Sunday, October 14, 2007

Read 'im and Wise Up


If you don't rifle the entire Sunday Boston Globe, you miss Careers, and if you miss Careers, you miss The Corporate Curmudgeon. Woe to those who do so.

I'm invested in Dale Dauten (that's he at the right). I had a source for many years, my mother. She was always a big reader, of magazines and newspapers as well as books. The Corporate Curmudgeon appeared in both the Albuquerque Journal and the Santa Fe New Mexican. She got both and always clipped Dauten's column from one to send me in her batch processing junk boxes, as she said, filled with such treasures, as well as chili ristras and her fabulous Scottish shortbread.

When she suddenly dropped dead (at home, as she had always wanted ["I don't want anyone wiping my bottom."], one of the collateral loses was no more Dauten columns. He is syndicated, but much bigger in the West. No one around here carried him.

Disclaimer: I am a huge fan of Dauten and was most certainly instrumental in getting his column in the Globe. Repeated letters, emails and a couple of calls did the trick. Well, I confess that getting multiple clippings of his very wise and often risible columns to a few key editors was certainly the real catalyst. After the fact, he sent me thanks, including one of his books.

With some exceptions in the Financial Times, business columns in the Globe and elsewhere are tedious, not too useful and certainly neither well written nor amusing. Dauten is quite the exception.

Check out today's on keeping your stereotyping from stunting your mind. Then there was last week's on the drivel of facades and trappings. That one had me laughing as it took me back a couple of decades to an interview I did with Mortimer Levitt, the founder of The Custom Shirt Shops. He was a prissy and highly opinionated sort, convinced that that an ill-fitting shirt doomed your public life. Like a shoemaker, barber, dentist or any such folk convinced that their trade defines society, Levitt showed slides of the famous, including John Kennedy in bad shirts. Kennedy wore a shirt much too small in the apparent delusion that he hadn't porked up. Fat oozed over his collar. Yet, as I recall, that somehow didn't hinder him professionally or in societal acceptance.

Do bother to find this column every Sunday.

The Globe puts The Corporate Curmudgeon in the now tiny tabloid supplement with the want ads. They then bury Careers in car or realty back pages. Apparently the idea is that folk out of work will tear apart the paper to find the ads. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they also bury what is usually the best column of the whole paper for the whole week. I wonder whether the business editors also dig a whole in their back yards and put favorite foods there.

I've run across numerous folk who weren't aware this column was there. Invariably, they thank me, always with a chuckle as they recall a column, when we meet next.

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