Thursday, March 5, 2015

Book Review: "The Job Pirate: An Entertaining Tale of My Job-hopping Journey in America" by Brandon Christopher

"To see me in your office is surely cause for speculation. I look like you, I work like you, but I am not like you, and some part of you knows this. Some elemental part of you, deep down inside, knows that I am an imposter in your workplace. But your—actually, our—employer doesn't know this yet—he doesn't realize the person he just gave a unique login and password to is a professional at what he does for a living. But this particular profession isn't what he does for a living—at least it wasn't three days before the interview."

So begins Brandon Christopher's chronicle of the 81(!) jobs he held since graduating from high school—some lasted a few minutes, some a few hours, some a few days, some even a few months. While some of the jobs he had were exciting in their own right, some strictly called for menial labor, some required dealing with customers and even cash registers, and some were just downright gross.

Many of us have started jobs only to realize they're utterly and completely wrong for us, or the boss is a total douchebag, or what is required is far more taxing (physically or emotionally) than we imagined, and we've dreamed of just walking off the job in a blaze of glory, telling the boss what they can do with the job, or even, in the most passive-aggressive fashion ever, simply not returning the next day or after a lunch break. But many of us don't do that. However, Brandon Christopher did—more than once, sometimes in spectacular fashion.

From his experience as a not-entirely-skilled limousine driver hired to drive Wu-Tang Clan, to finding himself in the middle of a tug-of-war between coworkers (and a little sexual harassment) while working as a proofreader and writer for a series of gay porn magazines, from the physically and emotionally harrowing experiences as a mortuary driver and a member of a moving crew, to the disgusting (not to mention ethically challenging) work as a plumber's assistant, The Job Pirate is at times hysterically funny, and at times moving, as Christopher struggles with whether this path he has found himself on is the right one for his future.

I enjoyed this book and at times, certainly found myself nodding along with some of his observations (not to mention muffling my laughter so I didn't laugh out loud on the train). It is a little scattered, in that he jumps through different periods of time, so I found myself needing to re-acclimate myself occasionally to which jobs he had before the one he was discussing. And at times, he shifts away from his job anecdotes to share other reflections and incidents (including a BB gun battle he had with a friend, or an attempt to find a willing participant for a threesome with him and his coworker), and those aren't as interesting as his experiences working.

The Job Pirate is at times a cautionary tale not to do the things Christopher has done, but it's fun to read about someone doing some of the things at jobs you might have thought of once or twice (or maybe more). Lots of fun.

No comments:

Post a Comment