Title: The Eccentric Entrepreneur
Author: Neil Findley
Publisher: Outskirts Press
“He would pick on his staff from time to time, but this day was different. He questioned her, belittled her, embarrassed her, and verbally abused her in the later morning as RLM processed his papers and affixed his signatures,” Neil Findley writes about his boss in his book, The Eccentric Entrepreneur.
This one hundred and fifty-five page paperback book has a photograph of two laboratory technicians on the front cover. The back cover is a short synopsis of the book in bullet format with a paragraph along with the author’s biography. Since there is no blatant profanity but the topics of alcohol and verbal and physical abuse are brought up often, the book would be targeted toward adults. The tome is divided into four sections with some repeated over-lapping of stories and information.
Neil Findley spent the nineteen seventies to the nineteen nineties working for Advance Medical Laboratories, Inc. (AMLI), owned by Richard L. Murphy in Michigan. Starting as a part-time medical technician, he rose in the ranks to chemistry supervisor, administrative assistant, personnel manager and finally vice president and director of human resources.
Richard L. Murphy (RLM) was an odd but aggressive character that Findley found interesting enough to write about his personality, antics and obsession with women, alcohol and loneliness. With some background information about the process of a medical laboratory, the story is mainly about RML from the viewpoint of Findley.
AMLI started out of a garage, moved to a small warehouse powered by a long extension cord with forty employees and grew to forty offsite facilities with over seven hundred employees. Inside the core group of long-term employees, Findley saw many things that happened that would not have been allowed in today’s employment environment.
Besides being the boss who knew every one’s name, gave generous gifts and days off for birthdays, RLM was also a lonely, controlling, sexist, alcoholic egomaniac that demanded to always have his way, no matter what. In addition to being a womanizer, he was male-chauvinistic and treated both female employees and women with blatant disrespect.
If it is drinking games after work that go far into the night, hiring scantily clad couriers or the quest to find “attractive traveling companions” for the boss, every party, picnic, restaurant, trip, boat, castle and name-dropping of Playboy bunnies and football players is mentioned. It is truly no wonder there was an obviously higher divorce rate at this business.
This book seen through Findley eyes that covers twenty years shows how alcoholism, abuse and materialism filtered into the workplace via an overweight, diabetic, wealthy American. Although the author’s intention is to make it funny and comical, the reader may feel both anger and sorrow for RLM’s obsessive, self-indulgent and demanding personality in spite of his generosity and charisma.
This book was provided by the author for review purposes.
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