The Book That (Almost) Got Me Fired: How I (Barely) Survived a Year in Corporate America

MSI Pr. Jun. 2024. 230p. ISBN 9781957354361. pap. $16.55. MEMOIR
This memoir follows a 52-year-old divorced mother who leaves a lucrative freelancing career to return to corporate America for stability and health coverage. Outlining and writing web copy at the company is quite similar to the work James, a former attorney/former certified personal trainer, had been doing for 20 years as a freelance writer. What’s different is the corporate culture, with its open office plan and decades-younger employees who wear headphones all day long. There’s also the often-tiny salary that comes with content work. With a mix of openness and humor, James captures what it means to work in content farms that help small businesses with their online presence. The book includes business tips at the ends of chapters, but a good portion of the book is confessional about dating and sex as a middle-aged woman. The combination of memoir with business advice in these instances might feel incongruous to readers, and some of tips at the end of chapters are discordant with the rest of the content in those sections.
VERDICT James’s reflection on returning to the office in her fifties captures the dysfunction of the pre-pandemic corporate world.
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