The Puzzle Aesthetic

The Puzzle Aesthetic

by Jim Lively


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This book is very close to being autobiographical. Nonetheless, it is fiction although the characters and events were closely inspired by real people and actual events. I have been asked many times by friends, my reasons for writing a book. My typical response to this question is that I felt compelled to write about my experiences in what I considered in some ways a unique corporate environment. While my experiences as a corporate lawyer are not unique, I thought that perhaps my perspective on these experiences might be distinctive and insightful. I firmly believe that not only my former corporation, but perhaps other American corporations and the employee experience have changed over the years. These changes are not just limited solely to inevitable transformation related to technology and the evolving global markets. My contention is that these changes are more personal and psychological. I am not a psychiatrist, psychologist nor have I had any formal training in psychology. While I am not a subject matter expert, I believe that I at least possess the sensibilities (to borrow a term learned in law school) of a "reasonable person". I use a definition of "a reasonable person" to mean a composite of a relevant community's judgment as to how a typical member of said community should behave in situations that might pose a threat of harm (through action or inaction) to the public.

The corporation where I worked for just shy of twenty years morphed from a demanding, unusual but relatively harmless entity into one that is unreasonable, dysfunctional and harmful. If the corporation was a person, it would be perceived as failing miserably the reasonable person standard defined above. Its actions and inactions were harmful to the public if you consider its employees to be included among those considered to be the public. Obviously, corporations are not human beings. Nonetheless, every officer, every board of director and every individual occupying a position of leadership is a living and breathing person. These are the corporate leaders who are ultimately responsible for the direction and management of the corporation. The decisions these leaders made adversely impacted the employees, the shareholders and ultimately lead to the demise of the corporation. If an individual acting in an individual capacity had made these decisions, I believe that one could only conclude that this individual is completely unreasonable and harmful to the wellbeing of others and perhaps himself. As reasonable persons, we would think this person is mentally unbalanced and should not be in a position where his actions posed a threat of harm to other people. Under no circumstances should this person be rewarded or encouraged for engaging in this type of behavior. But, this is exactly what happened during my tenure as corporate legal counsel. Incompetent and outrageous leadership behavior was rewarded by the board of directors who had a fiduciary responsibility to look out for the best interests of the corporation. If a leader ultimately had to be dismissed due to poor performance, he or she was rewarded with a golden parachute and allowed to pursue other opportunities. The financial penalty for his or her mistakes was ultimately borne by the very employees depended upon to actually run the corporation. When the corporation experienced financial hardship due to poor leadership, the rank and file employees were often terminated with meager severances and escorted unceremoniously out the door. This treatment was the gratitude they earned for their loyalty and excellent work performed on behalf of the corporation.

Most of the stories shared in this book describe an in house attorney's experiences in this type of corporate environment. It is intended as humor, albeit dark humor. Not all is doom and gloom though as the attorney ultimately discovers there is indeed life after corporate life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480118157
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 11/16/2012
Pages: 274
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)

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