“Strictly Business” by F. Morton Howard
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“Strictly Business” is a classic American short story by F. Morton Howard. Originally published in 1910, it tells the story of a young man named Tom Pettit who is determined to climb the corporate ladder and become successful in the world of business. The story is set in the early 20th century, a time when America was experiencing rapid economic growth and the rise of big business.
Tom Pettit is a driven and ambitious young man who sees business as the key to success and the path to achieving the American Dream. He is willing to do whatever it takes to succeed, even if it means sacrificing his personal life and relationships. He is focused on his career and is constantly striving to improve his position in the company.
The story begins with Tom Pettit getting a job at the National Bank of Commerce, a prestigious institution in the heart of New York City. He quickly sets his sights on a promotion to the position of assistant cashier, which he sees as the first step on the ladder to success. Tom works tirelessly to impress his superiors, putting in long hours and going above and beyond what is expected of him.
As Tom climbs the corporate ladder, he becomes increasingly focused on his career and less interested in his personal life. He begins to neglect his girlfriend, Alice, and his friends, choosing instead to spend all of his time at work. Alice tries to get Tom to see that there is more to life than just business, but he refuses to listen.
Despite his hard work and dedication, Tom is passed over for the promotion he has been striving for. He is devastated and feels like he has let himself down. However, instead of giving up, he redoubles his efforts and is eventually rewarded with the promotion he has been working towards.
As Tom celebrates his success, he realizes that he has sacrificed everything else in his life for his career. He is alone, with no friends or loved ones to share his success with. He realizes that his single-minded focus on business has left him empty and unfulfilled.
“Strictly Business” is a cautionary tale about the dangers of being too focused on one’s career and the importance of balancing work and personal life. It explores themes such as ambition, success, and the pursuit of the American Dream. The story is still relevant today, more than a century after it was first published, as many people continue to struggle with finding a balance between their work and personal life.
F. Morton Howard’s writing is clear and concise, with a strong narrative voice that draws the reader into the story. He captures the spirit of early 20th century America and the culture of big business, providing a fascinating glimpse into a bygone era. “Strictly Business” is a timeless classic that is sure to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.