Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bright Lights, Big Ass

By Jen Lancaster

After losing her job and then her husband losing his job and then nearly ending up bankrupt, Jen Lancaster decided to write a book about it all, which was Bitter Is the New Black.
After she wrote the book, she had a gap of several months between selling the book and having it published. This next book, Bright Lights, Big Ass, covers that gap.
As the book starts out, things are looking up for Jen and Fletch. Fletch has a new job, they have moved to a better apartment, but money is still a worry. Jen is now working for a temp agency and she has found out that it suits her and she is happier as a temp than she ever was as a high-paid professional when her boss at a temp job thanks her for making copies:

Back when I made the kind of decisions that impacted stock prices...no one verbalized appreciation. Ever. Nobody valued my fourteen-hour days. No one cared when I sacrificed my weekends to tweak proposals and prepare RFPs. I was barely ever congratulated for projects implemented, deals closed, agreements struck, and when I was, it was in a backhanded, what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sense. Even though I gave my company my all, nothing I did was ever good enough.
Yet for the act of making a simple stack of copies, something any child could do, I receive the kind of accolade I used to dream about. At this moment, I realize I never had a professional job I didn't loathe on some level. NYSE parties not withstanding, I despised almost every aspect of all the real jobs I ever had -- the backstabbing, the premeeting meetings, the protracted "mission statement" discussions. I detested the bullshit conference calls, the ridiculous panty hose-mandatory meetings even in hundred-degree August humidity, redundant results reporting. Although I was unaware of it at the time, getting up every morning and facing chaotic day after chaotic day managing people and products I hated was an exercise in futility. In short, I despised every bit of Corporate America and now it makes sense why I was so mean to people and why I tried to bolster my happiness with multiple $150 Ralph Lauren skirt purchases.

Written in her usual fun and open style, Lancaster paints an amusing picture of her life in the months before she became a successful author. While not as compelling as her first book, still this book was quite engaging and definitely in the same light vein as Bitter Is the New Black.

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