Confessions of a Government Man: How to Succeed in Any Bureaucracyby Alan L. Greenberg
Pub. Date: 05/28/2010
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing, Llc
A few of his stories are a bit risqué and some show
Confessions of a Government Man is filled with astute, often hilarious memoirs of Alan Greenberg's thirty-nine year career with the U.S. General Services Administration. His real-life tales of deception and sleight-of-hand maneuvers in high government places include a cast of characters worthy of Hollywood.
A few of his stories are a bit risqué and some show that incisive philosophical advice sometimes comes from the most unlikely sources. Throughout we see plenty of salty New York culture. At various times Greenberg was threatened with arrest and contempt of court, detained at gunpoint by a judge, had an off-the-cuff wisecrack end up on national television, and even had a curse put on him by a spiritual leader. Through it all he maintained his sense of humor.
Greenberg gives us a true insider's vantage point. With contracting authority for a stack of taxpayer money, which went into the billions and had the potential for providing a lot of lifetime meal tickets, it was little wonder that Greenberg was very popular with the construction industry and any politician with an eye for publicity.
Many of his stories give the reader insight into realities that media coverage somehow missed. Reporters, in their zeal to dig up dirt, often followed minutia while the true stories went unreported. One example was the $10 million "savings" to a project, which was actually a $40 million addition. Amazingly, nobody was the wiser.
Experience is the best teacher, and during his many years on the job, Alan Greenberg knew what it was like to be under siege by the media, the Congress, the White House and concerned citizens. He developed rules of survival that enabled him to be a success in the large, complex bureaucracy of our government. He shares these years with us, happily turning them into a delightful and entertaining romp.
"Professor Parkinson would be proud. This book should be required reading in every business school. Solid lessons in business and life told in a most unique manner. Read the chapters in any sequence and the result is still the same - sound business logic with unforgettable memory joggers."
- Barry Becher, Ginsu Knife Creator + co-author of The Wisdom of Ginsu
"Mr. Greenberg's keen insight and humor make this an indispensable guide for anyone trying to survive and flourish in a large organization."
- Len Fried, Director of Manufacturing Excellence (Retired), IBM Microelectronics
"As our 'big-ass suit' author states...'they woke up on third base and thought they hit a triple.' Mr. Greenberg hit a home run with this most entertaining book. Well done, kid from Brooklyn, and CONGRATULATIONS for allowing us plain folk to see what really goes on behind the scenes in our government with its Damon Runyonesque cast of characters."
- Lew Duberman, CFO (Retired), Helene Curtis Industries, Inc.
- Dog Ear Publishing, Llc
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