I was a big fan of "Nickel and Dimed", so I was looking forward to reading this book as well. I love Ehrenreich's writing style and found the story fascinating. However, I felt unfulfilled by the conclusion. I felt that she did not budget a reasonable amount of time for the project, and, thus, gave up too quickly. I was hoping that she would either find a job in the end, or, alternatively, take the "job" she was offered and continue her search to give a more typical account of a job search. The book wasn't bad by any means, but I don't have a desire to read it again, as I did for "Nickel and Dimed."
I thought this was exceptionally well written and a good approach at what exists in the job market today. Yes, there were issues with the experiment regarding the level of background the author could reveal but this was covered in the beginning and a plausible background was created given her talents with references (the few people in on her undercover work). As a person who worked in the Human Resources field, who also had a work gap which had to be explained. I felt her experiences were accurate.
I love Barbara Ehrenreich. This time she gets to the bottom of how the middle-class and "jobs for life" are a thing of the past. And, if you do have a job, it doesn't matter. Age discrimination firing can get you! And unions? They're not much help either. They take your money but they're not much support except to suggest you proceed with a lawsuit! It's scary out here in the world!
Ehrenreich explores the trials, tribulations, and lack of success of a middle class white collar woman during a search for a job. To write this book, Ehrenreich went "undercover" as a middle-aged woman returning to the full-time workforce, in an attempt to experience some of the elements that face down-sized or underemployed workers today. Though this book was written in 2005/06 it still seems relevant to today's economy and workforce. If that's true, then this book paints a bleak picture of the trials and outcomes facing today's educated job-seeker. I'm not sure how universal Ehrenreich's experience is, but the book is damned depressing. Ultimately though, as reading matter, its not as engaging as "Nickeled and Dimed", Ehrenreich's exploration of woman's entry level blue collar work. I guess its hard to make time spent at a computer and in various networking and support group meetings as interesting as being abused by one's boss at Walmart. Still, the picture it paints of America's corporate job market is scary.
Excellent and tragic at the same time. Good insight and info on traps that the unemployed can fall into in the hopes of getting that white collar job.