When your boss tells you sales are down and the number of pink slips is up, Duke Janvier's Schmooze Seminar is a must.
It's a week-long schmoozefest guaranteed to deliver double-digit growth, complete with keepsake rayon ascots and rhodium-plated signet rings offered to you by "The L&L Beancounters Catalog," a parody for the "besuited and betied masses."
According to Larry Bleidner and Peter Scott, authors of the "L&L Beancounters Catalog," executives can forget L.L. Bean and drop Dilbert, who's just another whiner, because it's time to seriously start equipping yourself for your career.
Both of the authors heartily recommend Beancounter's Aneurysm Detector/Calibrator for those in the money management business. "This rugged medical marvel gives both systolic and diastolic data in digital or analog, tells you whether to decaffeinate a tad or call 911 and a priest," the catalog description reads.
For pension fund managers, Mr. Scott suggests the catalog's Desktop Seismograph/Paradigm-Shift Detector. "What makes a good pension fund manager is the unknown . . . His human resources department could hit him with an unexpected paradigm shift," Mr. Scott said.
After spending years in the advertising, marketing and publishing industries, the authors of parody have had a "belly full of corporate madness," said Mr. Bleidner.
They now are disseminating this madness with a little twist of gadgetry through Common Courage Press in Monroe, Maine, the publishing company that seemed most likely to get the joke, Mr. Scott said.
The 80-page "catalog" will be available in March for $12.95.
For the future, Messrs. Bleidner and Scott are planning an office calendar. But right now, they offer some of the Beancounter products as gag gifts on www.bizhumor.com.
The hot item on the website is the Groveler's Knee Pads. One size fits all, they're guaranteed to hold up under daily use and they only cost $15.
The authors also plan to continue entertaining executives during corporate meetings, where the audience actually field tests new products.