Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Bait and Switch

The girls met last night to discuss Barbara Ehrenreich's Bait and Switch: The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream.

I'm not sure what I was excpecting, but it wasn't what was in that book! She wrote solely about her job search as an average unemployed professional middle class worker trying to find a job and getting taken advantage of by every scheister on the east coast.

Well, first of all, when your average white-collar worker loses his or her job, he doesn't have thousands of dollars to throw down on plane tickets to go not to job interviews, but to networking events and image consultations in far off cities. Now, I understand why she did it, to prove there are a bunch of people out there who will take your money and you will have nothing to show for it.

HOWEVER! What might have been more realistic would have been if she would have sat around in her house, day in and day out, combing job sites, making phone calls, mailing resumes, and eating. Perhaps occasionally, she could have gone out in her own home city and the neighboring areas, rather than jetting off to Atlanta and Boston.

Ultimately, the end result was that she did not find a decent job in nearly a year of searching. (She was offered a couple of direct sales jobs--think Mary Kay.)

What she never quite managed to dig into was the loss of benefits, the elimination of pensions, the extension of the workday and work week, quality of life losses, loss of family, and the poor corporate culture that is created by huge corporations who could honestly care less about you and just work you until you're no good to them any more.

Frankly, this was the book I was hoping to read. It was truly a shame that she never quite got that far.

0 pearl(s) of wisdom: