Monday, April 1, 2024

The Book Series - The Unwritten Laws Of Business

The book is small, tiny even. You can call it a booklet and still be technically correct. I mean, it is the size of my hand and composed of less than a hundred pages. The title is oxymoron. Now that the book has been published, the laws are no longer unwritten, aren't they? The title should have been just The Laws Of Business. Yet that wouldn't be very faithful to its content.

See, the book is not about doing business. I don't mean it in a rhetorical sense like "Animal Farm is not about either animal or husbandry". No, the book literally didn't bother to state which field of business law it was. For a law book, it is pretty shitty if I am being honest.

Alright alright, I am not fooling around anymore. These unwritten laws are actually a code of workplace conduct that remains as concise, timeless, and practical today as it was 80 years ago. In a calm and refreshingly free of modern business jargon and abbreviations manner, the author described how one should carry himself at work, the importance of a can-do attitude and the ability to get things done, what a professional working relationship with his boss looks like, and in the occasion he becomes a manager, what his duty is.

To the well-adjusted among us, the book could have been just a collection of reasonable common sense rules. But I wasn't one of those. I came across the book when I was finding my way back on track after a total meltdown and being a professional couch potato for 6 months. Something about the book, its language from another age, its no-bullshit precision, its uncanny ability to shed light on my unknown unknown, or perhaps all of them, gave me the mentorship I didn't know I needed in a trying time.

The book's original title back in 1944 was actually The Unwritten Laws Of Engineering. Despite being yet another shitty title - again, not about engineering at all - it is a strong reminder that regardless of our job, the business we're in is more sociological than technological, more dependent on workers' abilities to communicate with each other than their abilities to communicate with machines. That, probably, is the unwritten part.

The Book Series is a collection of books that in one way or another affects the person I am today. The books are not necessarily good or popular, though some of them certainly are, they simply came to my life at the right time and left a dent. The books are listed in the order I skim through my bookshelves, which is completely and utterly whimsical.

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