Book Review

Works Well with Others by Ross McCammon. Jacket design by Jim Tierney
Works Well with Others by Ross McCammon. Jacket design by Jim Tierney.

The level of competition in today’s job market is incredibly high. The number of people with college degrees continues to grow and there are still a large number of people out of work. Everyone is looking to gain an edge on their competition. I’m just like most of you. I’m often left wondering what is standing between me and my millions of dollars. I have the talent. I have the looks. But somehow my unique skill set has yet to lead to a big payday. Luckily, a good friend sensed my struggle and sent me a book to help me along. The book is Works Well with Others by Ross McCammon.

Works Well with Others offers advice on how to deal with various anxieties and confidence issues at work. It also delivers how-to’s on workplace pomp and circumstance and detailed information on how to get a job at Esquire. The hardback version comes with a killer jacket designed by Jim Tierney. The jacket probably doesn’t come with digital copies. You can probably just get a picture though. But be sure and check out the cover. That’s usually a good indicator of how good a book will be. You’ll probably like a book if you like its cover.

Chapter 2 has a quiz to help you determine whether or not you should actually read the book. My score on the quiz suggested I didn’t need to continue reading. However, I decided to keep going. But a person could save a considerable amount of time by just skipping straight to the quiz. Then go back and start from the beginning if you need to actually read the book.

The mischievous Calvin sneer
The mischievous Calvin sneer.
The toothy grin of Ross McCammon.
The toothy grin of Ross McCammon.

When I reached the end of the book, I noticed the picture of Mr. McCammon. Mr. McCammon is a furrowed brow away from being a Calvin and Hobbes character. Maybe it’s just me though. To me his toothy grin is reminiscent of a young mischievous Calvin. That’s a good thing. Calvin and Hobbes is arguably the best comic strip of all time. But then I saw another picture of the author and he didn’t look like Calvin. But he did have a nice blue shirt like I used to have. That’s pretty cool. It is possible Jim Tierney coaxed the lively smile out of him to suit the mood of the book’s expertly crafted jacket.

This hardback book also feels very sturdy. You could probably kill a lot of spiders with it before it got too gross. It would also probably hold up well underneath the short leg of a wobbly table. You could also put it in a bag and wallop your competitors with it, but that is not advisable. Even if you happen to be the only candidate left standing, your future employer would likely frown upon physical violence in the workplace. There would probably be legal consequences as well. Not hitting people at work should be considered rule number one. That’s a little free advice from The Jejune Bulletin.

Works Well with Others measured by Pringles.
Works Well with Others measured by Pringles.

The book measures approximately 3.25 Pringles long, 2.25 Pringles wide, and 5 Pringles thick. I measured the book with Pringles because I couldn’t find a tape measure. This leads me to believe my organizational skills are a major obstacle standing between me and my millions. That could be a serious problem because organizational skills were not covered in this book.

Five Pringles thick.
Five Pringles thick.

Overall I’d give Works Well with Others 7 out of 10 stars. It is entertaining, well written, and full of good advice. However, there is no discussion of organizational skills or physical violence. Or maybe there was. I wasn’t really paying attention. I do remember there being an overabundance of “quotation marks” used like “air quotes”. A chapter about dealing with people who use “air quotes” would have been nice. Nobody likes “that guy”. Works Well with Others is an outstanding resource for people who have to work with other people, but don’t really understand the intricacies of why successful people do the things successful people do.

Works Well with Others in a plastic bag.
Works Well with Others in a white plastic bag.
The back of Works Well with Others in a yellow plastic bag.
The back of Works Well with Others in a yellow plastic bag.
Works Well with Others in the dark.
Works Well with Others in the dark.
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