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Job Hopper: The Checkered Career of a Down-Market Dilettante

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3.66  ·  Rating details ·  227 ratings  ·  27 reviews
If it's true that the average worker will hold an average of seven jobs over the course of a lifetime, Ayun Halliday is anything but average. In her brief thirty-something years, Halliday has managed to rack up an impressive array of short lived stints in the paid job market, including life guard, library attendant, costume designer, actress, waitress, artist's model, prof ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published February 15th 2005 by Seal Press
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Average rating 3.66  · 
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 ·  227 ratings  ·  27 reviews


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karen
Jan 14, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfictions
oh, i do so love ayun halliday!!

this is my third book of hers (unless you count always lots of heinies at the zoo which is just a children's book, but is about a subject near to my heart:animal buttocks).

i kind of want her to be my best friend. because she is funny the way a best friend should be, not intimidatingly funny the way, say, wanda sykes is. she is human-level funny; she is the kind of funny one can wrap one's head around. which is to say, some of the essays fall short, but you st
...more
FAXBoy
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Theatre/Art/English Majors
Recommended to FAXBoy by: FileGrrl
Marvel as she reads Gabriel García Márquez while pretending to collate and/or distribute Urgent! documents!

Gasp in amazement as she pulls her newly-revised résumé off of the printer microseconds before the office manager picks up her own print job!

“A teacher once softened the grade she’d recorded on my report card with the comment, “I think Ayun’s interest in theatre will ultimately be of more use to her than seventh-grade science.” At thirteen, I couldn’t have agreed more, but as it turned out,
...more
Ciara
Nov 01, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: unskilled laborers, temps, theatre majors, aspiring actresses, slackers
apparently this is the poorest-selling of all of ayun's books, which i don't really understand. this one was my favorite! & i don't even think of myself as a person who goes especially wild for memoirs about people's weird &/or crummy jobs. while the big rumpus was a little saccharine sometimes, & dirty sugar cookies was peppered with unappealing recipes & tales of a seemingly posh childhood that colored the reading experience for me, & no touch monkey was riddled with straight up gleeful accoun ...more
John
Dec 20, 2008 rated it liked it
Interesting collection of job-related stories.
Glenn
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
In Ayun Halliday’s previous books, “The Big Rumpus” and “No Touch Monkey and Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late,” the reader is instantly made familiar with her sharp and shocking wit and easy writerly way with a cleverly turned phrase. Being such a subjective thing, writing humor is not easy. What I find hilarious may simply leave you cold. So it requires something more than just an ability to present a “funny” situation, and leave ‘em laughing as you go.

What Ayun Halliday does with almost c
...more
HeavyReader
Sep 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of Ayun Halliday and people who like to read about other people's shit jobs
Shelves: life-stories
I don't think this is the best writing that Ayun Halliday has ever done, but maybe that's just sour grapes because I haven't had a book of stories of my shit jobs published. (Of course, I haven't actually written a book of stories of my shit jobs. That might be a start.)

I'm giving it three stars for these gems:

"I was so rip-snortin' fired up to call myself a massage therapist that long before graduation, I got Clarissa to place a free classified ad in the newspaper for me, offering student-level
...more
Jeffrey Yamaguchi
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Ayun Halliday is one of my favorite writers. I've been a fan ever since reading her East Village Inky zine years ago, which she continues to publish. I've also gotten to see her read live, and she is one of the most lively readers I have ever seen. Anyway, this excellent collection of stories about her various jobs is charming, honest, eye-opening, touching (especially the story of her job at Dave's Italian Kitchen), and most importantly, hilarious. The picture of Ayun at the end of her introduc ...more
Truce
Sep 12, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who have been in crappy jobs
Shelves: nonfiction, work, funny, essays
Decent reading for lunch breaks. I'm currently in a job I love, but having been in a number of crap jobs before, I could definitely relate to Ayun's misadventures. Plus, I was really interested in how a zinester made the move to book form. I did find myself laughing out loud at a number of parts, but one thing that really took me out of the book was the people of color in her essays. This was probably unintentional, but her portrayals of people of color were often stereotypical and racist. There ...more
Marsha
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Things are tough all over and even jobs we thought were secure can be yanked from under us. So what if you were once CEOs? What’s wrong with working at McDonald’s until you get on your feet again? Trust me, the smell will wash out of your hair—eventually.

Ms. Halliday’s chronicles of her on-again, off-again temp jobs read like the hilarious stories you might hear from a really engaging first date. In her desperate desire to avoid anything like a real job in order to devote herself to her true cal
...more
Elaine Meszaros
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
It took me over half the book to realize why halliday's voice was so familiar. I realized, with a start, that I regularly read her column in Bust magazine about her life in NY with small, mouthy children. Job Hopper is definitely pre Inky and Milo (her kids). Popped out into the brutal world with only a theater degree, halliday needed to support herself. Written in short story format, halliday recounts the funny and often weird circumstances she found herself in trying to earn a paycheck. From w ...more
Crystal Chm
An okay book of Halliday's adventures in the job market. A few parts were a bit tedious and her continual description of herself being above her employers and/or coworkers (depending on her job at the time) was a bit annoying. For some reason, I had trouble sticking to the book because it just wasn't as engaging as her book on traveling, No Touch Monkey, and the it took awhile to reach the end. Overall, though, I'm glad I stuck with it as there were a few chapters that were gems.
Catherine
May 19, 2007 rated it it was ok
Ayun Halliday's writing is certainly not hilarious or even what I would consider amusing. Judging by some of her other books, the author sifts through her past, dredges up mediocre stories and spews out books. "No Touch Monkey" was also a disappointment. This is the last book by Halliday that I will spend my money on. I've had my fill of her boring stories.
D'Anne
May 09, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Not as good as The Big Rumpus, Job Hopper gets better as it goes on. The earliest pieces are the weakest, but it is worth reading to the end. Also good not to read straight through. She's not laugh out loud funny exactly, but she has a good wit and makes good, if sometimes entirely inappropriate, observations about the way people behave at work.
Laura!
Apr 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012-read-books
This book was amusing. It wasn't laugh out loud funny though. I did appreciate the fact that it was set in Chicago (being a current Chicagoan myself). That made it a little more interesting to me. But, at the end of the day, I just kept thinking "I wish David Sedaris wrote this book." I bet that book would be laugh out loud funny.
Malinda
May 03, 2008 rated it liked it
It's been a while since I've read and East Village Inky zine, but Ayun Halliday is always a writer that I like. Her stories are funny and descriptive. My only complaint about this collection was that it felt somewhat overwritten or over-edited.
Unwisely
Nov 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2009, memoir, non-fiction
While entertaining, the book seemed like a bunch of unconnected anecdotes, with zero background or overarching narrative. Which was fine, but not as satisfying as some of her other books.

Pleasant but not a must-read.
Jyoderdc
Sep 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
For those of us who identify as "jill of all trades, master of none," those who don't like to work for other people, and those who still don't know what they want to be when the grow up. Ayun Halliday finds the humor in every employment situation imaginable.
Cyn Shepherd
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I shudder in dread at the thought of encountering this woman either traveling or at any of the terrible jobs I've had over the years, but from the safe distance of my sofa I found her hilarious.
Lacy
Dec 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2005
I'm a huge fan of this author. Everything she writes is awesome.
Elizabeth
Feb 21, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm not the only one!
Ami
Jan 31, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
A collection of short stories about Halliday's former work experiences. Enjoyable enough and humorous, although hardly ever laugh-out-loud funny. Two and a half stars.
Karen
Oct 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Job Hopper: The Checkered Career of a Down-Market Dilettante by Ayun Halliday (2005)
Ellen
Nov 05, 2007 added it
No, not my autobiography.
Damion
May 12, 2007 added it
Essays on crap jobs that everyone can relate to. Amusing commiseration from someone who escaped into a job that actually works.
Erin
Jun 26, 2007 rated it really liked it
I read this book when I had a two hour commute each way to a job in the suburbs. It made me feel better about all of the crappy jobs I have had.
Erica
rated it really liked it
Nov 04, 2013
Alison
Feb 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book made me want to quit my job.
Lauren
rated it it was amazing
Feb 11, 2009
Pghbekka
rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2011
Staci
rated it liked it
Mar 03, 2012
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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the long running, award-winning East Village Inky zine and author of the self-mocking autobiographies No Touch Monkey! And Other Travel Lessons Learned Too Late, The Big Rumpus  Dirty Sugar Cookies: Culinary Observations, Questionable Taste, and Job Hopper. She collaborated with illustrators Dan Santat on the picture book Always Lots of Heinies at the Zo ...more

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