Saturday, March 27, 2004

Check this out, the New York Times published me!
As I said in the previous post, I am a fan of Donald Trump's reality show, "The Apprentice" (and the water). Some of you may also know that I just left my job of two years, a quagmire of political backstabbing with no leadership, a rudderless lifeboat where no one could fall asleep for fear of being thrown overboard. In the words of Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, an associate dean at Yale School of Management, it was a "circular firing squad."

At the beginning of March, Sonnenfeld wrote an article in the WSJ called "The Last Emperor" about how "The Apprentice" was all "puffery, pushiness and deception," that it foregrounded a "cynical view that business is all about chest-pounding and winning at all costs."

Yeah, and your point is ... ?

So two weeks ago, Frank Rich writes in his column that "The Apprentice" is popular because "Mr. Trump's brand of leadership, narcissistic and autocratic as it seems, strikes audiences as more palatable than the corporate shenanigans . . . in recent years." So Sonnenfeld writes in and has the nerve to use some of the phrases that he used in his WSJ article, I mean the guy went in and cut and pasted, which I guess is ok, but he's a professor for Christ's sake, get a thesaurus! Oh, and again uses the phrase "circular firing squad" like it is something out of a fantasy tale.

Now I can't take it anymore. So I write in. The text of my letter as edited by the Times with what they edited out in italics follows, you can see it in the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times for Sunday March 28, 2004.

To the Editor:
In a March 21 letter responding to Frank Rich's column about Donald
Trump and ``The Apprentice'' [``He's Firing as Fast as He Can,'' March 14], In a letter partly recycled from his column “Manager’s Journal” in the WSJ,
Jeffrey Sonnenfeld again tried to defend his view from high atop the ivory
tower. He pointed out that virtue is missing from the win-at-all-costs
lessons of ``The Apprentice.'' As someone who has recently left a position
in corporate America precisely because I was a member of one of the circular
firing squads he scoffed at, I can assure Mr. Sonnenfeld that virtue is
indeed secondary at the office.
Perhaps the show is so successful not for the reasons that Mr. Rich or
Mr. Sonnenfeld assert. I believe it's because, unlike reality shows that
take place in a mansion or on a tropical island or a glitzy stage, this one
takes place in an environment we can all relate to: the workplace. I would also like to point out to Mr. Sonnenfeld that of the two MBAs that were candidates on the show, one was the very first to be fired, in part because his ideas did not have real world applications. Perhaps Mr. Sonnenfeld should take the hint.

Hey, I'm not saying that all business is deceptive, or that no one acts ethically at work, all I'm saying is that some of it is deceptive, and a lot of people do act unethically. Jeez, who hasn't had an idea of theirs stolen, or had something blamed on them that wasn't their fault? Something tells me neither of those things have ever happened to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld.

*It is only by chance that the last two entries here have to do with Donald Trump. No affilliation or endorsement, commercial or otherwise is intended or implied.
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