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Alex Frankel on Working Undercover at America’s Top Companies

How do some of the giants of commerce turn thousands of average job applicants into loyal—even fanatical—workers?

Date: March 21, 2008

Podcast #: 08-12

Price: Free


AMA_Edgewise_0812.mp3 [m]: Play in Popup



Curious to know just what happens behind the "employees only" doors of big companies, journalist Alex Frankel embarked on an undercover reporting project to find out how some of America's well-known companies win the hearts and minds of their retail and service employees.

Punching In (HarperCollins, 2007) chronicles his two-year urban adventure through the world of commerce. Frankel applied for and was hired by a half-dozen companies: he proudly wore the brown uniform of the UPS driver, folded endless stacks of T-shirts at Gap, brewed espressos for the hordes at Starbucks, interviewed (but failed to get hired) at Whole Foods, enrolled in management training at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and sold iPods at the Apple Store. In this lively and entertaining narrative, Frankel takes readers on a personal journey into the land of front-line employees to discover why some workers are so eager to drink the corporate Kool-Aid and which companies know how to serve it up best.

Alex Frankel is a writer and brand observer based in San Francisco, California. Besides Punching In, he is author of WORDCRAFT (2004) and has written for Fast Company, The New York Times Magazine, Wired and Outside. He works with clients through his consulting firm, Ground Level Research.
AMA is one of the most widely recognized leaders in business training, having provided corporate training solutions for over 95 years. From leadership, communication and managerial training to sales, customer service and analytical skills, AMA has developed a vast array of content and training solutions to help individuals and organizations achieve business results . Each year, AMA delivers thousands of seminars and courses across the United States. With courses offered in a  classroom near you or live online, AMA is a flexible, convenient resource for all of your organization's talent development needs. AMA also offers customized solutions based on your specific talent development requirements.

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