Thursday, December 15, 2005

Great Moments In Central Planning

To: Comrade A.S. Korolyov, Director of Mines


In response to your order requesting an explanation of the six-hour period on the twelfth of November of the current year during which the convict work gang No. 4 under my supervision in the Golden Spring Mine stood idle, I report the following:

The air temperature in the morning was sixty degrees below zero. Our thermometer was broken by the on-duty overseer, as I reported to you earlier. Nevertheless, it was possible to determine the temperature, since spit froze in midair.

The work gang was brought to the site on time, but could not commence work, since the boiler injector serving our area and intended to thaw the frozen ground wouldn't work.

I have already repeatedly brought the injector to the attention of the chief engineer. Nevertheless, no measures were taken, and the injector has completely gone to pot. The chief engineer refuses to replace the injector just now. We have no place to warm up, and they won't let us make a fire. Furthermore, the guards won't permit the work gang to be sent back to the barracks.

I've written everywhere I could, but I can't work with this injector any longer. The injector hardly works at all, and the plan for our area can't be fulfilled. We can't get anything done, but the chief engineer doesn't pay any attention and just demands his cubic meters of soil.

Mine Engineer L.V. Kudinov,
Area Chief of the Golden Spring Mine

The following was written in neat longhand obliquely across the report.

1. For refusing to work for five days and thus interfering with the production schedule, Convict Injector is to be placed under arrest for three days without permission to return to work and is to be transferred to a work gang with a penal regimen.

2. I officially reprimand Chief Engineer Gorev for a lack of discipline in the production area. I suggest that Convict Injector be replaced with a civilian employee.

Alexander Korolyov,
Director of Mines

-- Varlam Shalamov, The Injector, Kolyma Tales

1 Comment:

Me said...

May you find this Christmas inner peace
Equal to the patient love you give,
Releasing all the pain you can release,
Renewing all the grace with which you live.
Yearnings may you turn to rhapsodies,
Choosing to find happiness in beauty,
Holding in their haunting melodies
Riches that sustain your sense of duty.
In anger may you find an evening star
Showing you the way to Bethlehem.
The angels that watch naked from afar
May you hear sing of who would none condemn.
As all you love are blessed in having you
So may you feel the joy in all you do.

May Peace
Hope and Love
be with you
and Always

Merry Christmas!
The Surging Waves