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Fish! - Book Review

Essay by review  •  October 31, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,224 Words (5 Pages)  •  989 Views

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The book Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results is a fictional story about a woman thrust into single parenthood and a leadership position she's not too sure she is ready for. The story follows Mary Jane through the tedious task of turning the third floor 'Toxic Waste Dump' into a high energy environment where the workers actually enjoy being there and working with each other.

At first, Mary Jane resorted to taking her lunch breaks outside of the office so she could avoid the snide remarks of other employees and internal customers of 'First Guarantee Financial.' One day while on her lunch, she decides to go for a walk through a local fish market, which just so happens to be the world famous 'Pike Place Fish Market', renowned for its high energy and exciting atmosphere.

While wandering the market Mary Jane meets a worker by the name of Lonnie who, after hearing her story, is set on helping Mary Jane turn the 'Waste Dump' into a big energy reserve. He does so by showing Mary Jane that there are four major changes that need to take place in the workplace in order to create the same fun atmosphere as the 'Pike Place Fish Market.'

The first of these changes is the choice of attitude. If Mary Jane could convince her workers that they have a choice in attitude, she could surely begin the process of cleaning the 'Toxic Energy Dump.'

The second idea presented is 'Play.' Mary Jane learned that the employees on the Third Floor should be able to have fun and relax but still conduct business in the proper manor. The third idea is called 'Make Their Day.' This idea focuses on making the customer, whether internal or external, remember their experience with the employees. The final change presented is 'Be Present.' Focusing on paying attention to customers and each other are the main focuses of this change. 'Being Present' provides the customers with the full attention of the employee to ensure the best service possible.

Mary Jane learns these four changes from Lonnie and is able to convince her Third Floor 'Zombies' to take the risk of trying to clean up the 'Toxic Waste Dump.' In the end, rather than avoiding the Third Floor, a year later they are finding that every one wants to work there because of the high energy and fun atmosphere.

Although fictional this book gives the basic outline any worker trapped in the prison of work can use to liven up the work place and make working something you want to do rather than something you have to do.

The actual topic of this paper is making a change in the workplace from the boring day-to-day norm to a high energy and exciting work place. The Pike Place Fish Market gave the employees of First Guarantee the same enthusiasm a group of newly hired employees would have. This topic places employees in troubled times and redundant work into something new and exciting. It gave them a chance to get to know each other as more than just a name or face. Friendships were made, which working with friends is much more enjoyable than working all day with someone you know nothing about. By instituting a 'Be Present' rule, the co-workers were devoted to giving each other full attention and a listening ear anytime another needed it.

The supervisors in this story were originally set out to find someone who could turn the negative productivity of the third floor into positive. Mary Jane proved to herself and her supervisors that it is possible to turn a place, even one as dull and dead as the third floor, into something exciting.

The second group mainly focused on through this story was the customer. How could they best be served? How could they not be a nuisance, and walk away having had the employee 'Make their day?' By implementing the 'Be Present' rule, the employees devoted themselves to giving the customers 100% attention and trying to do anything to 'Make their day.'

I personally

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