Thursday, December 22, 2005

Checking in...

Well, it's been a couple of days... Things get busy this time of year. I am blogging today from Seattle where I'm visiting family for Christmas. It is warm (fifty degrees) and raining. I am trying to tie off some of the books I've been working on, but have bitten off more than I can chew. I am trying to finish off my reading of Roberta's Rules of Order, and it's such a reference that I'm just going to finalize my notes and plan on purchasing a copy.

Then, I'm working on The Martha Rules, which is a business book by you guessed it, Martha Stewart. I have to say I respect her opinions on business because props to anyone who can make a fortune off of gilded pumpkins. Seriously, the book is way more insightful than her works on Christmas decorating.

On the long plane ride yesterday, I began Carnegie by Peter Krass, which is of course the biography of Andrew Carnegie.

On Tuesday, I had a dinner meeting at Tyson's Corner, so I stopped in at the Waldenbooks to kill some time. I skimmed the Moo book I talked about earlier, and found that Carnegie the steel baron had had the same thought: "The rising man must do something exceptional, and beyond the range of his special department. HE MUST ATTRACT ATTENTION.' Or, as his mother would say, he must light the fire to boil the water." Everything old is new again.

Now, at the Waldenbooks I skimmed a book, Bait and Switched, by Barbara Ehrenreich. It talks about how there is a "broken contract" with the American worker, wherein the worker pays his or her dues and is rewarded with a successful career and stability. The book's premise is that this is no longer the case. Not really an original observation, however, she is a good writer and uses investigative reporting to make her case.

So I'm making comparisons between these two philosophies and trying to figure out where the middle ground is. But obviously, when one is considering one's own personal success, we'll learn more from Carnegie than from Ehrenreich's contemplation on victimization.

Feel free to comment, these are just some thoughts I'm having in the course of my reading.