Most of the writing in the new short-story collection by Charles Yu, Sorry Please Thank You, is either narrated by or focuses on a lonesome, timid, self-conscious guy in his twenties or thirties who's working a lousy job—or one he can't accept the responsibility for. The catch of the book is that something science-fictionally surreal or fantastic is always going on within the worlds of these dithering, sentimental protagonists.
For instance, the narrator of the opening story, "Standard Loneliness Package," works at a dystopian call center in India where the employees have to—via some sort of unspecified, consciousness-carrying technology—endure for the customers the fear, the embarrassment, the shame, among other things, of funerals, dentist appointments, plane rides, and other uncomfortable experiences. Or in "First Person Shooter," the lovesick leading character works the graveyard shift at WorldMart, a store that's open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One night, while working alongside the girl he has a crush on, a female zombie comes into the store and, instead of wanting to maul the humans and devour their brains, looks for some lipstick to get ready for a date (a date with whom is never quite made clear).