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Posted November 4, 2010
Promotions Are not Served at the Deli Counter, by Michael Patterson, is a technical, how-to guide in succeeding in the work environment. As the title suggests, employees' senses of entitlement often gets in the way of their natural progression in their trades. While the text caters to all employees, its primary intended audience is the newly employed. At the same time, the text is not dense, yet it is immersed with Mr. Patterson's own experiences, resulting in a refreshing guide that reads like a narrative.
The book opens up with a 17-year old Patterson, fresh from the tribulations of high school, beginning a career in banking that would eventually last for twenty plus years.
An interesting example of historical context in this book is Patterson's example of earning a starting hourly wage of $5.35, culminating ultimately into a position running the training department of a 1.3 billion dollar company.
In other words, the resonant themes in the text are as simple as "hard work pays off" and "there are no short cuts in life." Thinking metaphorically, it is practically impossible to scale a flight of one hundred steps just by going from one to one hundred. Instead, the individual has to climb each step, one-by-one, gradually working his way to the top.
The five attributes that an ideal individual should have in the workplace include "dedication, hard work, opportunity, team work, and a little luck." The interesting part of these attributes is that Patterson suggests that they don't necessarily have to be toward or for the company. On the contrary, an employee should be dedicated to himself.
This book is a great and informative read for high school and college students who find themselves ready to step into the "real world." It is also an "I remember when." book that can relate to employees and managers alike.
Posted May 24, 2010
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