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Publishing Workers Surprised to Discover “They” Were Surveyed

I asked for your reactions to a ranking of the best publishing workplaces, and you had some choice comments about the companies you couldn’t believe made the grade. What’s more interesting to me, though, is the comment from “Trudie,” who describes herself as “a production editor at a major publishing house” that wasn’t included among the 20 best work environments in the Book Business survey. “I never heard anything about this,” she says. “If anyone in my department was questioned for such a survey, I would have heard gossip about it. So it’s possible that they not only don’t quote the rank and file, but didn’t even question them in the first place.”

I also heard a bit of cheerful news from an anonymous reader who was okay with Random House‘s placement at the top of the list, citing many elements of the benefits package, including the one-month sabbatical at the ten-year mark—something that was brought up to the CEO at another of the companies where this tipster used to work, to which the reported response was, “If you can leave your job for a month and not have it matter, maybe you shouldn’t have that job at all.” Whereas the attitude at other companies was described as “you don’t like it? tough sh*t” and “you don’t like it? well, there’s nothing we can do, so please bear with us,” this publishing veteran assured me, “Random House actually gives its employees the best benefits possible this cash-strapped business can cough up. And they at least act as though they enjoy doing it. I really like where I work now… but I do miss RH’s benefits, and generally employee-friendly environment.”

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