chapter twenty-oneBust the Baditudes

“The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”

—Scott Hamilton

“What do you want?”

That’s how the receptionist answered the phone, in that tone of “How dare you take my time from me.” You were an intruder in her world, not a welcome participant. That was Carol Shively, about whom quite a few people had called the accounting firm’s president to tell him she was without peer as “The World’s Worst Receptionist.”

Television sitcoms are filled with cranky, even “techy” employees who add humor to a script because they are funny in context of the people tensions that have to exist to make a show entertaining. People like that aren’t such a chuckle in real life. Carol, for instance, had inspired coworkers to fantasize ...

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