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Flow chart

L’art et la manière d’aborder son chef de service pour lui demander une augmentation.


This flow chart, designed by Georges Perec, describes the etiquette of asking your boss for a payrise. The many possible routes through the chart all end in disappointment. This work has been performed successfully both as a radio play and on stage. The drama arises from the passage of time. With every pass through the chart, the characters get older. At the outset the hero may have no children, but after a few failed attempts to claim Mr X's attention, he may find himself increasingly frustrated and with a large family to support. How will the story end?


(As described by David Bellos at the Mathematics and Fiction workshop in Oxford, May 2009. See also

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Taken on May 31, 2009