"What if business school reflected reality?" That was the question in an e-mail from Dee Power and Brian Hill, authors of business books and a pair of writers with an amusing amount of time on their hands. At least they had time to come up with "courses that should be considered mandatory."

"What if business school reflected reality?"

That was the question in an e-mail from Dee Power and Brian Hill, authors of business books and a pair of writers with an amusing amount of time on their hands.

At least they had time to come up with "courses that should be considered mandatory."

Negative outlook?

Management 501 — Theory and Practice of Working with Obnoxious People.

''Learn the personality types to watch out for when you take a new job — the Blowhard, the Backstabber, the Letch and the Liar."

OK, that's enough to make most applicants run away from the job interview. But, take away the cynicism and the sarcasm, and, unfortunately, there might be enough truth in the satire to require using the course's "coping strategies that, for the most part, do not involve bloodshed."

Course two gets into the politics of the workplace.

Macroeconomics 2008 — Taking Credit for An Improving Economy.

''Analyze the advanced techniques by incumbents to make certain the national economy peaks in time for the November elections. How fiscal and monetary policy are used to moderate the business cycle. And learn how pigs fly."

So, now we won't want to go near the voting polls, either.

There does seem to be negativity kind of oozing from Power's and Hill's words.

Management 123 — Coping with the Clueless.

''Learn to work cooperatively with mentally challenged colleagues. How to conduct an entire conversation with one syllable words."

Marketing Lab 101 — Theory and Practice of Being Rejected in Sales.

''Eager young stockbroker trainees are plunged into the world of cold calling. The lab meets from 2 to 4 each Thursday, or until half the class is in tears."

Management 8:45 — Fundamentals of Overtime. Dr. S. Legree.

''Students learn how to apologize to their spouse for missing dinner four nights in a row."

Feeling glum

Is this the way business is these days? Is there really a need for the class Real Estate 501 — Obtaining A Bank Loan to Start Your Business?

"This is taught by the real estate department because if you don't put up your house as collateral, you ain't getting no loan, bud."

Powers, Hill and I say that with all due apologies to the English Department.

Which brings us to Finance 666 — How to be a Venture Capitalist.

"Young financiers learn the art of printing out large numbers of form letter rejections from their laptops while they are at a two-hour lunch."

Advanced courses paint an even gloomier picture, although they likely would teach students enrolled in them certain carpentry skills — how to hit a nail on its head.

Finance 50210 — The Art of Appearing Rich on a Limited Budget.

''How to lease a Lexus one evening at a time."

Finally comes Finance 459 — Fantasy Financial Forecasting.

"Baby budgeters learn the similarities between a planning session and a Mad Hatter's Tea Party," writes Power and Hill. "And, last but not least, why investors consider business plans works of fiction."

If this is the way the business world is these days, it kind of makes your typical business major want to retire before, well, getting the first job.

Reach Repository Living Section Editor Gary Brown at (330) 580-8303 or e-mail gary.brown@cantonrep.com