CHAPTER 17

South America: and NAFTA

By U.S. standards, hospitality and generosity are over the top.

Listen to the CEO of a manufacturer of industrial equipment:

In the lobby of our headquarters—a standard-issue office building with four floors of steel and glass—there is a reception desk but no receptionist. That’s the first clue that we are different. We don’t have receptionists. … We don’t have secretaries either, or personal assistants. We don’t believe in cluttering the payroll with ungratifying, dead-end jobs. … We don’t have executive dining rooms, and parking is strictly first-come, first-served. It’s all part of running a “natural business.” … [W]e have stripped away the unnecessary perks and privileges that feed the ego but hurt the ...

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