Thursday, November 16, 2006

Great Business Books - Hall of Fame nomination

Everyone knows "Catch-22"--though many of those may not have read the book; much less known, however, is the late Joseph Heller's second book, "Something Happened," unquestionably the funniest and scariest book ever written about the business world.

Here's a typical excerpt:

In my department there are six people who are afraid of me, and one small secretary who is afraid of all of us. I have one other person working for me who is not afraid of anyone, not even me, and I would fire him quickly, but I'm afraid of him.

It's full of this cringe-inducing (because it's so familiar) humor, like "The Office," except Heller wrote this over thirty years ago!

Given its age, it does have some anachronisms, including bosses sleeping with secretaries (which still happens, come to think of it) and three-martini lunches. But the observations of human nature in the workplace, with all its pettiness and insecurity, could have been written yesterday.

If you work in a company or ever plan to work in a company, read this book.

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