A young woman hustles to climb the corporate ladder in this darkly comedic, deeply insightful workplace drama.
Halley Faust will do anything to get promoted to “Level 2” at Findlay Global Manufacturing, Inc. The new job title would result in her relocation to Europe and her escape from the sleepy Midwestern town where she has lived all her life. Longing for these new possibilities, Halley makes a cutthroat decision, betraying an old friend but securing the higher position. With barely a backward glance, she hops on a plane to France, where she and a small team of Findlay employees will spend a year preparing to launch the company’s newest product, the mysterious Tantalus. Unfortunately, even as a Level 2, Halley is the most junior member of the team in Europe, and she quickly finds herself falling into the roles of gopher and scapegoat, much like she had been back in the home office in Ohio. With France failing to live up to her expectations, Halley wonders whether Level 2 is all it was cracked up to be. In fact, she quickly determines that she should invest all her energy in reaching Level 3 status instead. Unfortunately, the co-workers with whom she travels are as conniving and manipulative as she, and she will have to surmount many professional and interpersonal challenges if she hopes to be considered for another promotion. As she plans the launch of this product that she has never actually seen and can’t quite explain, Halley also examines her relationships with her co-workers and begins to question her decisions. Through a fast-paced and accessible prose that is full of both intuitive observations and slapstick, cringeworthy moments, Terwilliger deftly tackles issues ranging from workplace romances and corporate ethics to self-esteem and personal ambition.
A humorous and thought-provoking tale about searching for the ever elusive brass ring.