International Business Marionettes

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9780970637703: International Business Marionettes

A regional manager at IBM is fired for a minor infraction, loses his grip on reality and is involuntarily committed to a mental institution. He regains his mental health, fights IBM in a lawsuit and rebuilds his life and career.

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From the Publisher:

Max Beardslee began his career at International Business Machines as a lowly sales trainee. In twelve years, however, he had worked his way through the ranks of one of the world's most glamorous business operations and occupied the most sought-after position -- representing the corporation to several million people living in Western Michigan. It was the springboard every high-powered exec in IBM had used to move up, and Beardslee could see the blue light at the end of the tunnel: a position worth the stress and responsibility he had mastered to meet sales quotas time and again.

International Business Marionettes is the story of Beardslee's rise within and fall from grace at "Big Blue." The story doesn't end with his dismissal, however. It begins with the day Beardslee was fired and then recounts his climb up the corporate ladder and the various slippery rungs along the way.

Beardslee has written a book about corporate life and what it does to the spirit of employees who walk the fence dividing individual styles of conformity and individuality. International Business Marionettes is also the story of a family, a family that moved frequently, that patterned its life and development along corporate protocol, and then crashed -- broken -- on a $77 mistake in judgment.

Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, International Business Marionettes examines mental health: one man's lost grip on sanity and the road to re-establish his mental health, his family relationships, and his legal and financial independence.

In the Prologue, Beardslee describes purchasing his own "International Business Marionette," a work of art made by a top craftsman in New York City. The author named it Database and at the end of the book Database reappears to walk across the boardroom table and come face-to-face with IBM's legal representatives in a high-noon corporate showdown.

Chapter One begins with Beardslee's firing due to charging IBM $77 for copies: money that was actually spent on the cigars he was expected to purchase out of his own pocket. This $77 error, which Beardslee had quickly reimbursed IBM for upon more careful thought, cost him his job, career, sanity, freedom, and marriage. For, when he lost his job, he suffered a mental breakdown, was unable to work, unable to function, and he found himself in the back wards of a mental hospital.

Admitted voluntarily to a mental health facility in Michigan, Beardslee's grasp on reality continued to deteriorate and he was involuntarily committed to a mental institution in Florida while there on vacation . His experiences with psychiatrists, nurses, orderlies, and other patients forever changed the former "suit" and embodied his recovery with a new sense of purpose and humanity.

Beardslee recalls "Mike" a child in the institution who reminded him of his own three sons, left behind in Michigan and the "Chief" a Native American he met in - and helped escape from - the mental hospital. The Chief paid him back by stealing his rental car and the author describes how he made his way home, bolt cutters in hand.

Beardslee describes the regimentation of institutional life and his efforts to win his release through Florida's frustrating court system. Through discussions with his therapist, he shares with the reader the highlights of his career at IBM, including his development of Operation 30/30, a program that, ultimately, earned the corporation millions of dollars.

Beardslee describes the top of the corporate ladder: IBM's sales events, quotas and products. He also examines the disintegration of his family and his divorce from his wife, Pat, and the concern over his physical separation from his two sons.

International Business Marionettes is not a depressing book, quite the opposite. Beardslee relates his experiences as a marionette with humor and the 20/20 vision developed after much reflection and newfound success. Fortunately, his mental difficulties were of short duration and never, in the twenty years since, returned.

The author remains close to his children, friends with his ex-wife, and has held prominent sales management positions with other international technology companies including MCI and Software AG. He is now the owner of Maxwell Financial Services in Atlanta and enjoys golf.

The publishing of International Business Marionettes is consistent with Lucky Press's philosophy of providing readers with books about individuals who overcome adversity and demonstrate courage through life-altering circumstances. Max Beardslee's career has taken him across some rocky terrain, and against a formidable foe, but he is a winner in every sense of the word.

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Max Beardslee
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