Wrongsized Review
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When I saw Wrongsized: Become Chronically Unemployed in 26 Easy Steps in the humor section, I had to investigate. It’s described as “a story about an unemployed executive struggling to find a job in today’s market, and, not surprisingly, it’s a laugh-out-loud read.” In addition to his computer-whiz experience, the author has written material for Laugh-In, The Smothers Brothers, and The Dean Martin Show.

Perfect, I thought. This is just what everyone needs. Given the state of the economy, and people losing jobs, and everything just going down the toilet in general, we could all do with a good laugh.

Wrongsized is the story of Lance D. Boyle (Solomon’s alter ego), CIO of a branch of a major corporation and computer programmer. After Boyle’s branch turns a profit, thanks to his redesigning of some of the company’s systems, the company brings in an efficiency expert, and Boyle finds himself out of a job. So he turns to temp work. And therein is where the humor is supposed to lie. Boyle takes on these temp jobs and screws up every one of them, resulting in his chronic unemployment. And it would probably be funny if it were true.

Solomon claims that Wrongsized is a “somewhat true” story of what happened to him when he lost his job as a computer programmer. He says that many of the events in the chapters happened to somebody—maybe not to him, but to somebody. But that defeats the whole purpose of the book, and, well, it makes it not as funny. See, an unemployed computer programmer would never be able to get a job as an x-ray technician, hair stylist, or air traffic controller without specialized training. Now, I don’t want to put the kibosh on all the fun here, but that’s just the way it is.

The chapters are very short, so at least the book goes along quickly. And it is amusing, I suppose, if you’re easily amused, which I am not.

The last very few pages of the book are also devoted to job search tips, but they basically tell you to list all of your skills and determine what kind of jobs you’re qualified for. This takes five pages.

What bothers me the most is the guarantee the author posts on the back of his book: “If you are not satisfied with the contents of this book; if it did not lead you on the course of gainful employment; or, for any reason whatsoever you did not laugh your ass off, you may contact me and I will feel really, really bad.”

Well, Mr. Solomon, I’m sorry that you will have to feel “really, really bad” because of me. But I did not laugh my ass off. And believe me, I really wanted to.

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