I worry that Boots readers enjoy my series on Sharing Information with Employees and extrapolate that I am the most interesting man in the world.
Please understand that my life spent studying old business books isn't as glamorous as it must seem from the outside.
On Sunday night, for instance, I found myself watching LPGA golf and leafing through Business and the Man, one of 24 volumes on "Modern Business," published by the New York University School of Commerce, Accounts and Finance, in 1919.
Here's what I got out of these 327 pages, beyond a sneezing fit from the dust:
The "jolly fat man" stereotype: You heard it here last.
Don’t worry, David. As much as we like you, we can tell – if only from the lack of a beard – that you are not the most interesting man in the world. In fact, maybe that’s why we like you.
But I hope for our benefit you will also read the other 23 volumes on Modern Business. Sounds like truly fascinating stuff. Meanwhile, I’ve made a note to abandon our whole employee health and wellness program and instead launch the employee rotundness and cheerfulness initiative.
David Murray says
I was thinking about this, Reuben. This book was written in an age when a Fat Man was actually enough of a rarity as to be assigned, however roughly, certain character traits.
Now that so many of us are overweight, why isn’t employee morale sky-high in every industry?
It’s probably because there’s no fun in being a fat man anymore.
Reuben’s right! Back when that ridiculous book was written, it was just fine for men to be fat (N.B. just for the record, it has never, and WILL never be ok for women to do so).
Nowadays, with Oprah (when she’s in a thin phase) and Dr. Phil (interestingly, fat himself!) lecturing us ad nauseum about getting more fit, eating more green veggies . . . blah, blah, blah . . .the only way to have fun as a fat person, is if you don’t have to actually interact with other people in real life.
It’s kind of oxymoronic don’t you think? that in a time when we have more overweight people than ever before, and when the packaged foods and fast food conglomerates are working overtime to make us ever fatter, overweight people are the single remaining group against whom discrimination and ridicult is not only tolerated, it is encouraged in our society as being “for their own good”.
Eileen B. says
Kristen…please help…what is N.B.?
Eileen – N.B. = “Note well” I think it’s one of those old Latin throwback short forms.