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					           A Book Proposal

   Surviving Management Fads
How to Thrive on Company Capriciousness

           February 4, 2005




             Submitted by

              Pete Nofel
         3838 West 158th St.
      Cleveland OH 44111-4267
          Day: 216.257.5739
        Evening: 216.251.5117
       petenofel@bluebottle.com

                Bill Devol
           222 East King St.
         Chardon OH 44024
          Day: 216.825.6694
        Evening: 440.286.9356
         bill.devol@gmail.com
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                      Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                              Proposal Overview

                                        for

                         Surviving Management Fads
                    How to Thrive on Company Capriciousness

                                     Pete Nofel
                                        and
                                     Bill Devol




  I. Content
       A. The Premise
               Management fads sweep through business like six-week-old hot
          dogs go through the intestinal tract. The fads wreak most of their
          havoc on employees rather than managers. Surviving Management
          Fads is a humorous look at how employees can not only keep their
          jobs while fads run through their companies, but also how to use the
          fads to their advantage.

       B. The Unique Selling Proposition
          By purchasing Surviving Management Fads
            Readers will
               ► Enjoy a satirical look at management, its foibles, and how it
                 struggles to find the magic bullet – that’s usually used to shoot
                 itself in the foot.
               ► Be able to see the underlying lessons in the humor and use
                 them to their advantage when dealing with fad madness.
               ► See that the odd behavior of management isn’t limited to their
                 employer; they are in the company of others suffering from the
                 same misery.




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                     Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




             Because the book will
               ► Use humor to provide look at managers, fads, and employees
                 and offer insight into the underlying truths in sometimes
                 incomprehensible behavior.
               ► Offer strategies that may seem funny, but allow employees to
                 not only survive management trends, but take advantage of the
                 weaknesses of them.

       C. An Overview
               What makes Surviving Management Fads unique is that it
          approaches management fads from the point of view of the wage-
          earners – Wagers, if you will – instead of the managers.
               Management is looking for the magic bullet that will increase
          profits, decrease costs, boost productivity, raise quality, get them
          noticed by upper management, earn big money, help them lose 20
          pounds, re-grow hair, and take 10 years off their looks. How do they
          do this? By jumping on the latest management fad. Surviving
          Management Fads offers the normal Wager a method to recognize fads,
          deal with fad-enamored bosses, survive fads, and advance their
          careers. We do this all while keeping our tongues firmly in our cheeks.
          What we offer, in a small way, is a meld of Mark Twain, Scott Adams’
          “Dilbert,” and Matt Groening’s “Life In Hell.”
               The manuscript is divided into four parts:
                 1. A look at managers, bosses, and their running-dog lackeys,
                    like Human Resources.
                 2. An examination of business fads, ranging from fish-tossing
                    metaphors to Who Moved My Cheese. Showing the extreme
                    and laughable lengths to which management will go when
                    they have no understanding of what really motivates wagers.
                 3. How Wagers react to management fads. This provides
                    profiles of wagers such as those accepting the inevitable to
                    others who rage against the machine.
                 4. Survival strategies wagers can employ to use fads to their
                    advantage.

       D. The Manuscript
           1. Manuscript Status – Four chapters of an anticipated 20 are
              completed [two are attached as samples].



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                      Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




           2. Special Features – The manuscript will contain cartoons
              emphasizing points in the text.
           3. Anticipated Manuscript Length – Approximately 50,000 words, but
              can be expanded or contracted as needed.
           4. Projected Manuscript Completion Date – Approximately six months
              after receiving a commitment from a publisher.

  II. The Market
       A. Characteristics
               The market for this book will be any white-collar employee who
          has had their fill of management stupidity: those who read and enjoy
          “Dilbert” and the Scott Adams books will be a prime audience.

       B. Motivations
                The audience for this book are people who have survived the
           roller-coaster ride of the economy since the bursting of the Internet
           bubble and appreciate the black humor of management’s flailing
           around to cover their ineptitude when the going gets tough. The
           audience would also be the employees who want to remain in their
           jobs without getting loose clothing caught in the gears of change-for-
           change-sake.

       C. Affinity Groups
           1. Readers of the “Dilbert” comic strip.
           2. Readers of Scott Adams books.
           3. Readers of Bob Rosner’s “Working Wounded” online columns at
              http://abcnews.go.com/Business/WorkingWounded
           4. Readers of Working Wounded: Advice That Adds Insight To Injury by
              Bob Rosner

       D. Competition
                While there are new management method books coming out every
           2.57 days, and ranging from how to change corporate culture to how
           to deal with change, no one has addressed how Wagers can deal with
           these upheavals. For every manager out there, there are dozens of
           Wagers. This book is for all of them.
              While we’ve cited such authors as Scott Adams, Matt Groening,
          and Bob Rosner, our book is unique in that it not only skewers



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




          management and business fads, but offers humorous advice to Wagers
          for using fads to their advantage.

  III. The Authors
        Pete Nofel and Bill Devol are the co-authors. Pete is responsible for much
        of the text while Bill contributes to the text and is the cartoonist.
       A. Backgrounds
          Pete Nofel
               Pete began his writing career with a degree in journalism and a
          job on a daily newspaper where he started out with a four-figure
          income, a high four-figure income. When told by an editor to call a
          woman for an interview about how her nine-year-old son had
          accidentally shot and killed his five-year-old brother, he decided he
          wasn’t hard-bitten enough for that line of work.
               Since then he has moved back and forth between journalism and
          technical writing. He’s been an assistant editor to a business
          technology magazine, a writer for a NASA contractor, an editor-in-chief
          on another business magazine, and an information developer at a
          super-regional bank. What’s an “information developer?” It’s the
          equivalent of a utility infielder wordsmith in an information technology
          department. He’s created standard operating procedures, written
          instruction sets, pulled statements of work out of the air when no one
          knew what they should contain, and developed high-level briefings for
          the bank’s ubermanagers. All while surviving enough company re-
          organizations to give him 15 bosses in six years.
               Pete’s also done freelance work when at odd ends because of
          downsizing, writing articles for local business magazines and an essay
          for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
               He was a Wager on the beaches when the first of the management
          fad tidal waves swept over business in the 1980s and has seen the
          best minds of his generation driven mad by them.


          Bill Devol
              Bill’s experience with management began when he was 15, cutting
          weeds along sewer ditches in rural Ward Township in southeastern
          Ohio.
              Each morning, Shorty, the township road crew supervisor, picked
          up Bill and the rest of the crew and drove them to the dirt roads to cut
          weeds. It was a job that didn’t take a lot of brain power, just he ability



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                      Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




          to swing a scythe.
               Making sure all of the weeds scheduled for decapitation were cut
          each day was Shorty’s objective. Beyond that, his didn’t bother his
          crew of adolescents. They could dress how they wanted, smoke, curse,
          or tell dirty jokes. It didn’t matter to Shorty as long a the weeds were
          cut.
               Shorty made sure they drank enough water: Can’t cut weeds if
          you were dehydrated. Shorty had them work in the shade during the
          hottest part of the day: Can’t cut weeds if you got sunstroke. Shorty
          even contributed a joke or a smoke to break up the day. Even with
          shade and water, it was hot, smelly work, but with a boss who knew
          what was important and what wasn’t, it was tolerable. Wear your hair
          down to your butt, Shorty only cared if they met their schedule.
               One day, as the sun beat down on Bill like a ball-peen hammer,
          he promised himself that he’d find a way so he wouldn’t be cutting
          weeds the rest of his life. That meant studying and going to college, not
          becoming the best scythe sharpener on the weed-cutting crew. As God
          was his witness, he’d never do outside work again.
              Eight years later, Bill’s working career began as a high school
          English teacher. Once he came to his senses, he traded teaching for
          newspaper editing.
               Bill later worked for a NASA contractor where he wrote user
          manuals and much more exciting publications such as materials used
          to promote the use of NASA wind tunnels among private industry.
          Using his teaching education and experience, Bill became a NASA-
          contractor trainer. His first assignments were training NASA
          employees in the use of the manuals he’d written and then progressed
          to computer-instruction courses he developed and delivered.
                The allure of technical writing took him to contracting companies
          that had such clients as the Sealy mattress company and British
          Petroleum. He is currently a technical editor at a real-estate
          management software company, which beats teaching high school
          students, a job he ranks just below cutting weeds in sewer ditches.
                After nearly 35 years of working for a living, Bill discovered a
          primary truth: With a bad baas, even working for the space agency can
          be like the Death of a Thousand Cuts; with a good boss, like Shorty,
          it’s possible to enjoy cutting weeds along a sewer ditch.




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                      Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




       B. Previous Writing
                Between them, Pete and Bill have made a living in writing for more
           than a half-century. Pete’s experience ranges from news, feature
           stories, and book reviews for a daily newspaper to enterprise magazine
           work on both human-feature and technical articles. Some sample
           headlines from his work include
              ► “Cultivating the Office Grapevine”
              ► “The Ups and Downs of Rightsizing”
              ► “How They Wired the Elephant” [installation of the first LAN at a
                presidential convention]
              ► “Hiring and Firing: the Alpha and Omega of Business”
              For abbreviated versions of these and other clips, go to
          ww.nucleartypewriter.com/FieldGuide/Pete/Clips.htm


              Bill’s general writing includes newspaper articles and internal
          company newsletters. His specialized technical pieces range from
          standard operating procedures for NASA to promotional materials –
          both for technical and general audiences – for NASA research facilities.
              His cartooning began as a reaction to being held hostage in
          meetings. Fearing he would become a victim to Stockholm Syndrome,
          he drew his way to health. He has taught cartooning at a local
          community college.

       C. Personal Marketing
              Bill and Pete take a deep interest in marketing Surviving
          Management Fads and would like to take an active part in developing a
          marketing plan and promoting the book from the very start:
               • Having each worked on the editorial side of the media, Bill and
                 Pete can contribute to press releases, author biographies, and
                 other media materials.
               • The authors can promote themselves to local media outlets
                 such as radio and television interviews.
               • Having experience in video production, they can author a
                 Surviving Management Fads teaser DVD.
               • They are both garrulous enough to be outstanding guests on
                 radio or television interviews.
               • Both Pete and Bill can create, maintain, and promote a



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                     Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                Surviving Management Fads web site with web logs [blogs].
              • They can provide professional portraits of each of us along with
                resumes tailored to different media.
              • They look forward to book tours, signings, trade shows, and
                personal appearances.
              • Bill and Pete would promote of Surviving Management Trends to
                professional associations, such as the Association of
                Information Technology Professionals; the Association of Career
                Professionals International; and the International Association of
                Career Management Professionals
              • They each think they would purchase at least one copy of their
                book and may even ask friends and relatives to buy the book as
                well, provided Pete and Bill got a cut of the action.
              • Each of them is willing to prostitute themselves for fame, glory,
                and cash. Lots and lots of cash.




                                          8
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                          Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                                      Table of Contents

                                 Surviving Management Fads
                            How to Thrive on Company Capriciousness

                                           Pete Nofel
                                              and
                                           Bill Devol




                                   Part One
      The True and Impartial Factitious History of Work and Management
  Chapter   1 If It Were Fun, They Wouldn’t Call It Work
                –
  Chapter   2 Baases
                –
  Chapter   3 Management Hierarchy
                –
  Chapter   4 Human Resources: The Running-Dog Lackeys of Management (and
                –
              That’s Insulting Dogs)
  Chapter 5 – Globalization: There Are Six Guys in Calcutta Waiting for Your Job

                                          Part Two
                             Management Fads – Their Secret Origins
  Chapter   6 – Management Fads
  Chapter   7 – Orders from the Burning Bush
  Chapter   8 – The Appeal of Management Fads
  Chapter   9 – Imperfect Implementation
  Chapter   10 – It’s Easier to Invent Fads than to Work

                                           Part Three
                                  Reacting to Management Fads
  Chapter   11      –   If It’s Such a Good Idea, Where Was It 10 Years Ago?
  Chapter   12      –   Fads Are for the Little People
  Chapter   13      –   Some Fad, Don’t Work
  Chapter   14      –   Meetings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
  Chapter   15      –   Employee Profiles: Co-Worker Reactions to Management Fads




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                  Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                                   Part Four
                              Survival and Thrival
  Chapter   16 Work Isn’t Life
                 –
  Chapter   17 Survival Strategies and Crash-and-Burn Cases
                 –
  Chapter   18 How to Shine No Matter What Fad Comes Through
                 –
  Chapter   19 We’ve Established What Your Are, Now We’re Just Haggling Over
                 –
               the Price
  Chapter 20 – Watch Your Six




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                        Chapter-By-Chapter Synopsis

                          Surviving Management Fads
                     How to Thrive on Company Capriciousness

                                      Pete Nofel
                                         and
                                      Bill Devol




                                   Part One
      The True and Impartial Factitious History of Work and Management

  A mix of true and fictitious – thus “factitious” — examination of the origins of
  work, management, and management fads.

  Chapter 1 – If It Were Fun, They Wouldn't Call It Work
          A history of work from the dawn of time to the heat-death of the
     universe.
          In a small number of cases, people are actually doing work they enjoy.
     But, for the vast majority of us, we'd rather be sitting on the front porch
     sipping a lovely beverage and counting cars as they go by.
           From the time when God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of
      Eden and told them to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, we’ve
      had to work to exist. It’s not a bad plan, you trade your time, effort, and
      talent for money. Depending on your talent, you can make a nice living. F
      u cn rd ths u cn urn bg $. If you were one of those folks back in high
      school who thought cutting classes was a brilliant thing to do, yes, I will
      have fries with that order.
           As America moved away from an agrarian society, about three months
      after the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, a new class of society arose:
      Management.

  Chapter 2 – Baases
          Back when apartheid was a nasty fact of life in South Africa, the black




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                    Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




      population was forced to address the white ruling class by the term “baas.”
      Sound a lot like “boss,” doesn’t it? And for good reason.
          Every tin-pot manager who thinks they’ve been anointed from On
      High because they’ve been promoted to some position of meager authority
      longs to be called “baas.”
           There are a few good managers out there. Some who remember their
      roots as worker bees and manage the employees under their authority
      with the same compassion and justice they longed for when they were part
      of the rabble like us.
           The rest of them are baases.
                 Types of Baases
                    ► The “Pal”
                    ► Daddy [or Mommy]
                    ► The Enforcer
                    ► Just One of the Guys
                    ► The Lifeboat Captain
                 and many others.

  Chapter 3 – Management Hierarchy
          A description of the baas structure, from the guy who tells you what
     to do up through the guy who owns the company and buys $6,000 shower
     curtains. Each has a unique name and a place above you on the org chart.

  Chapter 4 – Human Resources: The Running-Dog Lackeys of Management (and
              That’s Insulting Dogs)
          Is there any management trend that HR doesn’t buy into? Used to be
     these were the people who kept your personnel file. But, how can they
     justify their existence by being glorified clerks? That’s when “Personnel”
     became “Human Resources.” They had such wonderful ideas as
     evaluations, comparable pay, and performance plans.
           They are the buffers between Wagers and management. “Why didn’t I
      get a raise this year? I did outstanding work!” a Wager asks an HR dog.
      What she gets is a shrug from the HR dog and an explanation as hard to
      pin down as fog. The buck not only stops at the HR dog’s desk, it dies a
      pitiful death.

  Chapter 5 – Globalization: There Are Six Guys in Calcutta Waiting for Your Job
          Once in a while most Wagers will have had their fill of fads and crazy
     managers. They ponder drawing a line in the sand: I’ll be pushed this far
     and no farther. That’s when managers begin talking about offshoring jobs.



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




      Hey, maybe that line isn’t so firm, and it’s good to know that I’m worth six
      guys in Calcutta with advanced degrees. Forget I ever said anything.


                                 Part Two:
                    Management Fads – Their Secret Origins

  Chapter 6 – Management Fads
           Everyone with a pencil, pad, and too much time on his hands takes a
     crack at creating a better form of management. Why? Because there must
     be something basically wrong with the way business operates because
     there are so many managers. Some of these people even think what they
     are offering is unique and helpful, like the physician who invented ways
     workers can deal with cheese migration or the guy who says managers can
     fix things in 60 seconds.

  Chapter 7 – Orders from the Burning Bush
           Not all managers have the Insanity gene flowing rampant through
     their DNA. Sometimes they see the folly of the latest fad. Too bad the order
     has come down form on-high that it’s either the fad or farewell. If you
     think a manager cares about a Wager, just look at the last six people who
     left your company, and why.

  Chapter 8 – The Appeal of Management Fads
          Why do management fads appeal to baases? It’s simple. They’re
     simple. Yes, both the fads are simple as are most managers. If the baas
     was smart, he wouldn’t be falling for management fads, now would he?

  Chapter 9 – Imperfect Implementation
          In the vast world of management fads, there may be one out there
     that works, in a small, modest, specialized way after a long, excruciating
     installation. That success is what fosters the inventor of the fad to tout its
     usefulness across every industry. Rather than implement the fad as it
     should, most managers what instant results. Why take 18 months to
     incorporate a new way of operating? Slam that puppy in and see instant
     results. None of them good.


  Chapter 10 – It’s Easier to Invent Fads than to Work
           Everyone who thinks they’ve built a better mousetrap to boost
     business efficiency eventually writes a book. Sometimes these fads catch
     fire, sometimes they die the quiet death they deserve. Consultants make a



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                     Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




      fortune implementing a fad, and they scram before it becomes painfully
      apparent that what they were selling was a load of hooey. Included are
      examples of fads that never took off, such as Scourging Employees to
      Happiness, and Managing Employees Through Terrorism.



                                  Part Three:
                         Reacting to Management Fads

  Chapter 11 – If It’s Such a Good Idea, Where Was It 10 Years Ago?
          Business, as we know it’s most modern incarnation, probably dates
     back to the Bronze Age, maybe 150,000 years ago. In that long history of
     transacting work for cash, you’d think every fad would have invented,
     implemented, and discarded by now. But, that’s the beauty of fads:
     inventors file off the serial numbers, give the fad a new coat of paint, and
     then convince management that it’s brand new with a proven track record
     of success.


  Chapter 12 – Fads Are for the Little People
          Fads, by their very nature are for the Wagers, not the managers.
     Managers want to improve the output of all of those headcounts that work
     for them. If managers wanted to change, they wouldn’t be in the positions
     they occupy, now would they?


  Chapter 13 – Some Fad, Don’t Work
          We once did some contract work for an old-timer who still called
     floppy disks “tapes.” We gave him a demo on a disk. He said it always
     failed to run: “Some demo, don’t work.” We later found he was inserting
     the disk in upside down. So it is with fads. Upper level managers think
     that throwing a new management fad book at their subordinates will make
     magic happen. When it doesn’t, the fault isn’t within themselves, it’s
     within the stars.


  Chapter 14 – Meetings Will Continue Until Morale Improves
          There’s an old saying: Nothing happens until someone sells
     something. So it is with fads, they don’t work until there are meetings.
     Many meetings. All of them long and at the most convenient times. Why
     meetings? Because if the results can’t be reported in PowerPoint, then they
     can’t be working.




                                         14
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                     Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  Chapter 15 – Employee Profiles: Co-Worker Reactions to Management Fads
          A catalog of how Wagers react to fads: the winners, the losers, and
     those who don’t know what they are.



                                      Part Four:
                                 Survival and Thrival

  Chapter 16 – Work Isn’t Life

      is true that “no rice, pretty soon die,” we work in order to provide the
      necessities of life rather than the opposite. For instance one benighted
      Wager is so tied to his job that even when he takes a vacation day, his
      employer will page him and even insist he attend meetings via telephone.
      “I spent most of Christmas on the phone trying to solve a server problem.”
      I’m sure his children loved it when Daddy told them he’d celebrate the
      holiday with them on his comp time. Oops. He’s being paged again.
          What kind of company puts so many eggs into such a Wager basket?
      Once too cheap to have more than one person qualified to the work.

  Chapter 17 – Survival Strategies and Crash-and-Burn Cases
          If you can’t avoid a fad, the best thing to do is lay back and think of
     England. As with facing the Borg, resistance is futile, you will be
     assimilated. There are strategies for surviving a management fad, and in
     fact, profiting from it. The worst thing to do is to pull a Howard Roark [see
     Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead] and stand staunchly by and try to bring the
     whole silliness down around you. Be like the willow, Grasshopper rather
     than auguring in and leaving a smoking hole.

  Chapter 18 – How to Shine No Matter What Fad Comes Through
          As fads slosh through business like tides, it’s possible to do more
     than stand around with wet pants. It is not only possible to survive
     management fads, but use them as a tool to shine in the baas’ eyes. We
     outline methods by which a fad can be judo-flipped to benefit the Wager.

  Chapter 19 – We’ve Established What Your Are, Now We’re Just Haggling Over
               the Price
          How to use hypocrisy to survive. In what is probably an apocryphal
     story, George Bernard Shaw was once at a dinner party. As part of the



                                          15
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                     Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




      discussion, he spoke to his female tablemate. She decried the rise of
      prostitution in England after World War II. Shaw, ever one to pierce
      pomposity, asked her if she would sell her favors for a million pounds. She
      thought a moment and said “yes.” He then asked her if she would share a
      romantic interlude with him for five pounds. She was outraged.
           “Mr. Shaw, what do you think I am?”
           “We’ve already established what your are, my dear. Now we’re just
      haggling over the price.”
           We all have a price for which we’d sell our mothers to Klingon slave
      traders. Luckily, we don’t have to go that far. We just take jobs where the
      money is so nice that we think we’re willing to put up with anything. In the
      words of a Meatloaf song: They hand you a paycheck every week and steal
      a piece of your soul every day. Heck, you can’t cash in that soul anyway.
          Smile, take your pay, and pretend to be the bestest employee ever.
      Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made.


  Chapter 20 – Watch Your Six
     In fighter-pilot parlance, that means look out for what’s behind you: stay
     aware of threats. The trick of surviving management fads is to never let
     anyone at work know you’re spoofing the system. Whether inadvertent, or
     with malice, there’s always someone you least expect that will rat you out
     to management. That can mean fifteen minutes of discomfort in talking
     your way out of trouble, or a long, mean-spirited chewing-out by the baas
     before he fires you, you miserable ingrate.




                                         16
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                         Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                                 Sample Chapters



                          Surviving Management Fads
                       How to Thrive Company Capriciousness

                                       Pete Nofel
                                          and
                                       Bill Devol




                                       Chapter 1

                    If It Were Fun, They Wouldn't Call It Work



       The purpose of work is to earn money to enjoy life outside of work. Very
  few management drones recognize this fact and fewer have the psychological
  background to comprehend it.

       In a small number of cases, people are actually doing work they enjoy.
  But, for the vast majority of us, we'd rather be sitting on the front porch
  sipping a lovely beverage and counting cars as they go by.

       From the time when God kicked Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden
  and told them to earn their bread by the sweat of their brow, we’ve had to work
  to exist. It’s not a bad plan, you trade your time, effort, and talent for money.
  Depending on your talent, you can make a nice living. F u cn rd ths u cn urn
  bg $. If you were one of those folks back in high school who thought cutting
  classes was a brilliant thing to do, yes, I will have fries with that order.




                                            17
Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                        Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




       As America moved away from an agrarian society, about three months
  after the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock, a new class of society arose:
  Management.

       Back on the farm, the guy who owned the place figured out what to plant
  and when to reap. Once the homestead grew beyond an acre or two, he needed
  some help. Since they stopped making land quite some time ago, but we kept
  on making babies, there came a time when some poor fool couldn’t own his
  own farm. He went to work for the guy who had more land than he could work
  himself. Thus, proto-managers were born.

       As America moved into its industrial age, factories sprung up to supply
  people with stuff they thought they couldn’t live without: spats, caviar, silk
  cravats, more than eight pairs of socks, and X-Ray Specs. Like the farmer with
  lots of acreage, the factory owner couldn’t do it all himself, so he hired people
  to put buttons on high-button shoes. Soon, factories expanded beyond what
  the owner could manage. Owner Tweed couldn’t keep his eye on the workers in
  the button-polishing room, the hole-drilling shop, and the sewing station. Lord
  knows that the workers couldn’t work unattended: they’d get their thumbs
  caught in the machinery, nap on the job, or fornicate in a dark corner.

       In a fit of inventiveness just short of the wheel and fire, the factory owner
  invented “management,” people between the owner and the worker who
  contributed nothing material, but made sure that buttons weren’t sewn on with
  left-handed loops instead of right-handed and no one was drawing a salary for
  fornicating.



  Origin of the Puritan Work Ethic – An Improbable History

       It wasn’t enough that God told people they’d have to work to earn their
  food. There’s a subset of humanity that thinks they should be holier than God.




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                          Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  Not only should you have to work for your food, you should have to work hard,
  as well as doing something unpleasant. Thus sects like the Puritans were born.
  Working, living, and making enough to get by wasn’t good enough for these
  folks. They determined that God liked it better when suffering of some sort was
  involved. Giving in to natural tendencies like happiness and pleasure were
  obviously evil because they felt so good.

       For the Puritans, the only thing worse than feeling good about what you
  did was seeing someone else enjoying themselves. That’s Just Wrong. Someone
  better do something about that, and it looks like it’ll have to be us. All of that
  “fun” stuff has to be run out of lives and religions ’cause God don’t like it.

       It’s little wonder they were driven out of the Old Country. Sadly, they fled
  to the hinterlands of the globe at the time – North America – where they could
  make sure everyone was hapless as themselves. New Englanders still haven’t
  thrown off that paradigm [all management books have to use “paradigm” at
  least once or else they can’t get published].

       This isn’t to say that the Puritan’s weren’t hard workers. In fact, the
  harder the worked, the more miserable they felt, which was good, so they had
  to work harder to feel more miserable, so they wouldn’t feel good, but then
  their misery made them feel . . . well, you get the picture.

       The other malcontents who washed up our shores, saw how hard-working
  the Puritans were and what miserable lives they led, and called it “The Puritan
  Work Ethic.” It was something to be admired, but in someone else.

       We’re still under the impression that working some miserable job that we
  don’t like, for managers who see us as replaceable headcounts is somehow
  more noble than making the same amount of money doing something you
  enjoy. Go figure.




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                      Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  The Evolution of Management

       Once the idea of “management” took hold, it was not only self-sustaining,
  but had the fecundity of a herd of rabbits. When the owner only heard from
  managers, managers could feed him any story they chose, as long as they
  could kick workers’ butts hard enough to make a profit. Given most people’s
  buy-in of the Puritan Work Ethic, it wasn’t hard for managers to make it look
  like they, and not the laborers, were indispensable.

       At the dawn of time, managers were workers who showed some kind of
  leadership ability. They knew the job well enough to tell newbies how to do
  things, or else they were big bruisers who bullied everyone else. Pretty soon the
  owners recognized how well a worker did his job – or how well he forced others
  to work – and took him out of it to tell other workers how to do other kinds of
  jobs. That makes tons of sense.

       Managers began as the ramrods to make sure those shiftless workers
  actually manufactured those high-button shoe buttons instead of sitting
  around under elm trees and eating the seed corn. Back in the Middle Ages,
  managers like Ebenezer Scrooge not only made sure their workers gave a fair
  day’s work for miserable pay, but took delight in doing so. Imagine the scene:

       “Honey, I’m home!”

       “Eb, I’m so glad you were able to cut short your day after only 14 hours.
  The Dean Swift roast will be ready soon. How was your day?”

       “Don’t ask.”

       “That bad, huh?”

       “You wouldn’t believe it. I caught Sanderson defacing the buttons.”

       “No!”

       “Yes! He blamed the loss of three fingers in the punch-press for his
  bleeding all over sixteen buttons. He claimed he didn’t want to leave his station



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                         Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  because his children needed his pay or else they’d starve.”

       “The cad.”

       “Indeed. He always was a trouble-maker. It was only fifteen years ago he
  wanted to be paid 20 minutes early so he could leave and have a tumor
  removed from his liver.”

       “What did you do to him today?”

       “Something I should have done years ago; I sacked him.”

       “But, what of the buttons?”

       “What do you think? I docked him for the cost before I had the guards
  throw him out. The scoundrel bled all the way to the door.”

                     §                  §                          §

       As the population moved from the farm into the workforce, it became
  apparent that while most of us were as interchangeable to management as cogs
  in button-making machines, some of us did have innate capabilities to do work
  without the constant feel of their boots on our necks. As workers evolved, so
  did management. From the gene pool of proto-managers such as Scrooge, grew
  the Two-Fisted Manager.

       The Two-Fisted Manager is the kind of guy who works on the carrot-and-
  stick principle except he’s all out of carrots and has a drawer full of sticks. He’s
  pretty much like a Scrooge except he doesn’t take the trouble to learn employee
  names. Why do so? There’s plenty more where they came from. There’s six guys
  standing in line to do the job you’re doing.

       Unlike modern management, the Two-Fisted Manager wasn’t afraid to
  walk the shop floor and point out worker deficiencies, like an employee not
  wearing a necktie on the engine-block assembly line. We don’t need slobs
  around here, mister. Either get a tie on in the next three minutes or go get your
  pay and beat it. You’ll be docked that three minutes, too!



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                        Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




       The Two-Fisted Manager had his heyday back in the times when guys
  could take a poke at each other and not involve nasty things like lawyers or
  unions.

       As work moved from actually making things into pushing information
  around, the Two-Fisted Manager changed. In some cases he still roamed the
  halls, substituting a good dressing-down in front of a worker’s peers for a poke
  in the jaw. But, a subtler change took place as collars turned from blue to
  white. Instead of being a force to be feared, Two-Fisted Managers became Warm
  and Fuzzy Scooter Riders. This happened at a time when it seemed there was
  no end to the wealth the Internet could generate.

       Like the Two-Fisted Manager, the Warm and Fuzzy Scooter Riders liked to
  snoop around to make sure their workers weren’t using company time to play
  computer solitaire . . . or fornicate. They found that alternate means of
  transportation – scooters, in-line skates, Segways – could get them around
  faster. And, it was FUN! Since they were having FUN, they assumed that the
  workers were enjoying watching managers have FUN. Funny how it wasn’t FUN
  when the workers wanted to start chasing around the building on scooters.

       As times change, so do managers. Trying to pin down what the next pony
  trick they’ll use is like trying to guess which way a rat will run as you’re
  chasing it down with a tennis racquet. All you can do is watch and have the
  arsenic ready.



  Bonusing on the Curve

       Used to be that Management had an idea of what you did and how well
  you did it: You punched out 60 buttons an hour, you wrote 4,000 lines of
  computer code each day, you sewed 343 shirt-waists a week. If you didn’t do
  your job, the manager knew it. When it came time to raise your miserable




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                         Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  salary just enough to put you into a higher tax bracket, the manager could look
  back at what you did and begrudgingly raise your pay. Then Personnel got
  involved.

       “How can every employee possibly do outstanding work?” asked the
  Human Resources drone. “It’s a zero-sum game out there, Mr. Owner. No one
  can advance without someone being set back.”

       That’s Personnel’s point of view. The result is that everyone can’t earn an
  “A.” Grading should be on the bell curve: a small number of Exceptional, a big
  number of Averages, and a small number of Shape Ups Or Ship Outs.
  Management, having been so far removed from the normal operation of
  business reality, bought in big time. Hey, it came from Personnel, didn’t it? And
  those guys’ jobs are even more useless than ours, so they’ve got to be smarter
  than us.

       So, no matter how hard you work, if Personnel – now Human Resources –
  decrees that a group only have one Exceptional, the rest of us are pounding
  salt. Pity the group with only three workers, someone gets the Shape Up end of
  the stick even if they’re head and shoulders above the rest of the company. You
  know if you just suffered more, you’d do better.



  Love of Money is the Root of All Evil - Yeah, Right

       Money is also the root of all incentive. Management never understands
  that money is the best and greatest incentive. They don’t understand because
  it’s a whole lot cheaper to institute crazy ideas to raise morale than to give
  people money. How much less expensive is it to pipe in loud, obnoxious music
  at 3:15 each day and encourage workers to get up and dance than it is to go
  around each afternoon and pass out five-dollar bills? A whole lot cheaper,
  that’s what. Instead of five dollar bills, they can pass out banal “certificates of




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  achievement” the admin assistant pumps out of the laser printer. It’s not only
  cheap, it gives that admin something to keep her occupied.

       When it comes down the bottom line of the balance sheet, every dime
  spent on the workers is ten cents less than goes into management’s pockets.
  That’s why they have Human Resources. It’s HR’s responsibility to come up
  with flimsy excuses as to why there aren’t any worker bonuses this year:

           • It’s been a bad year – even though the company intranet touts
             what a wonderful quarter the company had every 90 days and
             managers’ have gotten performance bonuses.

           • This is the norm for comparable businesses – ignoring that the
             company is beating the pants off its competitors.

           • The bonus threshold was raised – funny how that happened
             when the new CEO came in at a hefty incentive package.

       Back when we all worked on farms and we didn’t recognize the
  importance of bran in the diet, it was a hassle to separate the grain from its
  seed-coat. Then, some bright boy figured out that if you let the hogs walk on it,
  they’d break off the chaff and all we had to do was toss the mess in the air and
  let the chaff blow away. For reasons lost in the mists of time, we called pigs
  “kine” back then. If the kine wanted to snatch a mouthful of grain as they
  worked, most farmers didn’t begrudge it.

       But, there was some Puritan that couldn’t abide the thought that the kine
  might be getting away with something. To keep the kine for eating, they’d tie
  their mouths closed. This was such a miserly practice that there’s even a
  biblical injunction about it: Do not bind the mouths of the kine who tread the
  grain.

       Today, most of us are kine wearing 53 feet of metaphorical duct tape
  around our mouths. Skinflint managers watch to make sure that even




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  “exempt” employees – those of us working under the fiction of being a salaried
  workers – aren’t eating the company grain. Restrictions on Internet use, phone
  use, bathroom visits, and other nitpicking regulations upon resources the
  company can’t even track, let alone miss, make managers feel like they’ve
  improved efficiency when they’ve really fostered resentment among employees.
  And, that’s just at the good end of the spectrum. It also fosters a sense in the
  worker that anything they can get over on managers is okay. Well done, boys.
  For the cost of using the Xerox machine to make a copy of a kid’s report, you’ve
  set the worker off on a mission to rip off the company whenever they can.




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




                                     Chapter 2

                                       Baases



       Back when apartheid was a nasty fact of life in South Africa, the black
  population was forced to address the white ruling class by the term “baas.”
  Sound a lot like “boss,” doesn’t it? And for good reason.

       Every tin-pot manager who thinks they’ve been anointed from On High
  because they’ve been promoted to some position of meager authority longs to
  be called “baas.”

       There are a few good managers out there. Some who remember their roots
  as worker bees and manage the employees under their authority with the same
  compassion and justice they longed for when they were part of the rabble like
  us. The rest of them are baases.



  Types of Baases

  The "Pal"
       The Pal wants the worker bees to think of him as a friend. He’s just one of
  the guys who got lucky enough to get a promotion. It doesn’t really mean
  anything. No, really. Not a thing. I’m just like I always was. He’ll hang around
  the water cooler [there’s an old-time situation that no longer exists] with the
  rest of the workers, pretending like he’s not now wearing a tie and a cheap



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                        Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  white shirt made mostly of petroleum by-products, making everyone
  uncomfortable.

       The Pal will even seem like he’s on the workers’ side, passing on corporate
  rumor and innuendo to let everyone know he’s an insider working for them,
  but with the unintended consequence of sowing fear, uncertainty, and doubt,
  or FUD as it is known in the IT community.

       The Pal will show his true colors when he has to enforce the edicts of his
  baas. He’ll lop off heads with the “more in sorrow than in anger” attitude of a
  habitual wife beater.

       “You understand fellows, I’m only following orders.”

       Hhmm. Where did we hear that before?

  Daddy [or Mommy]
       Pity the workers who have a parent of small children as their managers.
  The workers get treated like recalcitrant children. The manager knows what’s
  best and isn’t afraid to tell people how to do their jobs. He, and often she, is
  also unafraid to spank those who don’t listen.

       How can workers know what to do? They’re workers, aren’t they? If they
  were smart, they’d be managers. So, someone better make sure they don’t
  spend all of their time watching TV and eating candy. Don’t make me stop this
  company or I’ll give you something to cry about!

  The Enforcer
       The Enforcer is cold, hard, and carries out management mandates with
  the ruthless efficiency of an SS trooper. Workers couldn’t possibly comprehend
  the importance of their work, so why even maintain the fiction that they’re
  worth knowing? The Enforcer is the kind of baas that sits in his miserably-
  small cubicle – but it does have a door – and looks at incomprehensibly-




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  complicated spreadsheets all day. The kind that tracks worker productivity as a
  function of reduced bathroom breaks. Cutting lunch to 18 minutes will
  increase worker productivity by 0.013 percent!

       The Enforcer makes sure that management mandates are adhered to, no
  matter how foolish. These were management ideas, so they must be good. He
  sends his edicts out via e-mail so he won’t be polluted by interacting with the
  rabble out there that keeps the company running. No management idea is so
  screwy that he won’t blindly enforce it.

  Just One of the Guys
       The Just One of the Guys baas is also one of the most dangerous. He’ll
  lull you into a false sense of camaraderie with his jaded view of work and his
  jibes toward upper management. He’ll roll his eyes as he informs his workers of
  crazy new policies. Hey! He’s just like us.

       It’s just protective coloration. When it comes time to follow a policy that
  means choosing between himself or a dozen workers, he suddenly becomes
  aloof. Sorry, boys, it’s been nice knowing you. Give my regards to the other
  bums who have to live under bridges. Feel free to stop by my trash when I put
  it out on Mondays and eat all you want.

       In some cases, the Just One of the Guy baases, truly long to be one of the
  workers. He’s the kind who lasts only three months before upper management
  demotes him for WrongThink.

  The Lifeboat Captain
       Do you really form caring relationships with your white corpuscles?
  Probably not. You want them to eat up infections even if they die in the effort.
  So it is with the Lifeboat Captain baas. He has as much regard for his workers
  as you do for white corpuscles. He isn’t actually malicious toward his workers,
  he just doesn’t give a hoo-hah about them. He won’t push you out of the



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  lifeboat without a cause, but he won’t lend you a hand to haul you into the
  boat to get away from sharks, either.

       The Lifeboat Captain can even seem friendly, at least as long as you are
  able to keep rowing. Comes a time when drinking water runs short and you’ll
  be outsourced without a care. He won’t even say “good luck” as you try to dog-
  paddle to Cambodia.

  The Fun-Lover
       As long as the good financial times, roll, the Fun-Lover baas seems like
  the jolliest fellow for whom you’ve ever worked. He’s seen too many movie and
  TV shows about dot-com baases and wants to emulate that fiction. He wants to
  be warm and fuzzy, not realizing that description can also apply to the stuff
  growing on a peach pie that’s been left uncovered on the kitchen counter for
  two weeks.

       He thinks that work should be like “Beach Blanket Bingo,” but with PCs.
  He’ll organize things like Talk Like a Pirate Day, or pass out nicknames like Big
  Kahoona, or Surf Doggie Dog.

       It all comes to an abrupt end the first time his group doesn’t hit its
  projected numbers. Then he institutes a draconian dress code and tells the
  workers to stop being so frivolous.

  The Academic
       If words were reality, the Academic would be the most efficient baas in the
  company. He talks a wonderful game, but has only the most tenuous touch
  with reality. He’s long on theory and short on experience. Go to him for
  guidance and you’ll get every new buzzword making the rounds of management
  but you’ll leave without any definable solution. His answers to most questions
  quickly veer into a fog of abstractions that sound smart, but bear little relation
  to getting the baby out of the well.



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                        Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




       He attained his position as a baas because he blinded his superiors with
  science.

  The War-Story Raconteur
       There’s never any situation where the War-Story Raconteur hasn’t got a
  matching story, one that’s usually long, boring, inappropriate, and pointless.
  Got a situation where a re-organization has changed reporting duties in some
  Byzantine manner? Not to worry, the War-Story Raconteur will be able to relate
  the situation to the time he was the hose manager on this village’s volunteer
  fire department. Three hours later, long after the point has been lost, the War-
  Story Raconteur will still be bending your ear.

       “Yeah, that’ll work. Just do what I did. Now sit down and shut up and
  everything will go easy for me. That’s the point, now isn’t it?”

       All you can do is grunt in some manner that he can interpret at an
  affirmative and then slink back to your cube and ice your ears.

  The Lonely Guy
       Still hasn’t gotten used to the idea that he’s the baas. Longs for the days
  when he could put up edgy pictures on his cube walls. Will keep you for hours
  if you should accidentally wander into his office.

  Fly Paper With Legs
       Like the Lonely Guy, but worse –- he likes being a baas and pontificating
  to a captured audience: you.

  The Buck Passer
       Hasn’t made a decision on his own since he was in high school. He’ll
  always say he’s studying your suggestion, idea, request, etc., until you get tired
  of asking him about it. Has never made a suggestion to his management for
  fear of being noticed.



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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                       Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  The Confidant
       Likes to hear your deepest, darkest thoughts about work and then passes
  them along to those who will do you the most harm

  The Silverback
       Like the mountain gorilla from which he takes his name, this baas has
  the biggest swigging “club” around. He’ll brook no nonsense. Don’t look him in
  the eye or he’ll charge you. Gotta be the top of the heap, the leader, even if he
  doesn’t know what he’s doing. Heavily into all sports that are played with a
  ball. As long as you keep your eyes averted and don’t present a challenge, he’ll
  gab with you about last night’s ball game until blood flows from your ears.

  The AntiChrist
       Just plain evil. Got his job by betraying the former baas. Will foster
  worker dissent and dissatisfaction just to watch people boil. No surprise he’s
  been divorced several times

  The Caffeine Queen
       Can’t think until she’s finished the last of her three double espressos
  each morning and then there’s no stopping her. No thought is so important
  that she can’t interrupt it with her much better idea. She’s the “thinker,” and
  everyone else is the “do-er.” The indentations on her office ceiling are from her
  head.

  The Most Important Baas on Earth
       Can never be interrupted, he’s always on the call that will save the
  company from Chapter 13. Has cauliflowered ears from the calluses generated
  by his cell phone. Will waive you into his office while he’s on the phone so you




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Surviving Management Fads Book Proposal                         Pete Nofel and Bill Devol




  can hear how important the call is. Between calls, hints dirty little secrets to
  you and then summarily dismisses you when the phone rings: “I just gotta take
  this one. I’ll stop by your cube when I’m finished.” and never does.

  The Recluse
       Avoids personal interactions at all costs. Communicates by phone when
  forced, but like using the voice-mail better, and e-mail even better than.
  Probably can’t recognize you in person. Uncomfortable when you sit next to
  him at meetings. You only see him once a year for your evaluation and he’s
  terribly embarrassed during the whole session.

  Julie the Cruise Director
       She buys into every management fad that comes down the pipeline from
  the Capo di Capi Baas [see Chap. 3], and institutes it with such gusto that she
  does no real work. Most of her output is geared toward games, awards, prizes,
  and posters to reinforce the latest fad.

  The Autist
       This is the guy who upper management thought was brilliant. He
  invented a new process for polishing the buttons that made the company an
  extra 15¢ per month. They rewarded such genius by welcoming him into the
  fold. The trouble is that he has no concept of leadership. His idea of close
  communication with his workers is to send out an e-mail full of grammatical
  errors and misspellings asking for weekly reports. He has the communications
  skills of a stroke victim, but tries to display his virtuosity by constantly
  interrupting his workers and jumping to conclusions, usually wrong.




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