Never Give a Sucker an Even Break: W.C. Fields on Business

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Prentice Hall Press, Jan 1, 2000 - Business & Economics - 170 pages
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Reengineering has come and gone. Downsizing is part of everyone's vocabulary. "Temporary worker" is often a permanent employment status. The days of long-term company loyalty are over. As the 21st century looms and business cynicism increases, W. C. Fields holds up a mirror for us that uncannily reflects the state of the late 20th-century business world. Now his grandson, Ronald J. Fields, shows how his grandfather's outrageous verbal gems can be a godsend to managers, helping readers remember to "Start every day with a smile and get it over with."

Call Fields's sound bites cynicism or real realism, they are words of wisdom that today's managers and professionals can profit from. Never Give a Sucker an Even Break asks: How does an ordinary manager cope with an issue, and what is the strategy of a "W. C." manager? Substantive issues such as time management, customer service, negotiating, and developing team spirit are addressed in short, to-the-point bits of guidance that let busy managers confront issues head-on with style.

A perfect example of the gems in this book comes from the film The Pharmacist, in which W. C. Fields, as Mr. Delweg, spends an inordinate amount of time and attention satisfying every whim of a difficult customer who only wishes to purchase a one-cent stamp. The chapter goes on to ask: Is this the type of customer really desired by a business, or do the losses outweigh the gains in catering to such a person? It then goes on to answer the question and explain why not every person is the preferred customer for every business.

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