Friday, May 31, 2013

Canned: How I Lost Ten Jobs in Ten Years and Learned to Love Unemployment by Franklin Schneider

Schneider has trouble holding down a job. Sometimes it's a lousy job from the start; other times it turns sour. He recounts his work history in grim, absurd detail. His first job is detassling corn in a flooded Iowa field. Other workplaces include a cookie factory, a video arcade, an adult bookstore, a telemarketing center, a dot-com, and a non-profit. Eventually he figures out that he really doesn't want to have a job anyway. Then he presents his theories about not working. His logic may disgust a lot of worker bees, but at least he offers more than abject laziness as a reason. Near the end of the book he has a bit of a showdown with a formerly like-minded friend that's just begging to be a movie scene with "Friends in Low Places" playing in the background.

This book is hilariously cynical. Or cynically hilarious. Anyone should be able to identify with something in this book, be it pointless tasks or clueless managers. Schneider writes a little more than necessary about sex, but I think he's trying to show that guys without jobs can still get laid. More offensive are his morals: theft, deceit, and sabotage seem to come naturally to him. Regardless, it's an entertaining read about the working world.

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