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Daniel Orozco’s “Orientation”

The short story “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco is a story, which is exciting and appreciative. The story begins by giving the reader the impression of a man being introduced to something as the title indicates. Orozco develops the narration interestingly in that neither the narrator nor the audience was introduced. Throughout the book, the lives of several employees were described, as their interaction became the central theme for Orozco more than the main character. 

This tale is narrated in the first person voice. Throughout the text, the main character never talks. However, events around him are narrated and his life experiences are being captured. 

 Furthermore, it is evident that a dialogue exists whereby the narrator acknowledges that the listener asks questions which the reader is not seeing. “That’s a good question, Feel free to ask questions.” The listeners’ questions are rephrased and repeated back so that the reader could see the questions asked by the listener, thus making the listener less important in the text. 

Similarly, the occupation that the audience is being oriented to is not important to the text. It is not reflecting anywhere else in the text. However, it helps in creating the office environment, which the story needs and provides a background for the story. “These are the workplaces, and these are the desk areas.” Through the introduction of the workplace, Orozco makes the description of individual employees to be easier and more outrageous.

    After the introduction, the office creates a better environment for employees to discuss some of their internal affairs. The example Amanda’s statement; “…subjects her to a raising exhibit of difficult and embarrassing sex games.., “do not fit in a conducive environment. Such conversations are embarrassing to individuals. Therefore, it is essential not to discuss them in the office setting. This discussion sets uneasy feelings to the listener because he was new in office. 

Additionally, the narrator introduces the main character to a working environment. Whereby he has been given the ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ of the company (Wilkins 2015). “There are no personal phone calls allowed.”  Besides the narrator, cautions the listener of what will happen if he violates any of the set rules. “If you make an emergency phone call without asking, you may be let go.” The narrator does comment on the sexual story. Neither is he interested. For this reason, he makes a professional feeling in the office, whereby even the listener is now bound to follow the rules without question. The professional opinion implicated by the narrator contradicts the awkward and embarrassing feeling in the office.

The short description used by the storyteller adds to the painful, awkward feeling of the workplace. “Anika Blossom’s left palm started to drain. This sets her into confusion as she gazed into her hand. Anika disclosed to Barry Programmer when and how his spouse would pass on.” The subtle elements influence the representatives’ lives to appear to be dreamlike.

The reader is told that Anika Blossom’s palm started to drain, yet the explanation behind the blood isn’t given. The blood is used to symbolize agony and pain. Different words, for example, “fell” and “stare” creates a scary environment with frightening feelings. Considerably all the more exasperating is the line that means when somebody passes on. 

Orozco drives back the reader to reality, the workplace setting, regardless of how aggravating the depicted encounters of a worker have been. This is clear in the entry about Kevin Howard, the serial executioner. 

“The carnage inflicted is precise: the angle and direction of the incisions; the layering of skin and muscle tissue; the rearrangement of the visceral organs; and so on. Kevin Howard does not let any of this interfere with his work. He is, in fact, our fastest typist.”

The narrator never gives his personal opinion on Haward. He only describes his physical attributes and positive comments that he is their fastest typist. However, for the reader to know whom Haward is Orozco uses imaginations and flashbacks to show the audience what could be behind his physical attributes. Through thoughts, the listener sees Haward as a terrible mass killer. However, these views are interrupted with his typing.

The narrator’s ability to bring professional environment has influenced the listener to understand all the surroundings around him. His authoritative voice makes every description of the other characters seem genuine. He helps the listener to appreciate his colleagues by providing a brief description of their backgrounds and their potentials as in the case of Kevin Haward. None of the other characters oppose the short description, which makes the story accurate. 

In conclusion, Orozco has managed to combine the expert tone and the awkward description feeling in the office. This combination of different tones outlines the clear distinction of a professional environment and the personal life of every character. Besides, he has managed to narrate a story around the character’s life without the character in question talking or contributing. Hence, Orozco is just referred to as a listener who at no particular point spoke but has always featured in the entire story.

Work cited

Wilkins, Joe. Far Enough: A Western in Fragments. Black Lawrence Press, 2015.

Last Updated on June 29, 2021

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