A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember

All Iain Levison really wants is a steady paycheck, cable television, and the possibility of a date on Saturday night But after blowing 40,000 on an English degree, he can t find the first, can t afford the second, and can t even imagine what woman would consent to the third So he embarks on a time honored American tradition scoring a few dead end jobs until somethingAll Iain Levison really wants is a steady paycheck, cable television, and the possibility of a date on Saturday night But after blowing 40,000 on an English degree, he can t find the first, can t afford the second, and can t even imagine what woman would consent to the third So he embarks on a time honored American tradition scoring a few dead end jobs until something better comes along The problem is, it never does A Working Stiff s Manifesto is a laugh out loud memoir of one man s quest to stay afloat From the North Carolina piedmont to the Alaskan waters, Levison s odyssey takes him on a cross country tour of wage labor gofer, oil deliveryman, mover, fish cutter, restaurant manager, cable thief, each job mind numbing than the last A Working Stiff s Manifesto will resonate with anyone who has ever suffered a demeaning job, worn a name badge, or felt the tyranny of the time clock.
A Working Stiff s Manifesto A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit Nine That Fired Me and Three I Can t Remember All Iain Levison really wants is a steady paycheck cable television and the possibility of a date on Saturday night But after blowing on an English degree he can t find the first can t affo

  • Title: A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember
  • Author: Iain Levison
  • ISBN: 9780812967944
  • Page: 424
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “A Working Stiff's Manifesto: A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember”

    1. It's interesting reading this book now, when the job market sucks so hard. Published in 2002, A Working Stiff's Manifesto describes a period when jobs were plentiful but generally crappy--low wages, no health insurance, benefits that kick in only after the average employee is projected to quit. The only, sad difference between now and then is, now you're considered lucky if you have one of those jobs, because if you don't you're probably unemployed.One thing I caught myself doing frequently whil [...]

    2. I laughed until I cried reading this book. It is excellent, excellent, excellent.The author chronicles many of the shit jobs he's had since graduating from college. That's right, he graduated from college, and he's still reduces to working shit jobs. Any of us could find ourselves in his situation.I am now more than ever grateful for my lovely library job.

    3. This is about work and literally nothing else. He mentions friends, he mentions "I took a girl on a date", so you know there's other stuff happening in his life, but it isn't addressed in this book. This is all about the jobs. At first I was kind of disgusted, he whines that he just can't get anywhere, and that people who have good, high-paying jobs are lucky and nothing else. He won't take a better-paying management job because it involves overtime, he steals from the places he works at. Come o [...]

    4. For anyone who's ever had a shitty job. For anyone who's ever had a passion outside of the 9 to 5. For anyone who was ever hassled for the work uniform or called an "associate" as opposed to "employee." And for anybody who's ever been slapped silly for hitting overtime and costing the company 1.5 times your hourly wage. And I quote, "They have some kind of computer system, I am told, where lights and buzzers go off in the payroll office the minute anyone receives overtime, and regional managers [...]

    5. I will admit that Levison comes across pretty bitter sometimes. However, as the holder of a useless Master's degree that can't seem to find a job that pays more than $13 an hour, I kind of get where his bitterness is coming from. Have my own decisions led me to this position in life? Yes. On the other hand, there was a time when just having a Master's degree would have opened a world of possibility for me. Those days are long gone, but I didn't know that until it was too late. It's frustrating.I [...]

    6. For being unemployed, with no apartment, no car, no job, and living with my parents, I found this book to be an excellent comfort. Not everyone out there in the big, wide world of work has it so great. A lot of jobs, in fact, suck. This book served as a nice reminder of that fact.

    7. As someone who just finished doing their taxes--and had to explain to an accountant why they worked 5 taxable jobs in one tax year--I really enjoyed this book. Because of some "self-employment 1099-form" situation, I had to create a business on the spot; then I had to find an appropriate title to encompass someone who both teaches poetry to the elderly and facilitates large corporate-group ticket sales for a local science center. This book is certainly an extreme example of someone who works ext [...]

    8. A co-worker of mine once described a movie he had seen as "alternately hilarious and horrifying." I find that to be an apt description for this book as well.Iain Levinson tells a series of mildly disconnected stories about a sequence of dead-end jobs he held somewhere during the late 90's or early 00's. Levinson had an English degree but found that he could not get a single worthwhile job, despite his liberal arts education, a fact which causes him to subsequently treat his education with a fair [...]

    9. I really enjoyed this book. I can see why it might not appeal to everyone, but how could I resist a saga about a man with a useless English degree trying to find employment/a place in the world?? Technically, though, Levinson is better off than I am, because he never went to grad school! Personal notes aside, I admire Levinson's narrative because it encompasses intense bitterness while perserving a charming dash of openness. Rather than merely lamenting his fate, he keeps trying to make things w [...]

    10. This is the story of how Levison, armed with a nearly-useless degree in English, worked 42 jobs in 10 years, quit 30, was fired by 9, and can’t remember the other 3. Throughout this endless journey (one that hits very close to home for many) he works as a cook, a fish cutter, a crab fisherman, and a truck driver, to name just a few. In every case he finds the absurdity of the job, and in a larger sense, he spots the absurdity of what passes for “work” in this country. He comes to notice th [...]

    11. I stumbled across this book because my girlfriend works with the author's sister. The premise seemed right up my alley a fairly intelligent, educated guy without any particularly marketable skills who wanders from one job to another. His degree is in English and mine is in philosophy, but we both crave variety and enjoy physical work. Clearly we share some common ground.The book can basically be broken down into three sections. The first section details about two dozen of Levison's jobs, and is [...]

    12. I grabbed this book as it was on the same shelf as Nickel and Dimed at the library and I am glad I did as it was/is the author's reality rather than Barbara Ehrenreich's brief experiment. I liked Nickel and Dimed, but A Working Stiff's Manifesto's voice had humor about the paths the author has taken in his life and wasn't created by someone looking down on the working poor and briefly inserting them self into that reality. The obvious demographic differences of the authors means that I understan [...]

    13. I gave this book 4 stars because of how well the author portrayed the average working person's dilemma: finding a fulfilling job that pays a decent wage (especially if your degree is in English!). Some of his stories are hilarious, others horrifying, but they all are cautionary tales about what to expect once you're thrust out into the working world. This was originally published in 2002 and 13 years later it is even more germane. I recommend it to anyone who thinks they have the shittiest job i [...]

    14. Hilarious when he blows up the head of the rich people's elephant figurine while trying to pump oil. The Alaskan fishing experience was crazy; I can't imagine being up to my neck in fish in a dark room. I don't agree with his take on the internet. You can tell this was written in 2003, but he still sounds a bit naive for that time. Overall, this was a great read!

    15. A hilarious and alarming (hilarming?) account of one guy's attempts to navigate the US job market circa 2000.Never have I been so thankful for my European nationality and my cosy bookshop job.

    16. While there are definitely some priceless moments (the ceramic donkey), I was more than a bit disturbed by this book. Levison first joined the military to get training in electrical engineering. While he did receive training it what may be considered a vocation, he soon realized that what he learned was highly specialized and almost useless in the real world. He then attended college, earning an English degree. Once again, he felt that he was lied and cheated to about the usefulness of the degre [...]

    17. Only 1 review! Poor bloke, here's my two cents. I read this doozy over a year ago but I still remember enjoying it immensely. The story: twenty something gets a liberal arts uni degree and struggles to find work though from no lack of effort. Sound familiar? Certainly does to me! Levison (a Scot living in America) does what he can to stay afloat and find something fulfilling and pays well. Like I said, it's been a year but there was one unforgettable sequence where he gets a job aboard a fishing [...]

    18. I gave this book four stars, and not five, because:The book itself is too short. Once the author gets going, his storytelling remains adequate, and the more he goes into the horridness of some of his jobs brings them out in relief for the reader. While his attitude is usually less than enthusiastic at the places he works, the context of working slavishly day-to-day evokes plenty of empathy without becoming self-pitying, overly angry or unreasonable. Secondly, the book is not a "manifesto". While [...]

    19. This was a light read about a dude sort of in my situation. He worked his way through college to get an English degree and a load of debt and when he was done he had trouble finding a job that utilized his skills. So he bounced around America working a variety of strange jobs. The book is kind of like that show "Dirty Jobs" on paper — he ends up doing various crab fishing jobs in Alaska (one of the jobs, sitting in a room and getting fish dropped on him and having to push them through a hole o [...]

    20. "Everyone is f*ed up, and those who aren't soon will be. The mayor should figure out how to say that in Latin and make it the town motto. Or better yet, 'Dutch Harbor: What fatal flaw in your character made you wind up here?'"Too, too funny. What really sold me on this book is that it's more than a bitter recounting of folks that've done the author wrong -- he draws a vivid picture of each unusual workplace, and devotes plenty of attention to bringing the colorful characters to life. It's effect [...]

    21. After the initial amusement, I found myself reminded of the phrase "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result."Does the author really think the next long-haul trucking or restaurant job is going to lead to career bliss and health insurance? What is the common denominator here?Levison does a good job laying out how a college graduate can end up in this cycle, he doesn't do such a hot job of seeing the opportunities to break out of it. Rather than making f [...]

    22. I ended up liking this book a lot more than I thought I would. I think this book is a good compliment to Nickel and Dimed as other reviewers mentioned. However, unlike Ehrenreich, I found Levison to be likable and believable (It's really hard to see Ehrenreich as a blue collar worker). Levison chronicles his various jobs in this book and writes about the people he meets- both his supervisors and his coworkers (none of whom is a snob towards). He's pretty cynical but who wouldn't be. At the end o [...]

    23. An easy interesting read. It is listed as a memoir and is definitely more of that than an in-depth look at working class trials and tribulations. Iain regales us with anecdotes about jobs he's worked and writes well so one feels as if they can at least understand the hardships of each job. In one, he works at a sort of upscale grocery store where the managers follow corporate rules to a T, even at the expense of logic and reality. In another, he describes the desperation of young men travelling [...]

    24. Way before the last crisis, this marvel of a book (which somewhat reminds me of Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America), managed to show in an extremely vivid and unputdownable way the true face of America, the true face of capitalism, the true face of the contemporary precariousness and hypocrisy. As I was reading it, I highlighted a number of phrases (in the ePub) and I wanted to review them before rating the book, but I reconsidered: no spoilers. This book is a must-read and nothing [...]

    25. This book is like Office Space for lower middle class America. That said, Levison's writing is absolutely hilarious, sardonic and, at times, hits way too close to home. However, unlike corporate drone Peter Gibbons, who has to be hypnotized into action, Levison doesn't take sh*t. Quick witted and confrontational, he jumps from job to job, coast to coast in search of his next paycheck, while trailing angry bosses, disgruntled coworkers and even active arrest warrants in his wake. For those who ha [...]

    26. The premise was promising and it was a book that needed to be written as it was extremely tough finding a worthwhile job when it was written but I think instead of coming across funny or witty Levinson came across as a bitter Bukowski wannabe. I really wanted to like it having been there but as someon who has sat across similar chaps in my dating days I can honestly say that it wasn't his employment prospects hurting his chance with the ladies but his rubbish attitude. I'm hoping the book was wr [...]

    27. This was a fun, quick read. Exactly what I was looking for to counter-balance the dense, serious books I've been reading. Although, I believe the job to be mis-named. I certainly do not recall him actually mentioning 42 different jobsd I guess it kind of bothers me that it is in the title. He could have just as simply titled it, "A Memior of Jobs I've Quit, Been Fired From, and Some I Can't Remember" No need for numbers that will become inconsequential, right?There's not much I can say about the [...]

    28. The subtitle to this book is "A Memoir of Thirty Jobs I Quit, Nine That Fired Me, and Three I Can't Remember." That pretty much sums it up. The author recounts his misadventures of a variety of jobs that are either low paying, extremely difficult or both. The author has a good sense of humor and sarcasm that make the book a good, fast read, but you also get the taste of what it is like to work some of these jobs -- including working a fishing boat in Alaska. I really enjoyed this book, and I kno [...]

    29. Am Anfang habe ich andauernd gelacht; die Absurditäten der Arbeitswelt werden wunderbar ausgemalt. Der Protagonist durchschaut sie und verweigert sich - zumindest bis zu einem gewissen Grad - ihren Regeln. Nach einiger Zeit kippte meine Lesestimmung von lachend in deprimiert. Das hängt zumal damit zusammen, dass es kaum einen Wendepunkt gibt, es wird höchstens immer schlimmer. Am Ende plätscherte die Handlung daher mangels Neuigkeiten nur noch so dahin; mag ja sein, dass der Autor einen Gro [...]

    30. I had never heard of this book before, but picked it up for a buck in some used bookstore. This was a laugh out loud, well written and witty memoir that read like a good zine. Anyone who was an english major should get something out of this and relate, although I wasn't an english major so i shouldn't really make that statement. i have been a disgruntled employee who attempted to get over on his boss any way that he could, so if you've been there, and want a quick read, then you can borrow this [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *