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Q: Unique Company Once Profiled in WSJ ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Unique Company Once Profiled in WSJ
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: jul_thumbscrew-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Nov 2006 11:44 PST
Expires: 15 Dec 2006 11:44 PST
Question ID: 783020
The Wall Street Journal ran a "news of the odd" style profile of a
rather unique small company a few years ago (no more than seven).  The
company's founder was somewhat control-freaky, a veritable
"professional eccentric", and incorporated these tics into the
day-to-day operation of the business.  The one point I remember is
that all workers were required to hand-transcribe the employee manual
several times as a condition of employment.  Any idea on which company
this could be, and who the founder/CEO is?

Request for Question Clarification by rainbow-ga on 15 Nov 2006 13:18 PST
Does this sound like the company?

Outside the Box: Innovative thinking helps an owner build on his
franchise foundation
By Michael Selz, The Wall Street Journal Apr 17, 2000  
"It is mainly the ideas of Mr. [Greg Hund], not those of the
franchiser, that account for his success. While Mail Boxes provided
crucial support early on, much of the way that Mr. Hund organizes and
promotes his store, many of the services he offers, and how he trains
and rewards employees result from his innovation rather than that of
the chain, Mail Boxes Etc. USA Inc., a San Diego unit of U.S. Office
Products Co..."

Source: The Wall Street Journal 

"Greg Hund, owner of a Mail Boxes Etc. franchise located on
Manhattan's Upper West Side, works with employees individually, and
frequently, on everything from voice quality to body posture. Hund's
employees must greet customers with "Good morning," "Good afternoon"
or "Good evening," instead of, "Who's next?"

If this is not the company you are thinking of, could you provide any
additional information to help in this search. Thanks.

Looking forward to hearing your views.

Best regards,

Clarification of Question by jul_thumbscrew-ga on 16 Nov 2006 06:00 PST
Nope... not it, sorry.  Here's everything I can think of which might clarify:

1.  This was a small company run by its founder, not a part of a chain.
2.  The founder definitely appeared in the WSJ within the past seven
years; I distinctly remember the dot-art image of the guy's face.
3.  Founder is fairly nondescript, middle-aged Caucasian male.
4.  The WSJ article focused pretty heavily on the requirement that all
employees hand-copy the employee manual (or other important work of
corporate literature) at least several times in order to more fully
absorb it.
5.  The company was fairly well-regarded in its field and the
employees seemed quite devoted and happy, despite Fearless Leader's
Subject: Re: Unique Company Once Profiled in WSJ
Answered By: rainbow-ga on 16 Nov 2006 11:40 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi jul_thumbscrew,

I believe the company you are thinking of is Stephen Reuning's 'Diedre Moire".

Minutiae Man: You Think You Have An Obsessive Boss? Meet Mr. Reuning
--- Line Up Your Pencils, Please, Then Recite Rule No. 21
A Comforting Efficiency --- `Protein That Doesn't Belong'
By Dan Morse, The Wall Street Journal, 2116 words 
Oct 4, 2000  
"Not at Steve Reuning's New Jersey offices. New employees at Diedre
Moire must copy Mr. Reuning's 244-page Standard Operating Protocol --
using longhand script, three times over. It can often take 100 hours.
They must pass 12 oral exams, covering everything from motivational
psychology to desk decor to how to shake a client's hand. "Never use
two hands on first contact," staffers learn. The second hand comes
later, "as intimacy grows.""

Source: The Wall Street Journal

You can read the entire article titled:
Employees Feel Comforting Efficiency In Stephen Reuning's World of Order
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL  October 4, 2000

on Stephen Reuning's website:

Search startegy:
I searched the WSJ archives with the following words:
business AND employees AND hand AND copy

Then using Google, I searched: "Steve Reuning" "New Jersey".

I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions regarding my answer,
or believe this is not the company you are thinking of, please don?t
hesitate to ask for further assistance before rating.

Best regards,
jul_thumbscrew-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.50
PERFECT!  This was driving me crazy; now I can stop obsessively
Googling it... thanks so much.

Subject: Re: Unique Company Once Profiled in WSJ
From: rainbow-ga on 16 Nov 2006 17:07 PST
Thank you for the rating and tip.
Best regards,

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