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You Want Fries with That?: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage
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You Want Fries with That?: A White-Collar Burnout Experiences Life at Minimum Wage

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  144 ratings  ·  44 reviews
The American Dream used to include a white picket fence, 2.2 kids, and a dog. In today's frantic world, it's . . . well, let's be honest-it's quite different. But what would happen if you did have the nerve to quit your white-collar job? Prioleau Alexander can tell you:He walked away from a lucrative career as an advertising executive, seeking a life +like that dude on Kun ...more
Hardcover, 250 pages
Published April 10th 2008 by Arcade Publishing
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Dec 09, 2011 Kellidee rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
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Things I learned as I laughed reading this book:

1. It's harder than you think to be hired by the big box stores; Wal-Mart, K-Mart etc. That my retirement dream of being a Wal-Mart greeter may not be the best idea.

2. Always tip the Pizza guy at least $5.00 and make sure he can see the house numbers.

3. ERs are for emergencies. Get reassurance from hubby or dog. But recognize a real emergency. (I thought I knew this, but it’s good to be reminded)

4. Never change my order once it’s given to the burge

Interesting, some of the jobs more than others. The cowboy one was pretty dull and the building stuff. I did enjoy the others though - the retail ones were really interesting.
Good book and reads well with humor.
I received this book as a gift as it was on my wishlist for some time. I had the idea that this was a book about a man who trades in his white collar job for a minimum wage job and therein receives some enlightenment which changes his way of thinking about the types of people that work fast food, or big box stores. I was half right, at least. The author feels dissatisfied with his life working in advertising so he decides to take up a series of minimum wage jobs, including a burger place, an ice ...more
What an excellent book. The introductory chapter did a terrible job of selling the idea, but once you dive in to the ins and outs of pizza delivery the story becomes more enjoyable. I cannot decide which section I liked better between the ice cream jerk or the ER tech, because parts in both sections had me laughing out loud. However, I do not think that the ER Tech or Boss Hog jobs actually counted because he didn't actually work. In both of those sections he just seemed to be hanging around and ...more
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
Prioleau Alexander used to work for an advertising agency before he got tired of it and quit. He was tired of having to kiss up to clients who thought they knew his job better than he did - actually, he was tired of having to kiss up to clients, period, because none of them ever seemed to appreciate the work that he and the others in his advertising agency did for them. For a while after quitting, he just sat around like a lump and apparently made his wife angry at him (I'd probably be angry, to ...more
Ann Fisher
You've probably read Barbara Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Everyone has. This is the same book without all the pious sociology. Mind you, I was a sociology major and liked Ehrenreich a lot. But this covers the same ground and is so much more fun. It's not particularly politically correct--I kept thinking of people I probably couldn't give it to--but the message is really the same as the ultra-correct Ehrenreich's. Minimum wage work in really stinks. It's not enoug ...more
This is in the same vein as Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days show, only not as serious. In fact, Mr. Alexander is pretty funny. He quits his great paying job as a creative director for an ad agency (i think that’s what it was) because it’s a job filled with ass kissing and bullshit, and he was sick of it. So he decides to work some shitty minimum wage jobs and write a book about it.

Some of the jobs he tries out are Pizza Dude, Burger Joint Dude, Construction Dude, ER tech Dude, Ice cream Shop Dude, and
Guy gets sick of job at advertising agency and decides to get a series of low-paying jobs while he works through his mid-life crisis. Book is more of a stand-up routine than a serious look at the working poor in America or something. He works as a pizza delivery man, ice cream man, construction site overseer, fast food guy, ER tech, dude rancher, and makes an unsuccessful attempt to get hired at a big box store. Then he decides to become a small business owner, I guess, doing freelance ad consul ...more
I give this book a solid three stars. I liked it - thought it was a pretty interesting read. The author definitely deserves credit for doing this experiment. There are so many people who would just love to drop out of corporate America but don't have the nerve, or the ability to do so. Kudos to Mr. Alexander to have both!

I enjoyed reading his tales of the various jobs he worked, but mostly I liked the Epilogue - where he got down to what he learned from the experience. It seems that he gained an
Prioleau Alexander quits his white-collar job as an ad exec and takes us on his journey through some blue-collar jobs including pizza delivery guy, ice cream scooper and fast food worker, and a couple of others.

I saw the author on BookTV on CSPAN after having already bought the book. After seeing his Q&A, I have to admit that I was a little bit put off by his obnoxious, forced humor and constant, and I mean non-stop, plugs to purchase copies (yes, plural) of his book.

I enjoyed reading the bo
Hilariously funny. Sometimes I wanted to slap him for being so arrogant, while other times I wanted to hug him for shining light on an oft-overlooked segment of the workforce. A light read, but with some surprisingly deep insights.
Darren Gore
Like many others before him, burnt-out white-collar worker Prioleau Alexander decided to drop out of the rat-race for a while and see what life was like as a blue-collar worker.

What he found in a variety of jobs surprised and startled him - and also makes for amusing, sobering and thought-provoking reading in his account 'You Want Fries With That?'

At times, Alexander tries too hard to be funny and his style becomes clumsy and inept. Fortunately, though, most of the time he sticks to straight-for
Mara Shaw
Fun, light-hearted read about 5 minimum wage jobs. Worth an afternoon with some LOL moments. He's in awe of the pizza delivery guys, made crazy by corporate S.O.P.s and ice cream customers, lazy as a cowboy, and respectful of those working minimum wage jobs.

He suggests that the pizza business is set up to rip off the front line delivery guys, so we should tip them a minimum of $5. This is fine, but I'd rather that the entire American employment structure was overhauled. No need to tip in most E
This guy writes sort of like how Billy Crystal talks, so if you like Billy Crystal, you'll probably like Prioleau Alexanders book. There were times where I was not sure if he was being serious or joking, but other than that I didn't have any issues with the book itself. Its more of a memoir than anything, I would not say that this book has anything to do with economics/money (that was where it was found in my library). Its real value in this book is the humor. Pretty easy read, I liked it well e ...more
Ginger Stephens
I really liked this book. It made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Having worked in a hospital, retail and fast food in my late teens and into my 20s, I could definitely relate to some of the challenges of dealing with people.

I learned that I should always tip the pizza guy and always say thank you to the person behind the counter.

I also learned that I never want to be a cowboy (or cowgirl). Ever.
msjones Jones
My husband and I found this book on CSPAN book TV--a wonderful way to learn about new books from the authors themselves. Alexander was so funny, smart, and engaging that we ordered the book. Fabulous! After I pulled the book out of the wrapping it was mailed in, I opened it to skim through a few pages and ended up reading the whole thing. Funny, insightful, and engaging look at working class America. Most entertaining non-fiction I've read in years.
Nearly 60% of this book is not worth one's time, especially when the author tries too hard to be funny. The only reason I rate this book so highly, however, is that the rest of the book is, indeed actually very funny, entertaining, and even enlightening. Whether he is a pizza delivery guy, an ice cream scooper, or a dude ranch trail driver (or several other things), the author succeeds in describing the absurd as well as the sublime of any typical minimum-wage job.
The author quits his regular job to work at minimum wage jobs such as pizza delivery guy, burger jockey, ice cream scooper, and other sundry jobs. I thought this was similar to Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich, only the author quit his white-collar job to immerse himself in the minimum wage quagmire. Intersting although it did get a little old after a while and I'm not sure I totally liked his attitude and politics--but then that's just me.
Amanda Birdwell
This was totally different from what I expected; honestly, I totally ignored the existence of white collar libertarians up to this point. Not going to help if you want any kind of trenchant social analysis or to avoid the supposedly tongue in cheek sexist bullshit you'd expect from a fifty year old ex marine serving you hamburgers. But I liked it. And I enjoyed the taking to task of shitty tippers and bullshit ice cream samplers alike.
I waffled back and forth between 3 and 4 stars on this one. I finally ended up at 4 stars because while not typically laugh-out-loud funny, it was humorous enough, and it kept me entertained enough to read through quickly.

The author works several low-paying skilled jobs after burning out of his white collar job. He learns that he had it pretty good; it sucks being poor. No surprise there, but the ride to that endgame was pretty fun.
If you read this book expecting any deep insights you will be disappointed. But if you read it expecting it to be hilarious you will be happy.

My favorite part was when he worked at the ice cream shop, the way he characterized the customers was SO funny!! It was a little strange to me that he had apparently never worked in any of those fast food type of jobs - most people I know did at least one of those during high school.
Another author far less clever than he thinks he is - sigh.

The first couple of essays, on delivering pizza and scooping ice cream, held some promise (drug references to show he's a "kewl conservative" aside); the rest were either un-followable or mediocre. Two other, more effective books covering the same premise: Selling Ben Cheever by Ben Cheever, and My Secret Life on the McJob by Jerry Newman.
Very whiney. At least books like Nickel and Dimed had a point, rather than "I'm tired of my marketing job." Nonetheless, some of the stories were interesting, particularly the one on being an ER tech.
I LITERALLY laughed out loud as I read this book. It's a refreshing, quick read that's worth a Saturday afternoon of self reflection. It's not going to transform your life; but, it will certainly help you to take a breath from the stresses of your life decisions and gain a little perspective. Lighten up and enjoy!
This book was kinda funny, but the author's persona kept puzzling me. Finally near the end of it, I realized that he reminds me of that one weird guy you know at work, or that peculiar guy your aunt married who's always saying bizarre things to try to get a rise out of people. A combo of macho/dork/smartass.
This is one of funniest books I have read and that it was written by a boy I grew up with in Cmade it a must-read. Prioleau, you've come a long way baby!! I admire your courage for quitting the corporate grind to go undercover as a blue collar - Counting my blessings to be self employed, EVERY DAY!
Not that this wasn't a good book....I just kinda felt disloyal, in a way, to "Nickel and Dimed in America..." This book seemed exactly the same, just more out to get a laugh. I really enjoyed the documentary sense of "Nickel and Dimed".
But that's just me....
Chris Walker
Though he attempts to take it back in the end, this book was a non-stop diatribe on how stupid people working minimum-wage jobs are and how all those jobs are beneath him. His commentary on the customers, however, was pretty astute and funny at times.
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