Brigid Delaney: This Restless Life

Am reading Brigid Delaney’s new book, This Restless Life. Chapter on Work is excellent. Details the downfalls of contracts/temping, which is what employers want. Crap if you want decent pay, superannuation, holiday pay and sick leave and ability to build a life.

She points out only the super-highly-paid truly benefit from temp contracts. The rest of us suffer.

“Most portfolio workers toil in the backwash of the restless economy. They talk about their work stretching to six or seven days a week …  they are isolated, their hours are unpredictable or antisocial, and they live with the unnerving prospect that a source of income could be cut off without warning. They are a species unprotected from the whims and changes of fortune of the labour market.”

“He is going to slip down a rung to where  I am, white-knuckled, still pyjama-clad in the afternoon, checking my bank account online with a measure of dread and fear.”

[I worked with Brigid at the SMH – occasionally subbing on MyCareer.]

Book reviews: Sun-Herald

Creating Magic
Lee Cockerell
(Random House, $32.95)
Cockerell worked at Disney for more than a decade, eventually as an executive vice-president of operations. Anyone who has visited a Disney theme park will be amazed at how they keep the level of service so high throughout a full day catering to so many families with young children, high expectations and usually in hot weather. He shares 10 strategies and all the secrets of how, despite having the usual stresses of outsourcing labour, job cuts and restructuring, employees can be trained and motivated to keep the Disney magic alive. Inspirational and comprehensive. CW

Dating Makes You Want To Die
Daniel Holloway and Dorothy Robinson
(HarperCollins, $24.99)
Aimed at the older person who has been suddenly plunged back into the dating scene, this book gives an update on the modern rules of dating, from personal makeovers to proposing, meeting the parents and staying together. It’s good if you feel trepidatious about dating and want an idea of where to set boundaries but overall I felt there were too many rules. If you’re that clueless, you’d be better off reading an etiquette guide. Also, the authors try to be humorous, but this involves derogatory jokes about obese people and an assumption that all single people are “pathetic, unloveable” losers. Boring. CW

Croc
Robert Reid
(Allen and Unwin, $26.95)
Danger, death and destruction are the gist of this book about lethal animals – human and otherwise. It’s divided into four sections: hunters, victims, lucky escapes and crazy capers. I turned straight to the victims section, which avoids repeating cases covered in similar books by focusing on incidents in north Queensland. I then skipped back to the section about croc hunters, which has amazing tales of Crocodile Dundee loners and adventurers being completely insane and taking their chances against large saltwater crocodiles. Definitely a book that will enhance any trip north or for those too scared to go. CW