The Big Bing: Black Holes of Time Management, Gaseous Executive Bodies, Exploding Careers, and Other Theories on the Origins of the Business Universe

The Big Bing: Black Holes of Time Management, Gaseous Executive Bodies, Exploding Careers, and Other Theories on the Origins of the Business Universe

by Stanley Bing
     
 

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A corporate mole's-eye view of the society in which we all live and toil, creating one of the most entertaining, thought provoking, and just plain funny bodies of work in contemporary letters.

Stanley Bing knows whereof he speaks. He has lived the last two decades working inside a gigantic multinational corporation, kicking and screaming all the way up the ladder

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Overview

A corporate mole's-eye view of the society in which we all live and toil, creating one of the most entertaining, thought provoking, and just plain funny bodies of work in contemporary letters.

Stanley Bing knows whereof he speaks. He has lived the last two decades working inside a gigantic multinational corporation, kicking and screaming all the way up the ladder. He has seen it all — mergers, acquisitions, layoffs, the death of the three-martini lunch — and has himself been painfully re-engineered a number of times. He has eaten and drunk way too much, stayed in hotels far too good for him, waited for limousines in the pouring rain, and enjoyed it all. Sort of. Most importantly, Bing has seen management at its best and worst, and has practiced both as he made the transition from an inexperienced player who hated pompous senior management to a polished strategist who kind of sees its point of view now and then.

In one essential volume, here is all you need to know to master your career, your life, and when necessary, other weaker life forms.

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Editorial Reviews

Don Imus
“The Big Bing may be the funniest business book ever written.”
Publishers Weekly
Twenty years of columns by business humorist Bing (Throwing the Elephant; What Would Machiavelli Do?) from Fortune and Esquire add up to a very funny look at the contemporary executive. The media exec/writer organizes his collected works into a surprisingly coherent whole, containing 11 thematic sections that range from "The Tao of How" (tips on giving good phone and taking lunch with distinction) to "Up and Out" (advice on surviving career death and getting paid to go away). Often, related columns present complete story cycles; Y2K comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb while Bing fires away. "Chainsaw" Al Dunlap chops up companies and then falls on his own blade. Quizzes punctuate the columns: the worst scores on "The Bing Ethics Test" mean "you're a scumball and should do very well." Whenever the outward hostility gets tiring, Bing happily skewers himself. He suffers emotional collapse when he misplaces his BlackBerry and his cell phone: "Uncontrollable drooling made it difficult for me to keep both hands on the wheel. I was incapable of thinking straight or even in a circular fashion." He is "consumed by rage" when his limo does not appear in good time. And yet, the reader can almost always relate, perhaps because underneath the surface, Bing seems so genuinely entertained by the business world. "The good news is this: there is no fate but what you make," he concludes. "So you keep looking, and trying to get it, and to get over on it. And I'll be there with you, as long as there's still a little fun left in it." (Nov.) Forecast: Bing has a solid audience among the readers of Fortune, and his previous business humor books sold pretty well. Add in the buzz from his work as a corporate communications exec at CBS, the fact that his first novel, Lloyd: What Happened, is under development for television and that his second novel is coming out just before this book from Bloomsbury; the result is happy sales. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Rules and tools for the business road, sold amusingly but on a depressing foundation of inanity, by novelist (You Look Nice Today, p. 869, etc.) and CBS executive Bing, a.k.a. Gil Schwartz in his everyday corporate pajamas. This collection of pieces, originally published in Fortune and Esquire, graze wittily upon the workplace's human dimensions, with all their annoying, grand, and bizarre displays. Bing is the kind of guy it would be fun to run into at the water fountain, always ready with a barbed insight. About toadyism: "After laughing at four or five unfunny jokes, you do feel kind of alienated from yourself. . . . But yearly raises and promotions compensate for the existential problem." On bullshit: "When people want bullshit, give it to them. . . . Conversely, even the highest quality bullshit won't do when the real goods are called for." Analysts are whores, consultants are after your job, wine aids the bonhomie factor, but don't take bonhomie too far: "Scream at people, if you can. At the same time you're asserting your human rights, strip others of theirs." Blame stress. There is enough fresh, unvarnished, cruel wisdom in these pages to set business students agog and trembling: the pecking order that never goes away ("The idea that a person can be my age and still get into trouble makes me feel a little sick"), the way toxic gases always rise to the top, the conceptual totems of status and pretension that melt into air. Do these pieces gel into a philosophy? Only if you can juggle a sense of humor, a sense of paranoia, and a sense of venality, all the while keeping your nose alert to the atmospheric conditions. But, sadly, maybe the best advice is to learn to pull your own leg.By the end, readers may feel they are suffocating in lint, but Bing would advise them to never let their lips—or their smile—drop below the ever-roiling surface.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780060529574
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/03/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.83(d)

What People are saying about this

Don Imus
“The Big Bing may be the funniest business book ever written.”

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