Punching in: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee
By Frankel, Alex
This was quite an informative and interesting book, with many hilarious encounters told with candor and an eye for detail. Ever wonder what it’s like to work for the brown army of UPS during the Christmas season? How about selling extras to customers at Enterprise Rent a Car, a place where the phrase “6 figures in 6 years” was bandied about by upper management to trainees. Alex Frankel got to work at both places for a while; he also tried to gain employment with Home Depot and Whole Foods but the interview process weeded him out. His arcane group interview at the Container Store was particularly unusual and funny. He ends his journey after the sheer boredom of folding clothes at the Gap (a place no longer apparently that cool, but where hip individualism survives despite many policies and a dress code) and an exhausting stint at Starbucks, with a more enlightened retail experience at the Apple Store.
Set in San Francisco over a couple of years, this is a whirlwind tour in which you’ll experience the sometimes complex indoctrination processes, the levels of management (and their sometimes painfully urgent meetings, incentive charts, goal setting and evaluation systems) and meet several driven coworkers that sometimes let Alex feel like he is actually “one of them.” Corporate culture from an insider’s front- line perspective – a brave and very entertaining endeavor!