Archives for category: Uncategorized

Image result for bait and switch

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.

***SPOILERS***  ***SPOILERS***  ***SPOILERS***

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.

***END SPOILERS***  ***END SPOILERS***  ***END SPOILERS***

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.

 

Advertisements

Well it’s winter time and that means lots of time to binge read all kinds of awesome stuff.  Just have to remember to stay warm and keep power reading as I wait for warmer weather and awesome movie releases that are on the way! 🙂

Where have I been lately?  I’ve been ignoring my duties when it comes to blogging.  I’m gonna try to write some more, but I make no promises.  Life tends to get in the way of a person’s hobbies, but I always want to keep reviewing.  If you really want to see more of my reviews, they are still being posted to Amazon under the username Zombie Phreak.

See y’all around 🙂

Beginning of a Hero

Hey, got some free time now that the holidays are done?  Looking for something to read?  Why not try the Legends of Windemere series?  It’s a great fantasy story with interesting characters and a story that any reader of the fantasy genre will love!

You can find it now on Amazon.com for only 99 cents!  Plus the halfling character is awesome! 😉

Walking Dead Descent

This review marks my 600th review since I started reviewing things on Amazon’s website.  Hope you enjoy 🙂

I love the story of Walking Dead, I really do! I started reading the comics from the beginning, and I have watched every episode of the show and I’ve read all the novels as well. I’ve enjoyed them all and always look forward to a new installment of the show, comic or novels.

The previous novels were all about Lily and the Governor and the town and community of Woodbury as a whole. The characters were interesting and had great motivations and it was very easy to like the characters and the story.

However this novel was just a little lacking.

***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS*** ***SPOILERS***

The novel started out pretty well with Lily and Bob working to help the people of Woodbury and them scavenging for supplies and it even had a funny little part where the scavenging team found a bunch of wild marijuana growing and they enjoyed it. I’ll admit that did make me laugh and put a smile on my face. The story also shows us that Bob discovers some old tunnels in the area that are part of the old Underground Railroad system. Now that was really cool!

Something that made me think these people weren’t thinking clearly was when they decided to set that huge fire to try and detour the super herd of zombies from the town and it didn’t work. In my head I was thinking, “Okay it’s bad enough that you have this big herd of zombies coming toward the town, but why would you set that big fire? That’s just going to make that big herd still be coming toward the town, but they’ll also be on fire!” How is that going to be any better? Why not just get like 4 or 5 guys in cars, and have them crank the radios and whoop and holler and drive in front of the zombies and lead them away from the town and then just double back? That seems like it would work better and cause less collateral damage.

But where the book took a dive and became predictable was when the group ran across a group of holy rollers and they are lead by a slimey preacher who is too eager to help out and is constantly making speeches and is always carrying around these mysterious duffel bags that no one knows what is inside. Already I knew where this was going to lead. I knew that he was going to try and take over and I knew that this was going to cause friction in Woodbury and cause people to fight with one another about this issue.

When it was revealed what the preacher’s plan was, I just rolled my eyes because it was just a rip off of the real life events that happened in Jonestown. Plus the book itself also pointed out some out something that didn’t make sense in it. If you’re planning on killing everyone in town by poison, why would you need to blow up a section of the town wall in order to let the zombies in so they can kill everyone? They’re all going to be dead already. Isn’t that kind of redundant?

Plus, Lily’s boyfriend, Calvin, did things that just didn’t make sense. His wife was only dead for maybe a few days and already he’s hopping into bed with Lily. Sure his wife was nuts but wouldn’t you want to wait a bit? Maybe mourn a little bit? Let the kids get used to mom being dead before you hook up with someone else?

Overall the book was predictable, I saw the Calvin and Lily romance coming a mile away and I knew that the preacher character was nuts and was going to try and pull a Jim Jones as soon as we were introduced to him.

***END SPOILERS*** ***END SPOILERS*** ***END SPOILERS***

I really love this series but this one was just not up to snuff. I’ve come to expect more from the Walking Dead series and some of this one’s characters were just less than spectacular. The characters of Lily and Bob were good as always and some of the side characters from Woodbury were interesting as well and the story overall is worth reading if you’re a fan of the Walking Dead. But there are just better books in this series.

Apocalypse Now

This is a quick ridiculous little zombie story. Even though it’s a zombie story, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I mean think about this logically. If some weird stranger who is dirty and disheveled showed up at your doorstep, would you really open the door to deal with him? Hell no! You’d lock the door and call the cops and let them deal with him!

Plus when they do deal with the zombie, these two characters instantly assume that it’s the end of the world and start calling people to tell them it’s the apocalypse and writing people off as dead just because they aren’t answering their phones. How does that make sense? “Oh, so-and-so, didn’t answer his/her phone, guess they’re dead.” I’m serious, the main character’s boyfriend can’t reach his family and he writes them off as dead and she is so proud that he is so strong because he is dealing with it so well. It’s like the guy doesn’t even give his family a second thought.

Moving on, the main character calls up her comic convention friends to check on them. If I was in the apocalypse, I really wouldn’t care much about people I meet up with once a year to cosplay with, I would care more about my family.

Another thing that bugs me about this is that everything is just way too convenient for these characters. When they flee, they don’t run into any wrecked cars, the roads are all clear, no roaming herds of zombies, no one in their group is injured or bitten, etc. It’s just one convenient thing after another for these characters. And that includes that scene where two of them just happen to have a bazooka with them and use it to take out a group of zombies with no explanation as to where they got that weapon.

The story ends with them meeting up with the main character’s father in an empty hotel. She is worried about some of her friends, but it turns out that they are also at the hotel. Yet another convenient thing for her.

Something that makes stories interesting and makes you want to know what happens next is conflict. This story has none of that! And without conflict, characters don’t grow and don’t change. Who wants to read about characters like that?

Skip this one.

1 Star

Divergent

The other day I finally watched the movie, “Divergent.”  It was better than I thought it would be.  Below is my review of the movie that I posted on Amazon.

So here we have yet another movie that has an evil person or group who is trying to take over the world, or whatever is left of it, and the only one who can stop them is a couple of super attractive teenagers with impeccable hair and make up. And yes if you are thinking that this is basically the plot of the Hunger Games with a few changes made, then you are absolutely right.

It’s also like a lot of other teen movies in the fashion that this incredibly powerful evil person can only be stopped by a couple of teenagers. Also there is their version of the “Reaping,” from the Hunger Games and the “Sorting Hat” ceremony from Harry Potter. Also just like in those other movies, being sorted or reaped doesn’t matter because you can just ask to be put in a faction. Just like Harry asked to be put into Griffindor and Katniss volunteered to be tribute for the games.

And speaking of these 5 factions, what teenager in their right mind would choose any faction other than Dauntless? I mean if any teenager had the choice between the 5 of these groups they would see these guys and think they are the coolest thing ever and instantly want to join. I mean seriously, what teenager in their right mind would want to be a farmer? Or live a life of what is basically suffering to help others? The others are what I can only describe as brainiacs and paper-pushers.

Not to mention that during this ceremony, they are only using one knife to cut the hand of every teenager there. One kid with any kind of disease like Hepatitis, and they are all screwed.

The story itself is kinda interesting and it does keep you watching, but it does have it’s3 flaws. For example, every five minutes someone is talking about, their rankings and how their rankings will effect them or how if they don’t get good rankings, they will be cut out of Dauntless. I will admit that Beatrice is a much more interesting main character than Katniss ever was and she does actually have some good motivations.

If you have time to kill and can find a copy of this, it’s worth watching.

3 Stars