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Written by Michael Braun
Howie is an office worker in his mid-twenties, and in many respects the only character in the book, as all the other characters are mentioned in the description of his thoughts. The exact nature of his work is not mentioned, but based on his thoughts he probably has an entry-level job at a larger corporation. He is a keen observer and describes his thoughts, findings and conclusions using remarkably precise language. While he realizes that his life is rather mundane at the moment, it feels as if he has accepted his fate, as he does not show any signs of moving his life forward. He also sees through the shallowness of the professional relationships between him and his coworkers but willingly accepts and maintains the established norms without any desire to make them more meaningful. At one point in the novel, he even describes his pretending to have forgotten an important errand only to be able to change the direction of where he is going to avoid talking to a coworker. On the other hand, he has some loving relationships with his parents and his girlfriend, although their description lack detail.
Howie spends a considerable amount of time thinking about becoming an adult. He lists the eight major advances he has made so far, and calculates that he would become an adult in his forties, as by that time the number of adult thoughts will have outweighed the number of child thoughts.
Tina is one of the secretaries working with Howie, whose description of her appear stereotypical: She has posters about the ridiculous working conditions on her wall, flirts "mechanically" with Howie, and has people sign a card that she wants to send to the ill janitor. Just like Howie, she has internalized the conventions of office conversations, so their interactions stay superficial; both do not seem to be interested in becoming closer.
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