Bait And Switch

The (Futile) Pursuit of the American Dream

by Barbara Ehrenreich

Bait And Switch

Hardcover, 237 pages, Henry Holt & Co, List Price: $24 | purchase

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Book Summary

The best-selling author of Nickel and Dimed focuses on the world of white-collar unemployment as seen through the eyes of the unemployed, describing the woes of "surplus" employees, let go by today's ultra-lean corporations, who are forced to confront, sometimes for months or years at a stretch, the realities of financial hardship with few social supports or security. 400,000 first printing.

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Excerpt: Bait And Switch

Bait And Switch

There’s all sorts of useful information being offered, which I struggle to commit to my notebook. Ask people to give you their contacts, and when they do, write them thank you notes by hand, on nice stationary. Get a fountain pen;
ballpoint won’t do. If you can’t get a real interview, at least ask for a 20 minute “contact interview” aimed at prying contacts out of people. Write to executives who are profiled in business publications and tell them what their company needs at this stage, which is, of course, you. Tell them how you’re going to “add value” to their firm. “Stand out. You’ve got to be the banana split.” Wear a suit and tie or female equivalent at all times, even on weekends, and I pick up a warning glance here: my sneakers have been noted. Network everywhere. One fellow landed a job thanks to networking at a 7/11 on a Saturday morning; luckily he had been fully suited up at the time.


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