Fish is a book about the importance of a good attitude in the workplace. The book stresses that you must choose your attitude each day that you go to work. Attitude was at the center of the book's message, but it was only a part of that message. There were four steps in the fish philosophy of a happy workplace: choose your attitude, play, make their day, and be present. Choose your attitude tells the reader that you must choose what you are going to make of each day.
If you go to work unhappy you will make everyone else around you unhappy and your time there all the much longer. If you go to work happy and looking forward to the day, others will be happy and your time there will go by faster. The second step is play. You can bring fun into almost any job. The benefits of having the play step in the workplace are enormous.
The employees will be happy, the customers will enjoy the atmosphere, and it will make everyone's life a little bit easier. Third in the fish philosophy is "make their day." Including customers in the fun and games will create happy, satisfied customers. The final step in the philosophy is to be present. You must be fully present at work for your fellow employees as well as the customers.
Being fully present includes making the customer your number one priority. The message that I got from the book is that if you follow the fish philosophy you will have a more productive workplace that you will enjoy coming to each day. Overall I enjoyed this book immensely. I liked how the title character Mary Jane overcame the grief she felt when her husband passed away to totally turn around a whole section of the company she worked for. She did not just give up like many would have when she seen the horrible state the third floor was in. It was also nice that Mary Jane had to turn to others for help, which brought more realism to the book instead of her just coming up with the philosophy herself.
One thing the book could have included was more opposition to Mary Jane's leadership. These people were on the third floor for a while and I don't believe they would have been such pushovers for change in such a short amount of time. Also the end of the book didn't do much for me. I for one could see Mary Jane and Lonnie getting together from the moment they met. It would have been nice to see a different twist on the ending. Working in the service industry, I can really relate to this book.
One of the attitudes we are taught as manager at my workplace is "Be Here Now" which is an open door policy that is in place for all employees. You are also taught to always be present for customers at all times. We also have other programs such as "Magic Moments" which teaches the crew to create special moments for the customers whenever they see an opportunity. Coming to work with a good attitude is also a very important part of our business. On the personal side of things, I think choose your attitude is very important to anyone's personal life.
If you go through your whole life with a bad attitude, you will always be miserable. Every new experience is a chance to choose your attitude, as is every old experience. Having a happy attitude will make you a happy person. Fun can be brought into every aspect of life, even work, as shown by "Fish.".