women in the office is not fun. Born out of Anne Eyerman's frustration after years spent drifting in and out of secretarial positions, it takes a critical look at the effects of globalization and technological change on the jobs and working conditions of women office workers.
It's depressing, frustrating and real. Eyerman takes us below the glass ceiling to show how overwhelming it has been for entry-level office workers to trade in their trusty typewriters for the foreign and complex world of computers, which have forced them to do more work in less time.
Through a local women's employment agency, the author met 11 women who have worked in offices most of their lives. Their stories tell the brutal truth of what it's like to be financially, mentally and physically screwed by corporate restructuring.
But she hasn't made the most of these conversations. Rather than integrate the interviews into her research, she reprints them verbatim, which makes them tedious and repetitive.
As an ambassador for the overworked and underpaid, Eyerman attacks the weak efforts of law firms, universities and call centres to make technological transitions easier, insisting that change needs to come from above. And she suggests how women in the office can empower themselves and stop taking corporate crap.
It's not revolutionary, but Women In The Office is an important read, if only to help women realize they're not alone in the pink-collar ghetto.
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Women In The Office: Transitions in a global economy by Ann Eyerman (Sumach Press), 245 pages, $19.95 paper. Rating: NNN