Friday, 11 March 2016

Official Book Review: A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant

A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker AntA Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant by Lata Subramanian
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Dance with the Corporate Ton: Reflections of a Worker Ant by Lata Subramanian is, to say the least, an insightful narration of the author's journey in the corporate world. She has started the book from the moment she started looking for a job to the point when she walked hand in hand with the top players in various industries to her early retirement from it all. She started her career as a Room Service Order Taker in The Oberoi Towers. According to her observation, she was not offered a job at the front desk of the hotel because that place was reserved for very attractive people. Anyways, she took her job very seriously but grew tired of the routine work involved in this job profile. Soon, she decided it was time to move ahead. She joined one of the leading advertising companies of that time in India, Lintas, and climbed a ladder of success almost reaching for the stars. With the zeal to work hard and constantly learning every aspect of the advertising industry, including the complicated lingo, she received various recognitions. However, these recognitions did not succeed in tying her to this one company, and soon she moved on to the next venture.

Her journey is a very mesmerizing one. I felt motivated, fascinated, and inspired while reading her story. It was as if Lata showed a mirror to me. I could relate to her feelings towards the bell curve involved in the appraisal process. As she felt overwhelmed by the process of grading her team members according to the requirement of this curve, rather than based on their hard work and dedication, similarly I feel every time the time of appraisal comes on my head. This strange criterion of judging and rating the people made her realize that she cannot get a flair for management. Her anger towards one of the organizations, where she worked, for handing over pink slips to the clueless employees after a merger is visible in every word of that chapter. That anger shows the purity of her heart and I admire her for it.

Lata has not just narrated her journey, she has given several pieces of wisdom. Her best advice is that one must be prepared and not depend on their employer's mercy. Throughout the read, she reminded me of myself. Her tendency to stand her grounds even when everyone stands against it is admirable. When everyone in her office was insisting her to get a makeover, she did not crumble, rather made a statement that she wishes to be judged by her work and not by her appearance. The evidence of her high moral values is visible until the last chapter. She has cracked open the corporate world and presented the forensic report of this entity for the world to see. I am sure the readers will be able to connect to her perspective of the world.

To keep the book entertaining, she has used humor, which is not "haha" funny, but is capable of bringing a smile to the readers. One thing that I particularly enjoyed was the cute graphics that are present here and there in the book. While reading, I used to get very excited to find these illustrations.
An illustration from the book: A Dance with the Corporate Ton

The mention of various famous TV segments, such as Mad Men, set the right mood and laid a fantastic foundation for the facts that she was making.While narrating her story, she paused at various places to ponder over a word and its origin, for instance. In the beginning chapters, when I was trying to understand where the story might flow to, I was fascinated by these interruptions; however, later these seemed like speed bumps and very distracting. Other than this minor issue, I loved Lata's writing style and her intense journey.

I would recommend this book to the readers who enjoy reading the journey of an individual in the field of career and wish to gain a deep insight into the corporate world. This book has everything for the readers of this category: humor, facts, inspiration, and an extraordinary experience.

Disclaimer: I have received this fabulous book by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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