August 25, 2017

Chose your own adventure: The work book

“In a Daze Work” by Siobhán Gallagher, 2017, TarcherPerigee, $16, 156 pages.

They say you can choose your mood.

If you want to be happy tomorrow, then be happy. Want to get rid of the blahs? It’s all mind over matter: Pick some other way to be and don’t forget to tell yourself. Choose gratitude, playfulness, contentment, choose your attitude or, with the new book, “In a Daze Work,” by Siobhán Gallagher, choose your own workday.

It’s still a little dark and you’re still in bed, somewhere in that twilight space between not quite asleep but not quite awake. What day is it? That’s where this book begins: Turn to the appropriate page and get your morning started.

Did you hit “snooze,” and regret it, or — oops — is it Saturday with a wide-open calendar? Say you get up, grab your phone “creep your ex,” and help a pal with a problem. Shower (why does conditioner disappear faster than shampoo?), examine a zit, anything to avoid going to work because it’s too early for life without coffee anyhow.

Or did you sleep in? Aw, no, you just cut your routine time in less-than half. You’ve got minutes to “rinse your pits over the bathroom sink” and out the door with you!

Once at work, you manage to kill time wisely until lunchtime, when a co-worker asks if you want to go to out. What do you do? Your mood determines the page and path you take. You might end up at a restaurant or brown-bagging it at the park.

Back at the office, you spend a little time working and a lot of time putting off that phone call you’ve gotta make. There’s a paper jam in the copier. You attend the most boring meeting (how many words can anyone make from the letters “geographically,” anyhow?) and finally, it’s time to go home.

So what will you choose to do after work? Family obligations? Turn the page. Fun with friends, go to another place in this book. Got a hot date lined up? Another page is waiting for you. Or do you just go home, chill out and binge on TV? Whatever sounds good, choose carefully on your way home. There’s a page in this book you totally do not want to reach.

Wow. How much fun is this?

Answer: “In a Daze Work” takes a little getting used to, but it’s ultimately a lot of fun, and once you get the hang of it, it’ll be way too easy to get lost inside it for way too long. From a dawn’s early morning, to a starlit bedtime, author Gallagher pokes lightheartedly at the average worker’s existence, which can be sharply hilarious and altogether too familiar, or it can be safely cautious so you can play another day. Best of all, you get to control what happens next, so pick carefully.

No, you won’t find any career-enhancing advice in this book. There’s nothing that’s going to make your job easier. But you’ll laugh, and if that’s all you need, then “In a Daze Work” is the right book to choose.

Terri Schlichenmeyer reviews books about businesses and business practice.


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