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Job Hopper: The Checkered Career of a Down-Market Dilettante Paperback – February 15, 2005
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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"Ayun Halliday sets us giggling with her misadventures." -- SF Weekly
"Hallidays experiences read like travel memoirs from a particularly amusing land she portrays incompetence and indifference with a clinically sharp eye." -- The Onion
"Her humor, intelligence, and even tenderness turn each dismal professional stop into a laugh-out-loud vignette." -- Seattle Weekly
"Job Hopper is great fun to read...we feel her pain, despair and occasional jubilation." -- The Chicago Sun-Times
"Like a black humor version of Nickel and Dimed, Halliday makes merciless observations on her bosses and herself" -- The Newark Star-Ledger
A truly hilarious lesson in gratitude. -- Ana Gasteyer, Actress
Ayun Halliday is the consummate dilettante, dissecting her checkered career with razor wit and a discerning eye. -- Mike Daisey, author of 21 Dog Years: A Cube Dweller's Tale
Hilarious and painful... reminiscent of my days working a series of flunky jobs, before settling on one for 35 years. -- Harvey Pekar, author of American Splendor
Un(der)paid artiste keeps body and soul together without selling either. Yes, I too scrubbed pit stains out of bunny costumes. -- Joyce Brabner, co-author of Our Cancer Year
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Her fond memories are of the camaraderie with her fellow, often unappreciated workers. Whether someone is a rebel and not career-minded, or an artist, unable to make ends meet with the income they make in their own field -- those who resist "career-like" jobs often do so because they cannot relate to the office atmosphere, and the "costume" required to fit in.
Ms. Halliday's telling of her various "day jobs" is terrifically funny and often, cringe worthy. So why would she miss that stage of her life? Because there's something to be said for variety and being "the help" (for lack of a better term.) It symbolizes youth, a rejection of the mainstream, and allows her to bond with the other shleps. Together, they look down on those who look down on them -- generally those who are mean or impossible to please, and think their positions in life automatically make them better than those who choose a different path.
If you've ever had a job that was ridiculously bizarre or infinitely frustrating, you will love this book!
I too was a theatre nerd (but, you know, the cool kind) and spent a short period after college exploring the same path as Ayun: half-heartedly working crap jobs by day, and doing experimental theatre [......] Fortunately, my low tolerance for audition rejections and the sickening appeal of paid vacations, forced me to bail on "the life" a mere 18 months later and I became a willing tool of the Man for nine surprisingly swift years (now I'm a used car salesman in Little Rock, jealous?).
Seriously, I loved (and deeply commiserated with) this book. You just can't make this stuff up. Believe me, I tried. Even if you didn't come a whisker away from this lifestyle like I did, the stories will draw you in, make you shake your head and wonder how some people get through the day without being arrested or accidentally killing themselves. These are sociological findings that college professors pay good money for, not to mention being hilarious. Ayun is a wizard at taking all forms of misery, and the jackholes that play supporting roles, and making it funny. This is something I'm put in the position of doing all too often, so I know it ain't easy.
Good one Ayun.