Monday, September 7, 2009

Eileen McVety's "Welcome to the Company..."

Eileen McVety's first book, a mock employee handbook entitled Welcome to the Company (or what it's really like working here), was published by Inkwater Press in March 2009. A professional writer with more than 20 years of communications writing experience, McVety is the founder of Spot-on Writing, inc.

She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago and is a published essayist and short-story writer whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Tiny Lights, Career Woman, Philosophical Mother, and The Minetta Review.

Here she shares some ideas for principal cast and director of an adaptation of Welcome to the Company...:
Part comedy, part how-to documentary, the film version of Welcome to the Company (or what it’s really like working here) is comprised almost entirely of antagonists. The sole protagonist, the unnamed new hire, is essentially you, the viewer. You are an eager and enthusiastic employee, too new in your role to be jaded yet by your working environment. If you are a woman, you might be played by a wide-eyed Amy Adams; if you’re a man, maybe a cool and inquisitive Justin Long. But sorry to say, YOU are basically irrelevant to the story. You are merely a foil for the madness and hypocrisy surrounding you.

Your boss is Gordon Wiggins, CEO of the Gordon Wiggins Group, played by Will Ferrell. Gordon is over-the-top friendly, but beneath his superficial affability exists a simmering resentment for being stuck in the same lousy profession for 30 years. Gordon’s insecurity is evidenced by the fact that the only photo of himself he’ll allow to be featured in the employee handbook dates back to the late 70s, back when he still had hair and idealistic hopes for the future.

Steve Buscemi would play the role of Gordon’s alcoholic and nepotism-benefiting brother, Keith Wiggins. Keith’s hobbies include spontaneous weeping, erecting Lego sculptures, and sleeping it off. In most scenes, you’re likely to see him passed out at his desk.

Stacey Miller is the long-time executive assistant at the Gordon Wiggins Group, a world-weary “lifer” at the company who is universally regarded as the office slut. She enjoys faux-finish painting, tequila, and line dancing. I see a somewhat younger version of Carrie Fisher playing this role. But not much younger.

Then there’s Chief Red Cloud, the token ethnic hire, who confounds his coworkers with his haughty, bombastic expressions. In this role, I see Graham Greene, the Native American actor who played the friend of Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves. Chief Red Cloud is the type of coworker who can silence a conference room by waltzing into it and announcing, “Why if it isn’t the Three Muses and Euripides awaiting the wrath of Medea.” No one understands Chief Red Cloud but they know enough to be a bit fearful of him.

Finally, I see Martin Scorsese directing this movie because corporate America is nothing if not a bloody battleground filled with back-stabbing, deception, and a litany of carnal vices—all of which is best underscored by a foreboding and foot-tapping soundtrack.
Learn more about Eileen McVety and Welcome to the Company... at the Spot-on Writing website.

--Marshal Zeringue