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The Hotel: A Week in the Life of the Plaza by Sonny Kleinfield

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5

THE door to the Grand Ballroom opened onto a crowd of somber-suited men and women and a coffee urn. I walked in and sank into an empty chair. It was mid-afternoon. These were people seeking the peak of corporate success. Many of them had dazed, desperate expressions on their faces. The Marketing War College two-day seminar had resumed after a brief coffee break.

As the attendees settled in, there was a fair amount of coughing and chair-shuffling. In the morning, they had discussed “the strategic square,” “the principles of defensive warfare,” and “the principles of offensive warfare.” Now a husky man stood up behind a podium, surveyed the assemblage, and launched into an energetic lecture. “We’re ready to talk about flanking warfare,” the speaker ...

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