Thursday, February 28, 2008

"The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude" by Jeffrey Gitomer

This was in the corporate library, highly recommended by the director of my group, so in order to kiss ass a little bit in a way that is of low cost to me (as I read a lot anyway), I picked it up. My favourite part of this book was on p.7. This is where the author mentioned that Yes! Attitude is in fact trademarked, so if you want to use it in your powerpoints or other training material, you have to contact him first.

He talked early on about the difference between stupid and hokey. Stupid doesn't work; hokey does. I liked that.

However, I didn't even pay for this book (it came out of the corporate library), and I felt ripped off by it. Every few pages, there was a comment to "check out the author's website and enter in this secret code in order to find out the seven ways that you can sell shit to people with diarrhea" or whatever. I am already investing time in this book, I don't want to have to save my place, go boot up the computer, go to the website and probably be advertised to, and find out some other bit of information that may or may not apply to me so the author can make a little bit of extra money. Or maybe this is something that fiction writers should try out -- "back when I met my therapist Marianne... but you can read all about that in the previous volume, if you haven't picked it up already!"

Another thing that bugged me was a quiz that suggested that one should not watch/read the news. I get many of my best ideas from the news, and I'm not likely to give it up. So I guess I just have to keep progressing through life with my "think I have a good attitude, but really have much room for improvement" ways. I'm not sure I was the target audience for this book anyway.

And the definition of a good attitude was the same as the definition of a bad attitude which I thought was kind of NewSpeak. And I think that people who quote themselves and then attribute the quote to themselves are pompous asses. And the lists of "10.5 reasons why your attitude is lame, Robyn" was gimmicky. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what made that last item half as valuable as each of the others. But that's just me and my bad attitude.

So I was reading along last night, thinking it was generally full of easy solutions to complicated problems, and meant for a middle-class audience of salespeople. And Ed wandered in and asked me if we had a less falling-apart copy of "Wheel of Time" by Robert Jordan. I said no, and inside my brain I started to say something about "you're pretty hard on books, you know." But instead I said "It's rather known for falling apart. There are whole websites devoted to instructions on how to glue it back together." Because that's true. And Ed already knows he's hard on bindings. He doesn't need me to point it out again. So "Yes! Attitude" did lead to at least one positive interation.

Things I will try to incorporate into my life: "Not sorry; thank you." "How can we avoid this happening in the future?" is already a mantra, so I don't need to add that.

Anyway, the last couple of days at work have been funner than usual, because I came up with a project that both was requested by customer service, and is along the lines of things I enjoy doing. So maybe the book is working. I just can't see reading two pages of it every day.

Update (June 17, 2008)
I was feeling bad that I hadn't made the full effort reading this book, so I went to and entered a gitbit keyword so I could get one of his pithy pieces of advice.

Um, yeah. They seemed sort of like the list of things I have on my desk at work, where I write down my latest foibles to improve my own writing. But nobody else wants my word list -- definitions of discreet and discrete (I made that mistake in a manual once, and the QA guy who caught it thought it was funny and "unprofessional") and notes about avoiding the possessive just because one of my copy editors dislikes it and I dislike a lot of markups on my text. I thought the writing tips didn't apply to me. But maybe that's because I'm not writing "motivational" stuff. Or maybe, I should write a "Motivational" hardware manual sometime. That would be entertaining.

3.5 reasons your module did not work after being installed in frame
1. Board and frame goals not aligned (module not seated correctly).
2. Frame not motivated (frame not on).
3. Frame disempowered (as in, power cord not connected).
3.5 Front module and back module goals not aligned (front and back modules do not match).

(The problem here being that in the TW world, this would be a bulleted list, because a numbered list indicates a sequence of steps to produce a desired outcome. )

Well, I used my corporate email address when I was forced to register. I hope they're sorry they made me read this book now!

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