Thursday, June 21, 2007

i never have quite figured these books out...

From the self-same people (Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht) who brought you The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook and all of the many speciality themed "WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbooks" to follow comes The WORST-CASE SCENARIO Survival Handbook: WORK Now i remember seeing this WORST-CASE SCENARIO thingy in the bookstore where i worked when it first came out, and at that time it was shelved in humour, then at some point it was switched to where-ever we shelved the survival books (camping/hunting or some such); and the books that followed were shelved in college life, dating/sex, golf, holidays, travel, wedding guides, or whatever. Now, while i suppose they do offer some valuable information, i'm not sure how much of it one might retain in a truly emergency/crisis situation; and most of them remain mostly humourous/entertaining reads to me (for instance: how many of us will really find ourselves trapped in a lion cage in our daily workaday lives~unless we perhaps worked with lions in our daily workaday lives in which case i think one might already have procedures in place for such scenarios~i don't know; nor do i really forsee many scenarios where one might be interviewing for a job as a neurosurgeon when one lacks all qualifications for such a position and needs to fake one's way through the interview~again i COULD be wrong~and in this case i really hope i'm not~at least i hope those hospital boards check their references on this one!)
In addition to offering advice on how to get (or at least interview for) a job you are not qualified for; tips are also offered for identifying a nightmare workplace (before you start working there); how to disguise a tattoo or piercing (as well as how to fake it for those ultra-trendy jobs); how to deal with nightmare-bosses, co-workers, and customers (i think perhaps more room could be devoted to this section if this were, in fact, a serious work); how to survive the office picnic (and what to do if you become intoxicated); make an impromptu toast; how to survive an office romance; how to make it in tiny spaces (cubies, truck cabs, and tollbooths); how to sneak out of a meeting (the part about crawling under the table is truly inspired...); how to cover your mistakes; what to do when you're caught slacking; how to pretend you are better than you are, and how to avoid downsizing. Then there are the "emergencies" the aforementioned trapped in a lioncage (as well as the bathroom, supply closet, and walk-in freezer); workplace injuries covered are a stapled finger (first remove the staple...), deep-fryer burn (first remove your hand...Really...), and finger cut on Deli slicer; how to retrieve a candy bar stuck in a machine; how to thwart a lunch thief, how to spot a shoplifter (pretty basic if you've ever worked retail); how to remove a tie trapped in the document feeder; how to fix a dented company vehicle; how to restore a shredded document, how to unclog the office toilet without a plunger; how to escape a stockroom avalanche; and how to clean up an aisle spill. Finally they include jargon and the "I Quit" letter. Somewhat entertaining but that's about it.

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