March 15, 2002

Office Politics

Stories of high drama from our nation's workplaces. They turn out to be surprising, emotional places, with all the greed, jealousy, and ambition of real politics.


We hear three stories of how conflicts are resolved in offices. Two of those stories come from sociologist Calvin Morrill, who studied the executive suites at a number of large companies in his book The Executive Way: Conflict Management in Corporations. The last story comes from host Ira Glass, who talks about how he ended up punching his own boss in the stomach in front of all his co-workers. (12 minutes)

Sheetcakes In The Conference Room, Whiskey After Dark

David Rakoff discusses the world of birthdays and other holidays, as they're celebrated on the job... and what happens when you call yourself an editorial assistant but the editor you're assisting calls you a secretary. He read this story before a live audience at Town Hall in New York City, during a This American Life live show. (15 minutes)