The Ampersand Diaries

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About the author:
John Spiller's decade-long career at AT&T put him at the epicenter of the most important era in the iconic telecom's history: the transformation from the last American monopoly to a corporation unsure of itself, searching for an identity. While performing equipment repair and client billing at AT&T's Bridgewater, New Jersey office, Spiller established important contacts that proved instrumental in gaining entrance into his employer's high-profile Business Communications Services sales unit. He then became a top account manager of telecom service for large and small business in the northern New Jersey/New York metropolitan area, securing sales awards and recognition including membership in the AT&T President's Club for commercial marketing success.

Within a few years, AT&T faced an uncertain sales future in what had become a rapidly changing telecom marketplace. It compelled Spiller to make a career move to the corporation's secretive human resources, where he provided administrative support to the organization's Equal Employment Opportunity/Diversity counselors. Among his responsibilities was the archiving of legal files related to workforce investigations, and the transcription of furtively recorded conversations between iniquitous employees.

However, Spiller's primary human resources responsibility was answering AT&T's internal affairs hotline. This dedicated service was established as a medium for the corporation's employees to report on-the-job employment inequity related to the guidelines set forth by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and AT&T's own diversity policies; including: racial and ethnic prejudice, sexual harassment, gender bias, abuse of disabled workers, age discrimination, and homophobic behavior displayed toward the corporation's vast lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. As the phone rang with regularity, Spiller wrote detailed abstracts of the reported incidents and forwarded them to the AT&T human resources counselors for investigation: a corporate responsibility, he would learn, that they seldom fulfilled.

During his AT&T career, John Spiller studied Business Law at Fairleigh Dickinson University through the corporation's satellite education program. He is now founder and president of The Working Hour Media Group, creator of the AT&T news site, and is writing his second book. Born and raised in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, Spiller presently lives in Florida, with his partner Missy.

The Ampersand Diaries

AT&T and the Life Lessons Learned from the Trenches of an American Icon

Authored by Mr. John Spiller

The Ampersand Diaries: AT&T and the Life Lessons Learned from the Trenches of an American Icon is a contemporary narrative describing a professional journey through America's eminent corporation. It is a compilation of personal stories and underreported news items that recount compelling principles and simple truths about life at one of the world's largest employers; in the process, delivering vital lessons to people in every walk of life. Not to mention the commonalities between corporate life and life ecumenical.

Author John Spiller relives the wins and losses, triumphs and disasters that shaped nearly ten years of employment at AT&T. After working with commercial sales account managers, human resources diversity counselors, and corporate administrators, the result is a collection of anecdotes that reflect the life lessons of power and paradox, egotism and vulnerability, pain and transformation, and a brand new kind of courage. They also explain how AT&T's unenlightened executives--blinded by unchecked power and arrogance--failed at shaping relationships and improving the culture of their workplace; then felt the necessity to compensate themselves disproportionate to their performance. It caused their bureaucratic corporation, iconic as it was, to get exactly what it deserved in dramatic fashion. That is why The Ampersand Diaries, with its ability to put to rest speculations regarding AT&T's day-to-day operations and the dramatic events that deeply transform the lives of many of its employees, is sure to provoke intense emotions.

The book contains stories about how real men and women deal with the challenges of trying to succeed at America's largest communications corporation, and the life lessons the author learned in observing them. It is these hard-won lessons that have helped shaped his philosophies in business and being.

Ultimately, The Ampersand Diaries is more than a book about a failed telecom that reclaimed prominence. It is about you and me, and anyone who has ever toiled within the walls of corporate America. It is a book that relates to many people--including thousands of past and present AT&T employees, millions of consumers, countless shareholders, and, most importantly, the American public. Citizens have taken note that AT&T is often at the heart of what ails our society: anti-competitive business practices, illicit sales and marketing tactics, destruction of consumer privacy, poor diversity relations, opposition to a free and open internet, and an anti-labor history that includes continued downsizing and the outsourcing of desperately needed American jobs. Plus, the corporation's army of lobbyists who pressure lawmakers, allowing it all to happen.

Public relations represent a billion dollar industry that carries significant influence over government, media, and public opinion. And it is largely why AT&T is accustomed to describing everything about it in its own particular terms. The corporation's public relations executives are skillful wordsmiths whose duty it is to make sure their employer's deceit is observed and interpreted through rose-colored glasses.

Hence, The Ampersand Diaries was written to prove that AT&T's priorities and underlying intentions--seldom, if ever, public friendly--are not suited to lead a communications revolution in the United States. If our government continues to afford AT&T the unmitigated size and power it covets, it will lead to a disaster of biblical proportions.

This book will energize, empower, and mobilize readers who may be disgusted with the behavior of America's largest communications corporation; perhaps enough to fight back in protest. And it will provide much of the intellectual ammunition needed to help win this decade's most imperative social and political conflict: The war against AT&T's runaway corporate power.

Publication Date:
1461105943 / 9781461105947
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
6" x 9"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Business & Economics / Workplace Culture

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