The plot of the book thickened in this chapter: Mr. T was having a great morning until Waldo came and told him that the NNL had to go to the US and put someone else in charge. “Allair Belok, Minister of Internal Affairs and Deputy Tyrant” is how he introduced himself. He made a strong first impression by joking with Mr. Tompkins’ countdown display and making it display ‘420’. By the way he was described, Belok seemed like an infuriating person. Mr. T got all sarcastic and the two of them started discussing about the deadlines, the teams, the managers, profit, among other things.
Belok basically wanted to let Mr. Tompkins know that things would be different while he was in charge. He ordered to merge the three teams for each product into one bigger team, he set a new deadline six months earlier than the previous one* and didn’t seem to care about what Mr. T had to tell him. He just wouldn’t listen and turned out to be just the kind of boss Webster despised.
The NNL was gone, and so was Ms. Hoolihan. Mr. T, Belinda and Gabriel had no alternative: they had to do as Belok commanded and all of their efforts until then would go to waste. Or would they? They actually decided to obey their new superior, but not without making new secret teams to stick to their original plan and secretly work on three different instances for each of the products, as they initially intended,
This chapter was heavily focused on the story, so there isn’t much technical content for this entry. The only thing I can think of is the Pathological Politics mentioned in both Mr. T’s journal and the conversation with Belinda and Gabriel. According to Webster, pathological politics is the situation in which an organization’s goals are overridden by abuse of power and influence. It’s possible for pathological politics to manifest in any organization, and they only bring negative effects into it.
“There is no such thing as a job with no (pathological) politics”
I compared Belok’s behavior with some of the “20 most common signs of a bad boss”. Surprisingly, he doesn’t show many of them, but he definitely fits the description of number 20: arrogant. It looks like Mr. T and the rest may have a hard time from now on.
*If we do the math: according to Mr. Tompkins, the countdown should’ve shown 606 days left. Belok shortened the deadline by six months, that’s roughly 6 * 31 = 186. By subtracting these numbers, we get the amount of days left until the new ‘d-day’. What does that give us? 606 – 186 = 420. Mind = blown.
Also, I wanted to mention: If you pay attention, you’ll see that all of my Deadline entry titles rhyme. This time I had to get really creative, because it seems like the only things that (actually) rhyme with eleven are heaven (which I already used in chapter 7), seven (the other part of the rhyme in chapter 7) and leaven (I didn’t even know this word).