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Corporate Ties Reviewed By Beth Burke of Bookpleasures.com
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Beth Burke
Reviewer Beth Burke: Beth is a college professor and freelance editor. She recently retired as a homeschooling mom when her son graduated high school. Her love of books spans half a century, during which time she has read from a wide range of genres. In her free time she creates quilts and tends to a garden.  
By Beth Burke
Published on December 10, 2011
 

Author: Ben Woods

Publisher: Spumoni Press, 2011

ISBN: 978-0982781906



Click Here To Purchase Corporate Ties

Author: Ben Woods

Publisher: Spumoni Press, 2011

ISBN: 978-0982781906

If you’ve ever worked for a large company that endured a corporate takeover, you will be able to relate wholeheartedly to Jason, the new-hire whose life is chronicled in Corporate Ties by Ben Woods. The book is a true slice-of-life picture as Jason is thrust headlong into the upheaval of the workaday world when, after less than 2 weeks on his new job, the company he works for is bought out by a bigger conglomerate.

Jason, hired as a computer programmer, expects to be the first one out the door when massive layoffs are announced, as is often the case in such a takeover. Instead, the wheels are put in motion to move the employees—or rather, associates—to the headquarters location. Jason is surprised to find he’s invited to move along with everyone else, but most of the book is spent on his waffling back and forth, full of what-if’s and uncertainty, on whether to move or not.

His dilemma is compounded by several factors: he’s just bought a house, which he’s not sure he wants to sell; he’s not sure whether there’s any promise in an on-again, off-again office romance relationship; and most of all, he’s struck by the weird vibes that emanate from this new corporation. On the one hand, it appears to be a solid place to work—he hasn’t heard a bad word from anyone who works there against the company. But for starters, the dress code includes ties for the men. Jason has just invested in several polo shirts expressly for the new job. He’s not keen on having to reinvest in a new wardrobe.

Another strange aspect is that his work on a new system goes forward unabated, yet nobody at headquarters seems to be in the know about what he’s doing. He continues to question whether he’s being brought along on a ruse, only to be cut loose after he makes the move.

Jason’s observations about the rest of the crew and their issues with the move are both humorous and insightful. He can often be more astute about what others should do while not being able to determine his own path. I kept hoping one of his co-workers could be half as helpful to him, but the only input he seems to get is from the would-be girlfriend who keeps insisting that she knows he won’t make the move—when he doesn’t even know himself.

The other thing I kept hoping for was some real action. It seemed as if there were a couple of points of buildup where the reader is ready for the other shoe to drop, but the action falls off without a climax. I was really looking forward to a pivotal point in the story.

Overall, the book is engaging and well-written with a real appeal to those who enjoy situations similar to Dilbert cartoons.


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