Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Inside Scoop—Workplace Tales from Insiders

You wouldn’t believe the crazy stuff that goes on around here!

"Oh, hi boss, just updating the Shout Out! blog, nothing to see here."

Anyway, the other day…

Cover of Driving the Saudis
Driving the Saudis
The workplace can be a lot more than just spreadsheets, strategic planning, or sore feet. Put a group of relative strangers together, add some stress, a deadline or two (this post is due today!), a dash of public service, and you can find some interesting stories. Of course, it’s not all gossip and scandal. There are stories of compassion and selfless service too.

If you loved the old TV show Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, you’ll find the memoir Driving the Saudis enlightening. Having fallen on hard times, L.A. actress Jayne Larson finds work as the only female chauffeur in a troupe of 40 hired to serve members of the Saudi royal family while they vacation in Beverly Hills. The shock and glamour of the family’s immense wealth fades as Larson gets to know several members of one of the world’s richest, most secretive families.

Cover of Slow Getting Up
Slow Getting Up
You can find a rougher sort of glory in Nate Jackson’s Slow Getting Up. Nate who? Don’t worry, no one else has heard of him either. Nor have they heard of 90% of the rest of the players in the NFL. Jackson recounts his 6 years as one of the NFL’s largely anonymous “regular” players. These are the guys who aren’t RGIII or John Elway. Life can get a bit stressful when a single injury can end your career. The pay is great—when you’re playing—training pay’s not quite so grand. And when you do play, and some 300 pound guy lands on you and dislocates your finger? Don’t blow your chance. Let coach pop it back in and get back out there!

Cover of Island Practice
Island Practice
You’ll get more than a realigned finger and a friendly tap on the helmet from Timothy Lepore. He’s the only surgeon on the island of Nantucket. From bicycle wipeouts to unfortunate incidents with fish hooks, Dr. Lepore is there to serve the 10,000 people of the island, located 30 miles south of Massachusetts' Cape Cod. In an age of often impersonal medicine, Dr. Lepore makes house calls. He encounters his patients at the grocery store, at the gas station, or on his front step when they stop by his house. New York Times reporter Pam Belluck shares Dr. Lepore’s story with us in Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom and Other Adventures of an Island Doctor.

Cover for Cat Calls
Cat Calls
Got a cat in the Big Apple? Jeanne Adlon is there for you and your furry friend. She was New York City’s first full-time cat sitter. She shares stories of tending to cats from Brooklyn to Park Avenue in the book Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter, which she wrote with former Cat Fancy editor Susan Logan.

Cover of Free for All
Free for All
And the inside scoop on libraries? Pshaw, nothing raucous ever occurs around here. It’s all temples of knowledge and an occasional exuberant storytime (well, and many other awesome events.) Though, apparently, library life is a little more rowdy out in California, where public library employee Don Borchert shares his adventures in Free for All, a look at library life on the wild West Coast.

If you have your own stories to tell, you could share it with the world in the traditional way, by starting a blog! Writers Digest has some tips. If you’re looking for a more retro method to share your story, try You Can’t Make this Stuff Up: The Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction by Lee Gutkind. However you choose to share your workplace experiences, just make sure you say nice things about your awesome, empathetic, and always supportive boss.

Mark S.

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