Arpith Siromoney 💬

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn - One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

The men bringing in the sand were sidling up to the stove to warm up, but Tiurin drove them off.

‘Look out, one of you is going to catch it in a jiffy. Wait till we’ve got the place fixed up.’

You’ve only got to show a whip to a beaten dog. The frost was severe, but not as severe as the team-leader. The men scattered and went back to their jobs.

And Shukhov heard Tiurin say to Pavlo:

‘Stay here and keep them at it. I’m going to hand in the work-report.’

More depended on the work-report than on the work itself. A clever team-leader was one who concentrated on the work-report. That was what kept the men fed. He had to prove that work which hadn’t been done had been done, to turn jobs that were rated low into ones that were rated high. For this a team-leader had to have his head screwed on, and to be on the right side of the checkers. Their palms had to be greased, too. But who benefited, then, from all these work-reports? Let’s be clear about it. The camp. The camp got thousands of extra roubles from the building organisation and so could give higher bonuses to its guard lieutenants, for example to Volkovoi for using his whip. And you? You got an extra two hundred grammes of bread for your supper. A couple of hundred grammes ruled your life.