Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson is a book that was given out at my company – you guessed it – immediately prior to a series of layoffs. I evaded that series of layoffs, only to join the ranks of the “formerly employed” after September 11th (I worked for a company that was heavy into Business Travel, natch.
I got it, read it, kept it for awhile and I guess I threw it away awhile back. I remember “Who Moved My Cheese” as being an inoffensive but ineffective book, with a simple message – change will happen and you can’t stay still, which is something I already knew prior to getting the book. I sure as heck don’t remember it being helpful to me while I was laid off.
Anyway, Spencer Johnson certainly benefited by it, but these reviewers think there’s a scent of Limburger arising from “Who Moved My Cheese”:
Never have I come closer to the mind crushing monotony and impersonality of corporate America than when I read this book….It’s patronizing, shallow, insipid, and still manages to be patently insulting to those employees who might actually be capable of analytical thought. That’s quite a feat.
It teaches that you must accept change without regard to whether it is appropriate it not. It teaches that you must not struggle, you must not fight. You must simply accept whatever change happens. This is the perfect book to distribute when a company is going through reorganization.
In the game show of life, “Who Moved My Cheese?” is Corporate America’s final answer to the lovely parting gift. Spencer Johnson’s book is the literary equivalent of giving an amputee victim a band-aid for his boo-boo.
…and a great Top 10 list of alternate titles from Amazon Reviewer Kevin Morrill:
#10 “Don’t Take It Personally, Thousands Of People Get Fired Everyday”
#9 “It’s Never Easy Letting Valuable Employees Such As Yourself Go, Bill, I mean, Bob”
#8 “Cheer Up! Nobody Here Liked You Anyway”
#7 “Let Me Say Once Again, The Shareholders Really Appreciate This”
#6 “Hey, You Can Sleep In Now”
#5 “Think Of It This Way: You’re Now In A Lower Tax Bracket”
#4 “It’s Not Like You Lost Your Job…Okay, So You Lost Your Job”
#3 “Look On The Bright Side- You’re Helping Someone Less Fortunate In A Third World Country”
#2 “At Least You’ve Still Got Your Health (Minus The Ulcer, Of Course)”
And my #1 title: “It Could Be Worse, It Could Be Me!”