Thursday, October 27, 2005

Book Reviews #2 - Toby Burton

Tiny Offices: Releasing Sexual Tension, Maximising Profits is a best-selling book by Toby Burton, a young man from England. His basic theory is that the best way to resolve workplace sexual tension is to incorporate sex directly into the working day. A business operated according to his theories will feature very narrow corridors and tiny offices and a muted lighting scheme. Workers will be scantily clad and pornography will be freely circulated. The use of sex toys will be mandatory, the size and shape of these sex toys reflecting employee status. According to Burton, such an arrangement will reduce workplace sexual tension by between 50 and 100%, with corresponding productivity gains.

A dry cleaning business in Dorset that acted as a case study for Burton showed massive increases in productivity and profit over a 6 month period. As Yarburton noted, "Many people were coming to have their clothes laundered from as far away as 75 miles. Some customers did not even have clothes to be cleaned, and were happy to pay a 'visitor's levy' to be allowed to peep into the back office." As Burton concluded, "The dry cleaners in question followed my advice and installed a stage, a pole, subdued lighting, soft music, and a licensed bar. They also hired a number of male and female dancers, who performed suggestive scenes on stage, interpreting the music as they felt appropriate, making use of the pole during periods of intense inspiration and removing their clothes when they felt them too restrictive. Another revenue stream was to allow the dancers to perform sexual favours for money, with a number of rooms in the rear of the dry cleaning business being converted for this purpose."

In May 2003, the experiment was brought to a crashing halt when the dry cleaners was raided by Dorset police, on suspicion of being a brothel. Burton represented himself in the ensuing criminal trial, and at one point, in a state of obvious exasperation, reprimanded the perturbed and downcast jury members for "failing to see the big picture here. This was not a brothel, it was a scientific study of how workplace tension can be dispelled through constant sexual stimulation and sexual intercourse, be it solo, homo, hetero, or a full-scale orgy. All I am guilty of is turning a failing business into a major success. If that's a crime, jail me."

The jury took Burton at his word, he was jailed for four years.

** END **

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