Sample Chapter of Crimes of Cunning


Chapter One is below.
Read the Author’s Preface by clicking here.


 

Crimes of Cunning 3D on sale now

Book Sample

Chapter 1
Haunted Hallways

I reminded myself that we were in a well-lit office, not a dark alley. No need to get aggressive yet. I relaxed my jaw and tried to keep the fear out of my voice as I replied, “If you pull my people off your project, there’s no way you’ll meet the delivery date.”

My client looked at me blandly, as if he had delivered a weather forecast. In fact, he had devastated my sales forecast. Five fewer of my consultants billing their time to this client meant there was no way I would meet quota to earn my bonus. I needed him to engage with me. I forced a response with a direct question that was also a threat. “Did Juan approve this staffing cut?”

“Why would I check with Juan?” asked the Director of Information Systems Development (ISD) for Billing Systems. He ran his finger down a page of the MCI internal directory as he spoke, “Nobody (more…)

Tony interviewed about his new novel


 

 

Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastThis podcast is an interview about Tony’s new novel, Crimes of Cunning: A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace. He is interviewed by longtime client Ron Dimon. Ron is an expert on the use of information by executives of large organizations. Listen as two experienced business people play with useful ideas in this episode including:

* What changed in the 1980s that made so many of today’s jobs inhumane
* How consulting to MCI inspired the story
* Influence of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey
* Tools for Personal Transformation
* Choosing a stand or “Way of Being”
* The useful coaching concept of “game”
* How physical spaces engender specific behaviors
* How personal relationships can enrich business effectiveness
* Transform pain and disappointment into growth
* Finding time and focus to write a novel
* Pre-meeting meetings and after action reviews
* The “Slow / Fast” Method vs. typical business behavior
* Tony’s next book: “The Conversation Contract”

Just click here and either listen through your computer or subscribe through iTunes to have this and all new episodes placed on your device as they become available.

You may also set up an automatic “feed” to non-Apple devices by using this link: click here for other devices.

 

 


 

Author’s Preface to Crimes of Cunning


Author’s Preface is below
Also free: Read Chapter One by clicking here.


 

Crimes of Cunning 3D on sale now

Book Sample

Author’s Preface

Mamas,
don’t let your babies
grow up to be corporate cowboys.
Or make ’em be
bankers and lawyers and such.

In the 1980s, I was a minor participant in major trends that would blow up the world economy in 2008, determine the dehumanizing workplace culture of today, and establish the Wall Street plutocracy that still guides governments and blames the poor for the plight of the middle class. Our descent began in the eighties, from endless e-mails to mind-numbing meetings, deregulated banks to defunded pensions, mortgage-backed securities to job insecurity, hedge fund royalty to vanishing loyalty, private equity to income inequality, even Starbucks ubiquity and business books’ vacuity.

I reluctantly admit that I eagerly supported every aspect of it. I ate the dog food and drank the Kool-Aid™. I believed in and tried to practice the free market economics and financial engineering I had been taught at the University of Chicago. I worked nights and weekends at an investment bank to help create a trading platform for one of the first derivatives. I willfully immersed myself in the toxic corporate culture of MCI. I was a true believer who gave thanks to capitalist economists Milton Friedman and Alan Greenspan, cowboy capitalists Bill McGowan and Michael Milken, and most of all to cowboy president Ronald Reagan for making the 1980s “Morning in America.”

I was wrong. Now, I am mourning for America. This novel, detailing a descent and incipient redemption similar to my own, is partial penance and restitution. I hope this story encourages my readers to make better choices and a better world than I did.

After experiencing MCI, I began my search for a way of working that encouraged people to produce results while feeling appreciated, connected, and healthy. That quest made me an executive coach and gave me a life dedicated to workplaces of humanity and prosperity.

Caveat Lector

Lurking amongst the thousands of words in this book are a few dozen that are considered profanity, including certain stalwart Anglo-Saxon four letter words beginning with f and s. Since a major goal of this story is to convey a sense of the time and environment in which events are set, I chose to use herein the exact, if impolite, language I heard and occasionally used. I regret any upset or disturbance this accuracy may cause the sensitive reader but expressing your objection is likely to incite the author to use these very same words in reference to the complainant.

  *  *  *

Get your copy today.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

 


 

Tony Mayo’s New Novel on Sale Now!


Crimes of Cunning: On Sale September 22, 2015

Crimes of Cunning

On Sale Now!

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.  He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.

It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.

–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901

A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.

 



Click here to read a free sample.


 

Click here to be notified when it is released on Kindle and as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 


 

Crimes of Cunning


 

On Sale Now!Crimes of Cunning now on Kindle

Crimes of Cunning

A comedy of personal and political transformation in the deteriorating American workplace.

Click here to see it on Amazon.com

Or, here for Barnes & Noble

Fast-paced, funny, and smart. This novel puts you into the world of a young MBA striving to succeed at a famous high-tech company. Brash and confident yet comically inept, Tony clashes with colleagues, clients, and even his biggest supporters.

He fires his most loyal employee, derails the career of his only friend, and nearly destroys his young marriage before transforming from chilly corporate collaborator to empathetic executive coach. Laugh and learn as his clients turn criminal, corporations collapse, and compassion triumphs.

It should be as much the aim of those who seek for social-betterment to rid the business world of crimes of cunning as to rid the entire body politic of crimes of violence.

–Theodore Roosevelt, 1901

A veteran executive coach draws on his years inside Arthur Andersen, Wall Street, and MCI to share a moving story that explains why your 401k shrank, your house is underwater, and your job stinks. The comedy and conflict illustrate management methods and personal practices that can improve your career and deepen your personal relationships.

 



Click here to read a free sample.


 

Click here to be notified when it is released as an Audible audiobook on iTunes.

 



Click here to learn the source and meaning of the book’s title.


 

The Shibboleth Project

 


 

Shibboleth Jargon Memo Arthur Andersen
 
While a consultant at Arthur Andersen & Co in New York City I was assigned to a high-pressure project for a Wall Street firm. We were proud to work at Arthur Andersen because this was way-back-when, before Enron, before helping investment banks was cause for abject ethical concern, and before the building we worked in was destroyed by hijacked airliners. It was the summer of 1985, when I was old enough to think I understood business and too young to notice that I didn’t.

We worked long hours in cramped quarters implementing mainframe software for an innovative financial product. One of the first derivatives, come to think of it. The bank’s internal developers had fallen woefully behind schedule and AA&Co was called into rescue the project. Every day of delay, we were assured, was millions lost to the bank. Too many delays and the market would be taken by some other bank.

Threescore and eight “Arthur Androids” pulled from “the beach” in every office around the continent instantly gelled as a team and, as in any tribe, we quickly fell into the lazy habit of using buzzwords and (more…)

Relative Evil

 


 

During the 1980s, I was an avid admirer of Ayn Rand‘s philosophy of Objectivism. The greatest expression of this devotion was the following short story. The germ of the idea came from this news event. I was very proud of my story at the time. I offered it to only three magazines. I was shocked by their responses.

 

My rejection letters from
The New Yorker and Esquire are below.
The Atlantic Monthly did not bother to respond.

 

Reading the story now, it seems much more righteous and judgmental than I admit to being today. I still love the rhythm of certain sentences, the cinematic clarity of the settings and some of the word play, for example, the double meaning of the title and the triple meaning of DRILLER. Comments are welcome, of course, but please remember that I am no longer the author. He has grown away.

You can read it below this line or click here to download an Adobe PDF that is prettier to print.

 


 

Relative Evil

by Anthony P. Mayo

 

He pressed his fingers to the throb in his temple. Not to ease the pain, but to focus on the rhythmic pressure and blot out his sister’s insistence. Her unpersuasive words sought to compensate with repetition and emotion what they lacked in evidence and reason.

 

“Please Randall, if ever family mattered it is really important now.” Yes, Rachel, he thought as she talked. I know family matters, that is exactly why I am sitting at your kitchen table on a weekday morning. Being part of this family is why his day had detonated from the usual historical exposition to this hysterical exposition. If he were not born a Fleischer, Randall would still be at his desk, working on his next book.

 

 

Randall had just finished his daily preparing-to-get-ready-to-start-to-write rituals and was about to fill the computer screen with historical in-sight when the telephone rang. The first surprise was that the caller was his literary agent. Franklin called for only two reasons, either to report that Randall’s latest book had been sold to a publisher or to report that the publisher was impatient to receive the final draft of Randall’s latest book. Since Errors of Democracy had been purchased only three months ago, he could not imagine a reason for this interruption.

 

“Rand, what is your father’s first name?”

 

“Otto. And my mother’s maiden name was Calabrisi.” Randall was playful. “Is this some kind of identity check, Franklin? Are you going to pass along a secret message to me?”

 

“I’m afraid its no secret, friend. Something terrible has happened. The news is filled with reports that your father was… Rand, do you know what your father did during the war?”

(more…)

Why I’m Here




Why I’m Here
by Jacqueline Berger

 

Because my mother was on a date

with a man in the band, and my father,

thinking she was alone, asked her to dance.

And because, years earlier, my father

dug a foxhole but his buddy

sick with the flu, asked him for it, so he dug

another for himself. In the night

the first hole was shelled.

I’m here because my mother was twenty-seven

and

 

It’s right to praise the random,

the tiny god of probability that brought us here,

to praise not meaning, but feeling, the still-warm

sky at dusk, the light that lingers and the night

that when it comes is gentle.

 

Why I’m Here” by Jacqueline Berger, from The Gift That Arrives Broken. © Autumn House Press, 2010. (buy now)




Clever Solution to a Corrupt Choice

Pebble Problem

A merchant owed a large sum of money to a lender. The old, ugly moneylender fancied the merchant’s beautiful daughter. He proposed that he would forget the debt if he could marry the merchant’s daughter. The merchant and his daughter were horrified.

The moneylender suggested that they let providence decide the matter. He told them that he would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty bag. The girl would pick a pebble from the bag. If she picked the black pebble she would have to marry the moneylender and the debt would be forgotten. If she picked the white pebble, she need not marry him and the debt would be forgotten. If she refused to pick a pebble the merchant would have to go to jail.

The moneylender bent over and picked up two pebbles. The sharp-eyed girl noticed that he had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. The girl immediately agreed to the contest despite her father’s protests.

Why did she agree?

On first impression it would seem there were only three possibilities:

  1. She refuses to take a pebble, sending her father to debtors prison.
  2. She shows that there were two black pebbles exposing the cheating moneylender but leaving the her father in debt.
  3. She picks a black pebble and sacrifices herself for her father’s freedom.

Before you read the answer, below, try to solve this problem yourself.

(more…)