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I have a few minutes before work, so I wanted to post this quick.  I have been trying to post this to Amazon all weekend.  I read the book “Bait and Switch” by Barbara Ehrenreich, and below is my review.

After reading and reviewing the train wreck that was “Nickel and Dimed,” where the author, Barbara Ehrenreich decides to find out if she can survive on minimum wage jobs (And fails miserably), I decided to check out this book as well.  This book is the opposite end of the spectrum, she tries to get a job in corporate America, and again fails miserably.  The job she wants is a PR (Public Relations) person.  As you read this book, it becomes immediately apparent that Ehrenreich has no idea how to look for a job.  Just a few pages in and you can figure that out for yourself if you have ever been on a job search since the year 2000.


So much like her last book, she begins this one by stroking her own ego and saying how this is going to be easy for someone with her skills.  She goes on to say how her different personality traits will help her in her quest to become a P.R. person for some major corporation.  In fact one of my favorite parts of her ego stroking was on page 12 when she said, “I have stamina and resolve.”  Are you kidding me Barb?  You whined and complained in your last book about how you couldn’t stand up and work for 2 hours while you were putting away clothes at Wal-Mart!  How exactly do you think you have stamina?

One of the first things she does is she gets a job coach named Morton and he recommends she take a $60 personality test on the internet to see where she lands on this scale and find out what kind of person she is.  One of the questions on the test is “Do you avoid conflict.”  She states that there “are times when I seek it out.”  That’s like saying the Atlantic Ocean is moist, i.e. it’s a total understatement.  This woman FEEDS on conflict and drama.  In her last book she constantly was making up drama that wasn’t there in order to make herself look like a martyr and that she had the weight of the world on her shoulders while she waited tables and ran a vacuum cleaner.

Oh and let’s not overlook when later in this personality test that she chooses, “Almost always,” for disciplined.  Going back to her earlier book yet again, this is the same woman who threw temper tantrums at minimum wage jobs when she couldn’t get her way, couldn’t stick to a budget to save her life, and wished death upon a child that slightly annoyed her while she was working at Wal-Mart.

And when she is finally done with this personality test and meets back up with Morton what does she do?  Why she complains about and criticizes the test of course.  Morton doesn’t last long and she ends up getting another job coach Kimberly who Barbara complains is overly positive and too bubbly, yet for some reason Barb keeps giving her money for a while when she clearly doesn’t like this woman.

Later she goes to these job coaching seminars run by this guy named Patrick and throws away more of her money.  Now right away you know that this isn’t going to get her a job.  These seminars are always just some guy in a stuffy room reading buzzwords off a PowerPoint presentation, trying to sell his book or “program” to job seekers and ultimately just taking people’s money.

But he does have a few good points when he is one on one with Barb when she tries to pitch herself to him.  She IS too gruff with people.  I can tell that just by reading 2 of her books.  You can’t bully your way into a job.  And no one wants to hire a PR person who always seems angry and constantly has a chip on her shoulder because she thinks she is so much better than everybody else.  She really does need to take his advice and change her personality if she wants to get a job in a white collar position.

So later she goes to this other guy named Prescott who gives her a makeover to make her look more pleasant to employers.  Right away, another complete waste of money.  I’ve never heard any of my female friends or co-workers tell me they didn’t get a job or promotion that they wanted because they had the wrong color lip gloss on, or the wrong shade of blush or had on a necklace on that the employer didn’t like.

And along these same lines she needs to stop throwing money away on these pointless expenditures.  She gave herself a budget of five grand to do this “experiment.”  She’s constantly eating out, going to pointless job coachings and seminars, buying new jewelry and clothes for interviews, etc.  Half of these seminars and coachings she is going to are pointless, they don’t give her any profound insight into finding a job.  You can find all the info she got there with a five minute Google search, or in a fifteen dollar self-help book.  Or even better, get that same book for free at the public library.  See how that works Barb?  You look for ways to get things you need, for free or cheap instead of paying someone to do the work for you.

Oh and a quick side note, if you are offended by people who constantly bash organized religion, you may want to skip chapter five of this book.  She can’t stop insulting religious people and frankly it got me so aggravated that I had to skip half that chapter.

Another thing you will notice as you read this is that Barb can’t really seem to commit to this “experiment” of hers.  Heck she even admits that in the month of July while she was doing this “experiment” that she didn’t do anything to look for a job because she was busy with “Ehrenreich business.”

And speaking of “Ehrenreich business,” why didn’t she just use her real name while looking for a job?  Barb is actually an intelligent person and she does have actual accomplishments in her life that she could use to put on a resume, (Instead of filling it full of lies), and help her get a job in a company doing PR work like she wants to.

She does go to one job fair when she opens up her search from P.R. person, to anything she can get.  While she is there she meets a guy named Mark, who says everything at this job fair is sales, “and I hate sales.”  Join the club buddy.  NO ONE like sales.  But it’s an entry level position and it has high turnover rates so that’s where the openings are and they need warm bodies to fill those jobs.  A company isn’t going to have a high ranking job opening with their company at one of those job fairs.  The higher level jobs will be posted on their website.  Plus the guy manning the booth, (They are usually like assistant managers or something along those lines), what is her or she going to know about PR openings?

Moving onto page 202 of this book she is baffled why she can’t get a job in P.R. and asks the reader, “Am I not plucky, resourceful, even a wee bit charismatic?”  NO!!!  You’re a gruff, rude, judgmental, elitist, delusional, self-righteous witch!  Who wants to hire someone like that to be their PR person!?!  When you go for a job interview you have to behave and keep yourself under control!  She can’t even do that when people are trying to help her!  When Patrick and Kimberly were trying to give her advice about job seeking, she was constantly insulting them in her mind and telling herself how superior she was to them and everybody else!  And when you think like that, it affects your body language.  And people, especially professional HR and recruiters can pick up on that easily.  During a job interview you have to smile, uncross your arms, be likeable, take lots of notes when people are taking to you about the position, politely ask intelligent questions about the position.  If people don’t like you or can tell you aren’t paying attention, they aren’t going to hire you!  And because of that your job hunt will be a failure!

So during the 24 page conclusion of her book she blames her failed job search on everything but herself.  She blames ageism, sexism, employers, capitalism, the failing economy, etc.  EVERYTHING but the real problems.  Which are her horrible personality and her completely fake resume full of lies.  These days a quick internet search or a call to a company’s HR department can quickly confirm former employment or expose someone as a liar.  And asking your friends who work in other companies or colleges to life for you is sleazy and it’s risking their jobs.  But why should Barb care about that?  She’s got a book to write!

Even if her fake resume fooled an employer into giving her an interview, her horrible personality would quickly drive them away.  The reasons she got her job offers with Aflac and Mary Kay is because they are pyramid schemes, it’s all about numbers with them and they’ll take anyone they can get.  I do give Barb credit for not falling for them.

But to be fair, she also does have two good points in this conclusion.  First that we do need some kind of welfare reform in this country, (NOT what she is suggesting, which is extending it for years, but some sort of change is needed).  And second, companies need to start caring more about their employees and less on their bottom line.  When you are good to your employees, they will be good to you and will be better workers.


All in all, this book and Barb’s experiment were doomed to fail from the beginning.  (Much like the experiment in her first book was).  She’s a bossy, arrogant, annoying, know-it-all and no one in their right minds would want her doing PR for their company.

If you want help looking for a job in modern day corporate America, do NOT read this book.  Actually let me rephrase that, read this book and then do the exact opposite of everything she does.

This book was a complete waste of time, don’t bother reading it.

0 Stars F-

So since I can’t post this to Amazon I figured I should post it here.