NovelistRoss McCammon is a senior editor at “Esquire” magazine and he has written a useful (and amusing) guide to getting ahead in the workplace. While “” is primarily directed at upscale office professionals, anyone should find a useful tip or two. I’d recommend this to anyone starting out in the working world and anyone who just thinks “I’m missing something here,” at work.

McCammon illustrates most of his points with tales from his own past, cutting himself little slack. Yup, he’s made some boneheaded moves in the past, but he’s got an excellent handle on things now and is eager to share so that others can avoid embarrassing themselves and/or placing their careers in jeopardy.

Sprinkled among the anecdotes of “how I did this wrong and how you can do it better” are a number of alleged quizzes. I say alleged because they are almost entirely tongue-in-cheek, although some may provoke an “A-ha” moment or nod of recognition.

There are fifty-two short chapters, mostly two or three pages, including “Classic Interview Rules, Plus One More,” “How to Enter a Room, ”What to Say When Someone Asks for Your Take on the Oeuvre of Werner Herzog at Dinner with Your Brand-New Colleagues and You Don’t Know Who Werner Herzog Is,” “Why Strident Postures on Social Media Are, at the End of the Day, Probably a Bad Idea—Especially If You’re Looking for a Job,” ”How to Give a Toast,” followed immediately by “Things You Should Never Say While Giving a Toast.” The titles give an excellent idea of the flavor of the book. If this sort of humor appeals to you, you’re in for a treat. If you don’t care for smart-alecky humor, you won’t enjoy the book nearly as much as I did, but you could still find some helpful advice.

Here, in its entirely, is Chapter 49, “Two Beers and a Puppy: A Helpful Test for Determining How You Feel About Someone.” “Two beers and a puppy” is a test that I developed while working on an “Esquire” story on the American “son of a bitch.” The test is: In order to find out how you actually feel about someone, ask yourself, “Would I have two beers with this person? And: “Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?”

Some people are no and no. These people are to be avoided at all costs. Some people are yes and no. These people are to be cautiously trusted. Some people are no and yes. These people are no fun but they make the world a better place—for puppies, especially. And some people are yes and yes. These people are wonderful people and your life and work are better for having them in your life. Seek them out. Collaborate with them. Enjoy their company.”

By the way, don’t skip the appendices (or the introduction, for that matter). More of McCammon’s useful and/or funny stuff here, including “How to Pronounce the Names of Scotches,” (useful if you’re a big-city business person, I’m sure) and “Rules I Never Got To,” which are one or two sentence rules that are funny and useful.

There is “adult” language here and there, and some of the humor is a bit strained, but I found it mostly humorous where intended and think it would be useful to anyone who has to work with others (which is pretty much all of us, one way or another). The library has both print and audiobook versions available.

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