Saturday, July 17, 2004

$1 to RIF for your Most Memorable Reading Experience in the Last Ten Years!

A friend of mine forwarded this email from someone at Reading is Fundamental, and it seems like a worthy enough cause to share:

Help RIF and talk about your most memorable reading experience of the last ten years........
celebrates our tenth anniversary with an invitation to share your most memorable reading experience of the past decade. For each response submitted, we'll donate $1 to Reading Is Fundamental, the nation's largest nonprofit children's literacy organization. Ten finalists will each win Powell's Cards worth $100. One grand prize winner will claim $1,000 in books - guaranteed to make the next decade of reading a memorable one, indeed. Submit a response (300-750 words) by July 31 and we'll even throw in a commemorative tenth anniversary
mousepad free with your next order!

Just a word about Powells: it is a fabulous independent bookstore in Portland that sells both new and used books. Their inventory is amazing: you will find pretty much anything you are looking for there, even if it has been out of print for 20 years. The company is very active in community service, and they have consistently supported Portland area schools and literacy programs. They also sponsor incredible literacy events. is fabulous, and if you buy $50 worth of books shipping is FREE. Plus, they're in Oregon, so there's no sales tax. What a deal!

As for me, my most memorable reading experience of the last 10 years is actually an unpleasant one. I was working for Spherion, a staffing company, and the legal division had just been taken over by the "professional recruiting group", which was basically the people who headhunted for accountants. I had met my new boss, a guy named Eric Archer, and he sent me a copy of a book called Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson. I was pleased and flattered that the new head of my division had recognized my value and had taken the time to choose a book for me.

Then I read the book, and I realized the guy was both semi-literate and insane. The book is a horrible piece of trash - a thin pamphlet written for people who have never read a real book. The poorly written message is that you are a powerless mouse, personally and professionally, and, when change is imposed on you, you should not question the change or try to seek justice - you should simply scurry about and try to make do. Receiving it from your boss is a message that you're about to see how much can change, and your opinions are not welcome.

Sure enough, the book was well-chosen, as the new management began changing everything from compensation plans to computer systems, and began insisting that we shift our focus from client service to short-term profits and slimy tactics.

The book alerted me to the fact that I needed to get out of the company. While I love reading, my most memorable reading experience in the last ten years was paging through Who Moved My Cheese, and realizing I needed to find a better job.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIF is a great program. Many students that I have will only own the books provided by RIF.


8/03/2004 9:07 PM  

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