There is something perverse about office life. It is necessarily hierarchical and competitive, with bosses, subordinates, promotions and ‘employees of the month’, and yet it is usually conducted under communal auspices, also known as ‘team spirit’. We must work to survive, yet it becomes necessary to maintain the illusion that we approach our tasks passionately and harbor sacred feelings of loyalty for our comrades up, down, and a few rungs over on the corporate latticework. Given such conditions, it’s no wonder that offices can often be hothouses of envy, pity, despair and contempt. Paradoxically, they are also very dull places to spend your days. Offices are either the theaters of our ambition or the prisons where we were condemned when we betrayed our dreams.