From The Archive
Will Boisvert
No. 6  December 1994

Thus Spake Leona Helmsley

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If managers have been ousted from their exalted position by new relations of production, perhaps they can be restored to it by the relations of consumption. This hope animates one of Business’ most entrancing fetishes, Customer Service. In the entrepreneur’s pantheon, the customers reign supreme. Business writers worship these deities—their exacting standards, their fickle tastes, their ceaseless trawling for new stuff to buy and not buy. Workers might have thought that egalitarian, team-based production would mean a more relaxed and humane workplace. No such luck, apparently, since today’s customers make Leona Helmsley seem lenient, according to the authors of Workplace 2000:

Will Boisvert is a critic and journalist in New York.

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