Q: As a callow youth, I read and promptly forgot a NatLamp story about an aging loser in some industrial plant–something to do with “piece-parts distribution”—who tries desperately to impress his new boss. He fails, of course, and suffers a heart attack, and his cubicle is given over to some goth-punk designer. It had wonderful touches—the boss’s attractive freckled wife, the pathetic and primitive slideshow designed by our loser (this in the days before PowerPoint). Now, as an aging loser who’s had a heart attack, I find myself wondering: what was this story called, who wrote it, and is it online to re-read?
A: According to Carol: “It’s called ‘Deadwood, the Desperate White-Collar Worker Who Tried to Please a Boss Young Enough to Be His Kid’ by Tod Carroll. It appeared in the thoroughly dreary ‘Anxiety’ issue, Aug ’80.” Thanks again, Carol!