Bait and Switch
In her great Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich chronicled the plight of unskilled workers by taking menial jobs herself (cleaning woman, waitress) and trying to make ends meet. In her new book, Bait and Switch, she steps into the shoes of the white-collar unemployed: the men and women ”who’ve done everything right” but have nonetheless been unable to find a secure purchase in the corporate world. She’s at her best — wry, eloquent, hilarious — describing the charlatans who market themselves as career coaches and try to prep her for a job search. But she never gets within spitting distance of her real prey — the corporate world — because she never comes close to landing a job. Sadly, this new critique lacks the biting, damning firsthand detail that made Dimed such a treat.