Uncertainty in Workplace Leaves Employees Being “Excessed”

Being “excessed” is the new term being applied in the 21st Century workplace to human beings.
It is one of the uncertainties faced by the characters in my new novel as explains in this summary
by Todd Rutherford of PublishingGuru.com

Excess as a Negative Term in the American Workplace of the Late 2000s

Greg Messel’s The Illusion of Certainty explores the meaning of the word
“excess,” which arose in our national vocabulary during the recession.
While in the past, “excess” was a “good thing,” representing a surplus of
profits, funding for capital improvements, or capacity in production, in the
summer of 2009, “excess” became a word used to describe employees.

The word “excess” as related to spending has been commonly used in budgets;
however, using it to describe people highlights the dehumanizing nature of
modern life, as people and employees became “excess” within their
corporations, a term which “reduces human beings to a commodity.” Messel’s
protagonist, Marc, is informed through a videoconference that his team has
been “excessed,” leaving the team members unemployed, and giving the general
message that they are no longer necessary to the welfare of the company.
Messel describes how our recent corporate dialogue has been used to describe
human beings as excess spending; “We have too many people, more people than
we need, more people than are required or permitted. it’s nothing personal.
It has nothing to do with you or your performance.”

Messel accurately reflects the feelings of many readers who can recall being
excessed, that it is intensely personal and that “those are not comforting
words to a person who is being excessed,” and that “nothing could be more
personal than being told you are no longer needed.” This dialogue has
become incredibly dehumanizing, reducing workers to the status of a “spare
part that isn’t needed in the day-to-day functions of the business.”

The Illusion of Certainty addresses and reflects the lives of many readers,
who have also been dehumanized by their corporation, becoming a “spare part”
in the functions of their corporations, being impersonally “excessed” and
left very personally unemployed. Greg Messel showcases a startling prowess
for exploring topics that are relevant to readers today, addressing their
feelings in a way that their corporations did not, reminding readers and
corporations that workers are human and not merely “excess”-through his
story of Marc.

Contact: Greg Messel – gncmessel@comcast.net


About gregmessel

I've written six novels and am working on a seventh. My first three novels were "Expiation," "Sunbreaks" and "The Illusion of Certainty." I'm now working on a series of mysteries set in San Francisco in the 1950s. In 2008, I retired from corporate life and so I can spend more time writing. I spent over ten years in the newspaper business. I now live on Puget Sound in Edmonds, Washington, just north of downtown Seattle.
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