I’ve tried really hard many times, to describe what it’s like being an accountant. I’m in the middle of The Castle and came across the best description so far;
…there was nothing to further his goal, though one could probably take advantage of certain things to improve our family’s lot. For up there everything, except for the whims of the servants, is quite modest, and since ambition seeks fulfillment in work and the task itself becomes paramount, eventually all ambition disappears; there is no reason to indulge childish wishes there. Still, Barnabas was convinced, he told me, that he coudl clearly see how power and knowledge were wielded even by those rather dubious officials whose rooms he could enter. How they dictated, quickly, with half-closed eyes and brief gestures; how, only with their index finger, wordlessly, they dispatched the surly servants who, breathing heavily at such moments, smiled happily, or how they found an important passage in their books, pounded on it, and the others, insofar as this was possible in the confined space, ran up and stretched their necks out toward it. Such things gave Barnabas exalted ideas about these men and he had the impression that if he advanced far enough to be noticed and could exchange a few words with them not as a stranger but as on office colleague, if only of the most subordinate kind, then it would be possible to obtain unforeseen benefits for our family.