Looking for the name of a short story

KiAAA

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I read this short story years ago, and I'm trying to track down the name and author. The setting is a civil service office post-Irish independence. A visitor to the office is mistaken for the staff person who normally works in the office (who has gone away). The visitor's name etc. are recorded by an inspector who is taking an inventory of all the staff to put them on the new payroll. He ends up with a permanent salary etc. but has no work.

Anyone recognize this story? Who wrote it?

Thanks,
 


truthisfree

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Good luck with that....have tried to find various authors and stories with not much luck....am not sure if time has changed the story so much in my memory....

Hope you find it...:)
 

Zapped(CAPITALISMROTS)

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Possibility that it could be Frank O'Connor ??
 

former wesleyan

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Are you sure it wasn't a newspaper article ? :D
 

publicrealm

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Sounds like something Flann O'Brien (aka Brian O'Nolan; aka Myles na gCopaleen) would write..
 

TiredOfBeingTired

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Below is a Russian story of a civil servant who is mistaken for an important inspector.
The Government Inspector, also known as The Inspector General (original title: Russian: Ревизор, Revizor, literally: "Inspector"), is a satirical play by the Russian and Ukrainian dramatist and novelist Nikolai Gogol.[SUP][1][/SUP] Originally published in 1836, the play was revised for an 1842 edition. Based upon an anecdote allegedly recounted to Gogol by Pushkin,[SUP][2][/SUP] the play is a comedy of errors, satirizing human greed, stupidity, and the extensive political corruption of Imperial Russia.

More info:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Government_Inspector#Plot_summary
Even if it is not your story, it may have influenced your story.
Check this list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Government_Inspector#Other_adaptations
 
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KiAAA

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After some more Googling, I think it's Mervyn Wall's They Also Serve, but I have to get a copy to re-read it.

Many thanks for the suggestions.
 

Lumpy Talbot

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This thread has sparked a memory of a wonderful short story I read years ago possibly by Frank O'Connor of a similar set-up but where a lugubrious member of office staff simply responds 'I would prefer not' when asked to do some task, much to the despair of the office manager. I wonder whether it is the same story.

I too immediately thought of O'Connor in response to the OP's question. Must re-read him.
 

Conor

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This thread has sparked a memory of a wonderful short story I read years ago possibly by Frank O'Connor of a similar set-up but where a lugubrious member of office staff simply responds 'I would prefer not' when asked to do some task, much to the despair of the office manager. I wonder whether it is the same story.

I too immediately thought of O'Connor in response to the OP's question. Must re-read him.
That sounds like Bartleby The Scrivener by Herman Melville.
 

Seanie Lemass

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This thread has sparked a memory of a wonderful short story I read years ago possibly by Frank O'Connor of a similar set-up but where a lugubrious member of office staff simply responds 'I would prefer not' when asked to do some task, much to the despair of the office manager. I wonder whether it is the same story.

I too immediately thought of O'Connor in response to the OP's question. Must re-read him.

That sounds a bit like the Joyce story "Counterparts" in which the hero responds to the office manager in a similar way. It is very sad story in fact.
 


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