I read this doozy over a year ago but I still remember enjoying it immensely. Levison does a good job laying out how a college graduate can end up in this cycle, he doesn't do such a hot job of seeing the opportunities to break out of it. Throughout this endless journey one that hits very close to home for many he works as a cook, a fish cutter, a crab fisherman, and a truck driver, to name just a few. At first I was kind of disgusted, he whines that he just can't get anywhere, and that people who have good, high-paying jobs are lucky and nothing else. Laid off, Jake took a job as a convenience-store clerk that barely paid enough to keep him alive.
The fact that he's a college educated English major is supposed to be funny because most of his jobs involve heavy manual labor and his education is not at all useful. Levison a Scot living in America does what he can to stay afloat and find something fulfilling and pays well. I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. That said, ''A Working Stiff's Manifesto'' is at times lopsided, knee-jerk and braying; but it is also bracing, hilarious and dead on. What is the common denominator here? He likes living his laid-back, single lifestyle and doesn't want to be told what to do by anyone. Iain Levinson tells a series of mildly disconnected stories about a sequence of dead-end jobs he held somewhere during the late 90's or early 00's. While Levison does, for the most part, portray himself as a guy with poor decision making skills but a hard worked who just can't seem to get a break, I do have the sneaking suspicion that some of his misery is brought on himself.
I will admit that Levison comes across pretty bitter sometimes. I stumbled across this book because my girlfriend works with the author's sister. From the North Carolina piedmont to the Alaskan waters, Levison's odyssey takes him on a cross-country tour of wage labor: gofer, oil deliveryman, mover, fish cutter, restaurant manager, cable thief, each job more mind-numbing than the last. However, his Alaskan misadventures and one-time trucker exploits keep the story fresh, upbeat and show just how far an English B. Levison first joined the military to get training in electrical engineering. I I will admit that Levison comes across pretty bitter sometimes. This was a light read about a dude sort of in my situation.
Whatever could go wrong often did, hilariously. I lived not very far from Villanova for a number of years, and it's always nice to read stories that take place in Pennsylvania. Once again, he felt that he was lied and cheated to about the usefulness of the degr While there are definitely some priceless moments the ceramic donkey , I was more than a bit disturbed by this book. Having read Levison's I can say his experiences are far more entertaining and funny. He takes jobs working in restaurants, delivering heating oil, as a gofer on a movie set, as a long-distance trucker's assistant, and finally, for an extended portion of the book, on a couple of fishing and crabbing boats in Alaska. Besides this moment, the entire book short at about 200 pages is about genuinely funny moments in his everyman career.
Those days are long gone, but I didn't know that until it was too late. This book is a must-read and nothing Way before the last crisis, this marvel of a book which somewhat reminds me of , managed to show in an extremely vivid and unputdownable way the true face of America, the true face of capitalism, the true face of the contemporary precariousness and hypocrisy. It's funny that I would tell myself these things. What better cover can a hit man have than a cop for a girlfriend? His goal is to have a job that simply pays the bills and allows him some spare time to drink, date and work on the Great American Novel. This book is like Office Space for lower middle class America.
There is no space for one more English major in this crummy economy. So he embarks on a time-honored American tradition: scoring a few dead-end jobs until something All Iain Levison really wants is a steady paycheck, cable television, and the possibility of a date on Saturday night. I am now more than ever grateful for my lovely library job. Levison's writing is known for crisp sentences and at times acerbic wit. Hilarious when he blows up the head of the rich people's elephant figurine while trying to pump oil. Oddly, Levinson rarely looks for work in corporate America, which I find peculiar. But this last tack, like many of his others, is reactive rather than proactive, to crib from the current corporate parlance.
The work sounded like living hell, and I don't think Levison could find the humor in it. Like David Sedaris in Naked, Levison is able to show each job as both funny and pathetic. Even with the end being a downer, I'm glad I read this book and I would recommend it to anyone who has had similar life experiences. He worked his way through college to get an English degree and a load of debt and when he was done he had trouble finding a job that utilized his skills. The premise seemed right up my alley. Since the Layoffs was published by Soho Press in July 2003, followed by Dog Eats Dog, from Bitter Lemon Press in October 2008 and How To Rob An Armored Car, published by Soho Press a year later in October 2009. Meanwhile, he tells tales on his roommate, who aims to break into film-making.
Rather than merely lamenting his fate, he keeps trying to make things w I really enjoyed this book. He opts instead for manual labor and customer service jobs time and time again. As I was reading it, I highlighted a number of phrases in the ePub and I wanted to review them before rating the book, but I reconsidered: no spoilers. Published in 2002, A Working Stiff's Manifesto describes a period when jobs were plentiful but generally crappy--low wages, no health insurance, benefits that kick in only after the average employee is projected to quit. Many of these episodes are hilarious, but others are just jaw-droppingly scary. A quick read like Nickel and Dimed and worth reading both to make for an interesting discussion. You can tell this was written in 2003, but he still sounds a bit naive for that time.
Soon things begin to get out of hand. Kevin got married and had a kid too soon and is now on parole after serving jail time for growing marijuana. Levinson will refer to how long he's worked at a particular job, but it's difficult to keep track of how many months and years these sundry jobs represent in total. It's not high literature but it's a quick well-written honest read. For a book written in 2002, it definitely still has a lot of relevance 10 years later, except for his analysis of the internet.