Bjorn just started a new position at his government office. The downside to the new position is the open-work space . Bjorn finds the set-up odd but he quickly settles into a routine. Bjorn works for 55 minutes then gets up and walks around, uses the restroom, scopes out his co-workers, etc. One day Bjorn notices a room not far from the restroom. Why doesn’t anyone else see this room and why isn’t anyone using it, Bjorn wonders. At first he passes by the room each day with barely a thought. Then Bjorn starts to go into the room each day and he couldn’t be happier. Bjorn’s co-workers think he’s gone crazy. Each day the see him go stand by the wall, completely motionless, oblivious to any noise, sound, or conversation occurring around him. His co-workers try to get him fired for being off-balance and incompetent. Little do they know, Bjorn will find a way to make them seem like the incompetent ones.
The Room by Jonas Karlsson starts off as a humorous book, with Bjorn’s interactions taking on a slight feel of The Office. After sometime it’s hard to determine, does the room really exist or is Bjorn as crazy as he seems. It appears the struggle to fit into today’s vision of what makes a productive office vs. what works for the individual is the key to making a successful employee. The Room also takes on a bit of a more somber tone midway through. Is Bjorn meant to be a solitary person and is that the key to his success? It’s up to the reader to decide.
The Room is a short, quick read that left me with a sense of sadness as well as thoughts to not judge others for their own idiosyncrasies. Does the room actually exist or did Bjorn make it up to give him a feeling of superiority over others. You’ll have to read for yourself to make that determination.