Company Manners Summary
by Lois Wyse

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Company Manners

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

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Both business etiquette and office politics are essential for a successful career. This guide intermixes tips for success in both facets of the reader’s business life.

Concerning etiquette, it covers the commonly occurring business situations, such as business meals, meetings and conventions, business travel, office parties, and spousemanship. Since the customs of these business situations vary from city to city, many hints are provided specific to major cities such as Chicago and Los Angeles.

To appear powerful, it is necessary to display the appropriate trappings. Many tips are provided for the would-be powerful, such as the “right” kind of pen to use, the “right” stationer, the “right” reading material for the “right” shuttle flight. These, however, become a litany of trappings for their own sake. Some of the tips simply pertain to what is trendy in 1986 (such as best restaurants); therefore, the advice may become obsolete very quickly.

In addition, there are many tips for navigating the shoals of interpersonal situations, such as surviving a company merger, and how to catch the eye of senior people. The savvy displayed behind these tips is clearly born of long experience.

Wyse is president of her own advertising firm in New York City and a prolific author. Many of her suggestions are based on observations in her own firm and in her many client firms; others are stories heard from friends and colleagues. As they accumulate, however, the anecdotes cloud the main theme of the book, and there is simply too much name-dropping.

Wyse’s choppy style--she has a penchant for one-sentence paragraphs -- will also irritate some readers, who may prefer to turn to WHAT THEY DON’T TEACH YOU AT HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL by Mark H. McCormack or THE RIGHT MOVES by Charlene Mitchell (1985).