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Team Player
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-314-X
Genre: Science Fiction/Humor/Speculative
eBook Length: 290 Pages
Published: January 2006

Total Readers: 1

From inside the flap

New Book Spoofs Work in the New Millennium

Based on his 25-year roller coaster ride in the Information Technology (IT) industry, Biff Mitchellís latest novel, Team Player, explores the world of work in the 21st Century. The story is set in an uncomfortably close future where the world is run by homicidal marketing managers who kill for love, company, and the almighty promotion.

?Aside from the talking brain cells and the rampaging neutrinos ?? says Mr. Mitchell ??the angry Italian ghosts and the Bolshevik computers ? and the thirty naked pagan women who save the universe with help from a man who thinks heís a tree ? aside from all that: this story could actually take place in any global IT company headquartered in the tallest building in the world, which might be built as an amplified replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.?

In one scene, 32 new hires are laid off before their first day of work. At the mandatory farewell lunch they?re told: ?And, yes, you will be missed?all the potential, the energy and enthusiasm, the positive attitudes that were the reason you were hired in the first place will be noticeably absent in the lives of the people who would have been working with you. But, then, thatís the software business.? Heads around the table nod in agreement.

Reviews and Awards

?Team Player tackles the absurdity of corporate life, specifically the IT industry. Itís a fresh, vibrant, and engrossing read that?ll keep you laughing even while you?re on the edge of your seat. ?

Susan DiPlacido in The Blue Iris Journal

?Lovingly detailed, Mitchell uses a series of scenes, emails and vignettes to lead the reader spellbound and helpless with incredulous laughter. His characterization is deep, yet the book itself is easily read. Off-beat, darkly humorous and all-too-realistic, TEAM PLAYER is a truly great read.?

Ann Leveille in The Best Reviews

?Mitchell shows his enormous literary talent in such passages as Morning in the Woods of a Zillion Bubbles where, using only a few sentences, he masters an imagery that is so close to reality that it is chilling.?

Ingrid Mueller, The Daily Gleaner

?Personally, I think Mitchell is a lying pretender to greatness in the universe. I, and only I, am the Last Truly Great Man in the World. This book of his should be castrated and burned.?

Straight ... to the top.
ErectSoft Inc

Team Player (Excerpt)


A Mean Leaning Ringing Machine

It all started with the widow Berta of Bernardo of dell?Opera di Santa Maria who had a dream one night in 1172 AD, or at least, a dream according to friends and relations, but not to Berta. No sir, according to Berta, her dead husband Mr. Bernardo (aka Bernie) came to her one night with much concern and worry creasing the lines of rotted flesh and matted hair on what was left of his head. In a raspish voice he commanded: "Build a tower!" and then stared off somewhere between here and there with half empty eye sockets.

Berta thought about this for a moment, keeping her eyes on the floor and away from the remnants of her dearly departedís mostly departed eye-stuff. Hmmm. Yes, build a tower. Hmmm. And then she looked up, with much confusion shadowing her countenance, and asked stridently: "What you say? Build a tower? What I wanna go build a tower? You binna dead too long."

Bernie rolled what was left of his eyes and repeated: "Build a tower!"

However, as it was throughout their marriage, and even now in widowhood, Berta was not one to be told what to do by anyone, least of all Bernie, who couldn?t even muster the energy to live as long as her, and she wasn?t having any of this tower business.

"What you just stand there an-a say ?build a tower for?? I?m-a look like crazy woman to you? Is-a what you think? I?m a crazy woman? Why you think I wanna build a tower?"

Bernieís hands were shaking; his remaining strands of grayish white skin darkened with whatever terrible pigmentation the dead use for darkening; he lifted his head and arms up towards the sky in a gesture of I-told-you-so. Then he cast the remnants of his gaze directly at Berta. "You gonna build a tower, or I?m-a gonna ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­tell every one up there all about your snore so loud at night."


Just before she died in 1172 AD, the widow Berta of Bernardo of dell?Opera di Santa Maria amended her will to bequeath sixty coins to the Opera Campanilis petrarum Sancte Marie to buy a few stones for the building of a tower.


Those stones would eventually form the foundation of one of the most beautiful buildings on earth; also, one of the oddest. The tower was to compliment the cathedral in Pisa which was located in the "Field of Miracles" in the downtown area. What would happen to the "Torre Pendente di Pisa" (aka Bell Tower of Pisa) would indeed be a miracle.

The original architect, Bonanno Pisano, was reputed to dabble in bronze and foundries, and was, in many historical accounts, voted least likely to succeed at building a tower. But history aside, Bonnano Pisano began construction of the tower on August 9, 1173, and everything went just fine until about the third stone from the left into the third floor, at which time the builders noticed that the tower-to-be was no longer performing to specs. In fact, it was beginning to lean prominently to the north.

The experts came in and hummed and hawed and concluded: "You build a tower on-a marshy soil an-a big hole ? itís-a gonna lean."

Which, of course, was completely wrong, the truth being that the now deceased widow Berta of Bernardo found out that Bernie had already told everybody "up there" all-about-her-snore-so-loud-at-night, and she was pissed ? so pissed that she came all the way back down from "up there" and kicked the living daylights out of certain key stones in the towerís foundation. "Itís-a gonna point to Hell, where the old bastard should-a burn his big-a-mouth ass off!" She kicked and she kicked and she kicked all night, and when she was sure that certain key stones were sufficiently weakened to tumble the tower by the time it got to the third stone from the left into the third floor, she went back "up there" and waited smugly for Bernie to hear the news of his tower in a hundred years or so.

But a hundred years later, the tower was still standing - leaning, but standing - and the widow Berta of Bernardo visited the foundation again. And again, she kicked and she kicked and she kicked all night, and when she was sure that certain key stones were sufficiently weakened to tumble the tower, she went back "up there" and waited again for the news.

But for all the wrathful widowís heroic kicking effort, the tower instead of tumbling did an about face and started leaning to the south. Now the widow Berta of Bernardo was pissed enough to fry eggs on her forehead, so pissed, in fact, that it wasn?t until 1934, nearly eight hundred years after the first stone was laid that Berta cooled down enough that she could float down from "up there" and have at the tower one more time.

Unfortunately, for the widow Berta of Bernardo, a group of Save The Tower fanatics picked this particular year to shore up the towerís sagging foundation with concrete. The concrete was actually drying as the widow kicked and kicked and kicked, and though she managed to increase the lean, by the time she ran out of kick, the concrete dried and solidified and the tower just hung there, a little more to the south. Nobody, of course, was aware of the widow Berta of Bernardoís kicking rampage, so the Save The Tower fanatics, instead of being up to their ears in kudos for saving the tower, were actually blamed for making it lean even more.

The tower still stands today. It still leans. And all the elaborate plans devised by all the elaborate minds to stop the lean from eventually reaching the ninety degree level in a pile of rubble have proved about as practical as tilting the entire city to straighten the tower (which, of course, would create a new puzzle for elaborate minds ? how to straighten the Leaning Town of Pisa while keeping the tower straight).

On the other hand, if the tower had been built straight in the first place, the universe would have ended eight hundred years ago.