Blown Sideways Through Life: A Hilarious Tour de Resume

Overview

Have you ever held down a job for money rather than love? Put up with an impossible boss? Been told when and how often to visit the rest room, get a drink, or use the phone? Struggled to remember that who you are doesn't depend on what you do? Meet Claudia Shear, a misfit from Brooklyn who grew up dreaming of adventure. An unconventional girl on a byzantine career track, Shear blew through sixty-four jobs before realizing that of all the "alternate identities" she'd sampled in her long and varied employment ...
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Overview

Have you ever held down a job for money rather than love? Put up with an impossible boss? Been told when and how often to visit the rest room, get a drink, or use the phone? Struggled to remember that who you are doesn't depend on what you do? Meet Claudia Shear, a misfit from Brooklyn who grew up dreaming of adventure. An unconventional girl on a byzantine career track, Shear blew through sixty-four jobs before realizing that of all the "alternate identities" she'd sampled in her long and varied employment history, the only one she really wanted was her own. Shear rode a wild wave of employment to arrive at that revelation. She worked as (among other things) a pastry chef, a nude model, a waitress (a lot), a receptionist in a whorehouse, a brunch chef on Fire Island, a proofreader on Wall Street (a lot), and an Italian translator. On the surface, her life makes for a hilarious tour de resume. But underneath is a universal lesson learned about life in the workplace, a lesson that caused her one-woman show to be nationally celebrated by Peter Jennings, Regis and Kathie Lee, Connie Chung, and Charlie Rose: "You talk to the people who serve you the food the same way you talk to the people you eat the food with. You talk to the people who work for you the same way you talk to the people you work for. It's a one-size-fits-all proposition."

Shear is a misfit, a funny, overweight, unconventional worker-for-hire who blew through 64 jobs only to discover the best of all the "alternative identities" she sought through employment was her own. Her life makes for a hilarious tour de resume. Her one woman show has been celebrated by Peter Jennings, Regis and Kathy Lee, Connie Chung and Charlie Rose.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Actress Shear presents an account of the numerous "McJobs" she held while struggling for success. (May)
Jack Helbig
At a time when everybody from stand-up comics to out-of-work actors is putting together a one-person show, hoping to catch a ride on the Spalding Gray-Eric Bogosian gravy train, Claudia Shear stands out. Not just because she has something to say about life in an age of diminishing expectations, but also because this confessed book addict writes wonderfully well. Her autobiographical show, here put between book covers, is peppered with sensitive, moving, very funny stories about life as a gypsy employee (65 different jobs and counting) working some of the worst jobs available--waitress, proofreader in a law firm, receptionist in a brothel, scantily clad actress in an Italian exploitation film. On the page, Shear's words lose none of the power that garnered critical acclaim when her show opened early last year.
From the Publisher
"Claudia Shear speaks for millions of  people."—Peter Jennings, ABC  News

"A story that will stop your heart. A  touching striptease of the soul."  —Frank Rich, The New York  Times

"Witty and insightful...spiced with  irreverence and chutzpah."—The New  York Times Book  Review

"Blown Sideways shines with a  moving, mature compassion for everyone who has a  job."—Mademoiselle

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385313124
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 116
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.53 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2004

    A very strange story

    Okay, this was a strange book. Shear has certainly led an interesting life... But having had a few jobs right out of school trying to find my niche, I can relate to some of her employment experiences though I've never been tempted to apply for most of the jobs she's held... =)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2001

    Entertaining and Inspiring...

    I saw her show on PBS the night before giving one of my motivational speeches that I do for Job Corps students. I grabbed my speech and shredded it; sat down and scratched another. A few weeks later I found this book in my local library and eventually bought more than a few copies... I give them out to some of the kids I work with to show them that you can succeed now matter how tough things are; and because like she says everyone 'has a story that could stop your heart'. I haven't seen anything more of her besides this because I don't live in or go to New York, but I may be her biggest fan. Read this book - it WILL stop your heart.

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