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Having journeyed through Tricia’s other books, this reader wrote ‘Tricia Stewart Shiu has stepped into territory that few contemporary writers of novels have journeyed – concepts of many permutations of the spirit world as experienced and acted out by contemporary characters.’ Having been deeply impressed with her earlier books makes the joy of reading PLEASE HOLD even more rewarding. The everyday life of a working person may not seem to many to hold significant values other than entertainment, but just read PLEASE HOLD and discover how a truly sensitive being makes sense of it all.
Tricia turns on the switch in her life as a top level executive assistant and the results are not only at times hilarious (in the manner in which she so adeptly writes), but there are lessons of interpersonal communication in the field of corporate business that border on a session with a psychotherapist. And it is this mixture of hearing coffee break gossip and how half-truths can influence relationships within the business world as well as determine personal growth and the struggle to maintain identity in that snarly arena. Or as Tricia state in her synopsis, ‘Everyone’s journey to her own truth is layered and we all choose our path based on the highest form of guidance available. As we grow, so does our guidance.
An excerpt explains Tricia’s style better: ‘Here is the truth about being an executive assistant at a studio. 1) The Entertainment Business is a small world: People move from studio to studio and rank and reputation mean everything. 2) Be nice to everyone: The assistant you snub today could be the executive that fires you tomorrow. 3) There are three types of assisting jobs: First Class, Business Class and Stowaway. First Class is cushy and includes perks (your own office, kitchen and bathroom, free DVD’s and movie premiere passes), one boss (you’d think that would be a given), a parking spot close to the building and— this is key— your own mobile phone. The phone allows a certain amount of, well, mobility. The Stow Away is a tortuous job which includes no perks, shared offices, community kitchens, community printers, three or more bosses, and worst of all parking in the Green lot. I’m Business Class. This position is sandwiched between Stowaway and First Class, top tier assistants with VPs, Senior VPs (SVP) and Executive VPs (EVPs) scrambling to get ahead or just digging in to stay where they are in the thickly layered executive totem pole hierarchy.‘
For this reader this is yet another step up the literary ladder for Tricia. She is a delight to read and very quickly becomes addictive. Grady Harp, February 16
The Mary Tyler Moore Show.
The Mary Tyler Moore Show holds a special place in my heart, as it does for the author, Tricia Stewart Shiu. The protagonist of this novel, Sarah, had a special alter for Mary, and she would often ask "What would Mary do?" Mary was smart, ambitious, beautiful, very likable, and everyone seemed to love her. If only the real world was like that, throw your hat in the air, and take what comes.
Sarah works in LA, she is an executive assistant to a high powered studio executive. I have had some difficult jobs, but nothing compared to this dog eat dog world. Stepping on someone else's toes was the way things were done. Being nice was okay for the first day, but then everyone around you trying to work their way up the ladder would just as soon step all over you. Sarah and her boss were relegated/downgraded to Building 99 soon after we meet her. This is the equivalent of being sent to Siberia. Sarah takes it in stride, tries to do her job, is noticed for her efficiency and good things happen. But then the stepping on toes becomes stepping on heads, the competition gets worse. Sarah is at a place in her life where she is trying to discover who she is,where she is, and what she wants. Her romantic life is kaput, until she has a bite in the butt from a dog belonging to a very attractive person. Things are looking up, someone to talk to.
Office gossip, whispers, are part of the day to day existence, someone is nice when they want something. How do you stay sane in an atmosphere such as this? The author shares some of these experiences in her work as a high level executive in a top studio. Sarah Marks came from a very dysfunctional family, and she was on her own at an early age learning how to survive. Mary Tyler Moore became a role model of sorts, , helping via imagery to guide Sarah through her early years. Once Sarah found a little stability she was able to put Mary away, but she was like family. Mary Tyler Moore was the woman many of us wanted to be, and this was right in the heyday of women's lib.
This is a book that caught my eye, and drew me in wondering how an individual could survive in this kind of industry, with such competitive forces. The writing alternates between present day to early days with parents and then to ask Mary, "What would you do?" A nice sequential process that brings us to some understanding.
Note: a complimentary copy of this book was provided to read and review.
Recommended. prisrob 03-26-16
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