In the world of fiction, many tales have been written about the famous business icon at the top of the pyramid whose name and life will always be remembered. However, when do we ever hear the story of the little guys at the bottom of the pyramid - the foundation blocks of the structure itself, without whose strength and stamina the whole building would collapse? Even if you have never worked in the corporate business world or been part of a merger or acquisition, you will find Deb Hosey White's Pink Slips and Parting Gifts a clear and insightful journey into the world of corporate America. White defines and describes in great detail, but in simple terms, the lives of the "foundation" employees of The Easton Company through the merger process, opening the reader's eyes to the stark reality of how their lives are thrown into upheaval by the selfishness of those great icons at the top.
If you have lived through the experience of a merger or acquisition, you may very well find yourself relating to the events and people within the storyline. The story is told through the eyes of employees at every level, from the maintenance man in the basement, to the accountant, to the human resources specialist, and it touches on all aspects of their shock, pain, heartbreak, confusion, and loss as their lives are turned upside down.
On the one hand, this is a very refreshing read as it falls outside of the standard, repetitive subject matter in the world of fiction today, but on the other hand it is a very disturbing and rude awakening to what the world of business has become. Gone is the much loved and admired company founder dedicated to the common good, the community, and the company's employees, who built the company from the ground up to be known for its solid reputation, positive profile, and profitable business sheet. Enter the power and money hungry CEO's and executives of the Fortune 500 generation who forget about the original goals and whose only concern now is the size of their parachute (the job insurance for top executives in case of a merger or acquisition) which allows them to leave with millions in their pockets to secure their futures, while the low men and women on the totem pole watch their futures crumble before their eyes.
Although the chapters were so short that I found the storyline a bit disjointed, making it difficult to get to know the characters, I was intrigued by the plot of this novel right from page one, and I could feel the tension building throughout as the employees of The Easton Company, comfortable in their stable lives, were thrown into chaos with no warning. It makes one yearn for the early days in business when no one was making huge amounts of money, but everyone loved their work and lived comfortably. No one, not even the CEO, was wealthy!
Pink Slips and Parting Gifts was certainly an eye opener for me, and I would highly recommend it for anyone who wants to see the truth behind big business today and the power of the privileged few.
Deb Hosey White is an executive management consultant and retirement coach who lives and writes in North Carolina with her husband, David. Reviewer: Cindy Taylor, Allbooks Review.