Home » Fiction & Literature » David Lignell » AESOP IN A MONKEY SUIT

May 02 , 2011


fifty fables of the corporate jungle


The modern corporation, with its procession of office cubicles pulsating with purpose, is a labyrinth of human behavior. But not all human behavior is productive. Rat studies* conducted in similar environments have resulted in aggression, drug use, and cannibalism. Of course, highly educated and professional people are not rats at least not in the biological sense. Still, these findings support the metaphor of the "rat race," one that captures not only the pursuit of profit but also the cannibalization of the human spirit.

So how does one keep whole in such a setting? Through work tales passed down from those who have already been there. Aesop's Fables have provided guidance for generations, and now they have been updated for practical business application. Fifty favorites have been adapted to reflect today's world of work. The farmers, animals, and insects entwined in the short morality plays of old have been replaced by managers, workers, and consultants. The great truths are still there, but they appear in a modern context sure to prompt nods of shared understanding.

Enjoy the tales of the master, slightly tweaked and twisted to reflect the ennui of a modern age. A fun read for anyone who hopes to survive and stay whole in the corporate jungle.

* Calhoun, John B. Not by Bread Alone: Overcrowding in Mice. Man and the Environment. Dubuque, Iowa: William C. Brown Company Publishers, 1971.

Miczek, K. A., N. Hubbard, and I. Cantuti-Casteivetri. "Increased Cocaine Self-Administration after Social Stress." Neuroscience Abstracts 1:1954 (Abstract Number 766.9), 1995.

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