their benefits.

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Work Cited

Schilb, John, and John Clifford. Making Literature Matter. New York: Bedford/St. Martin, 2014.

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