This is a book science fiction story. A man was accidentally hired into a (secret?) government position due to having the same exact name as their intended hire. I don't remember, is he required to take the job or not, but he takes it. He then becomes a part of the bureaucracy of that "orwellian" world. A large part of the novel is the man describing his new office, the culture there, and he is feeling out of place, like an impostor. He describes the employees there as not really working, only making an attempt to look like they're working. Only one of the employees there recognizes that this man is not the intended hire, and he plots to get him fired.
This newly hired man comes across some documents about an attempted alien invasion of Earth. The alien's spaceships are described as being pitch black, with an ominous disposition. An alien spaceship shot a red laser beam which melted the peak of a mountain. Due to bureaucratic procedures, this incident was never investigated properly, and falls into obscurity in the archives, where this man retrieves it. It is later revealed that this alien species is a new comer to some kind of "galactic federation" of all advanced species. This species attacked the Earth because they were less advanced morally and culturally and were still prone to violent tendencies. All of these events happen in a "Cold War" environment of high secrecy and bureaucracy.
The introduction or prologue of this novel depicted beings of the "galactic federation" thinking about the fate of Earth's civilization. They said that most likely the Earth's civilization will destroy itself before it gains access to technology necessary to explore the stars. It was compared to a chicken (or some other creature?) breaking out of an egg. If a civilization goes on to explore the stars, it is a metaphor for a chicken which broke out of it's egg.
I read this book 10 years ago in a public library, and so I do not remember most of the events. I also didn't read this book cover to cover, but some random detached chapters. I maybe wrong in my description of some of the events.