It’s a certainty that anyone who has worked within a corporate structure has met this person. Doggedly ideologically committed to their workplace, no evidence of a life outside of that workplace. These people are often the object of rumour-mongering, of conspiratorial whispering behind backs. They are often excluded, as they violate the complex, phatic social signals and performances that indicate a neurotypical/psychologically average person. It gets especially strange in jobs of little power or advancement. Then it seems to fill an odd vacancy in a person’s chest.
The quiet tyranny of behaviour is innate – the idea that if someone conformed to our idea of a well-functioning, emotionally healthy person, then they would suddenly find themselves just that. This is what probably what the modernists called the human condition. But neurochemistry is complicated, so is trauma. Who’s to say what makes a healthy person? Should we just leave the out-of-shape pegs be? These are questions worth exploring, but Sayaka Murata’s Convenience Store Woman leaves an absence where a meatier, or braver, or more articulate text could fit snugly. […]