Taking Minutes of Meetings by Joanna Gutmann, Nancy Peterson (Reading)

Taking Minutes of MeetingsTaking Minutes of Meetings by Joanna Gutmann
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OH MY GOD! This book is from another WORLD!

So, first of all, I am a passionate note taker and this book has some solid tips and wonderful reminders on how to take notes–the Action Triangle, the importance of interruptions, the types of meetings, etc—wonderful, great, love it.

BUT…and SERIOUSLY this is a BIG BUT….

What sets this book apart is the tone–which is AMAZING. The book is fairly modern–it talks of laptops, smart pens, Teleconferences, etc.–but the TONE is straight from the TV show Mad Men or some 1950’s Philip K Dick amphetamine fueled alternative universe! It is amazing & must be experienced.

Many might consider it sexist (stuff on dressing in layers so that you can adjust your wardrobe appropriately or what to wear based on the meeting attendees is just straight up condescending and inappropriate at some very real gendered level), but the “avoid getting tired by not eating too many snacks” or “drop shoulders, don’t push up your hips” or “practice smiling with your eyes in the mirror” all combine to make this some kind of submissive secretary training manual. And you combine it with the over arching theme of “act properly to ensure you get the respect you deserve” and the entire things just reads as a seriously wicked manual for misbehaving!

it is true that the soft core film Secretary may be influencing my judgement here, but there is something very weird about the overall tone of this book which must be experienced to be believed.

Strongly recommended for all sorts of inarticulate reasons.

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