"Pink Slip Party"
(reviewed by Kam Aures APR 4, 2004)
"I think if someone fires you, they should have the decency to do it in person. My boss, lower than vermin on the food chain, was too chicken to actually tell me. Instead, I found out via e-mail."
Jane McGregor is one of the one thousand employees laid of at Maximum Office, ironically a company that manufactures pink slips. To add insult to injury, Mike Orephus, the man Jane had been dating for the past seven months and also the Vice President of the Midwest Division of Maximum Office, broke it off with her on the same day.
Jane is a very sarcastic, comical person and these attributes sure show in her hunt for a job. She applies for every job imaginable from CFO of Chrysler to U.S. Olympic Bobsledder. Obviously as an art major she is not even remotely qualified for these positions but that is where the humor lies. The responses she gets from these companies are peppered throughout the novel and are always good for a laugh. For instance, after sending her resume to Barnum and Bailey Circus this is the response that she receives: "Thank you for your interest in employment with the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Unfortunately we do not have any openings for you at this time. While we appreciate that you have a natural sense of balance and have always dreamed of walking on a tightrope, we must inform you that we only hire trained specialists to do all of our acrobatic acts. A two-week gymnastics camp during the summer of your 8th grade year, we're afraid, does not qualify as adequate training."
Without an income Jane needs to find creative ways to earn money in order to be able to keep her apartment, as her unemployment check is not going to be enough to cut it. In order to try to make ends meet Jane decides to get a roommate. At the unemployment office she runs into Missy, another ex-employee of Maximum Office, and finds out that Missy is looking for a place. Because Missy is a little on the strange side, Jane gives it some thought but then decides that she doesn't have a choice in the matter if she wants to continue living in the same place. Having Missy as a roommate is not without consequences. Missy was the former system administrator of the company and had access to all of the system passwords. She devises a plan to break into Maximum Office and send e-mails to the high-ranking members of the company firing them and to divert payroll funds so no one would get their paychecks on time. Of course Jane, against her better judgment, is dragged into carrying this plan out.
Pink Slip Party has a number of unforgettable and somewhat eccentric characters. From Ron, the drug-dealing, band- member, ex-boyfriend, to Kyle the clean-cut lawyer, there are people at each end of the spectrum. This diversity makes for interesting interaction amongst the characters. One thing that almost all of the characters have in common is that they themselves are funny or their actions are funny.
In the back of the advanced reading copy of this book there is an author question and answer section and one of the questions asks where Lockwood gets her inspiration for writing humor. Part of her response is, "Humor is a very tricky thing to write, mostly because it is nearly impossible for two people to agree on what's funny." I feel that she was right on target when she wrote Pink Slip Party and that almost everyone will be in agreement that this is one hilarious book. I definitely recommend this novel if you need a good laugh and you know you do if you've received one of those pink slips yourself.
- Amazon readers rating: from 21 reviews
Read a chapter excerpt from Pink Slip Party at MostlyFiction.com
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Bibliography: (with links to Amazon.com)
- I Do (But I Don't) (June 2003)
- Pink Slip Party (March 2004)
- In One Year and Out the Other (December 2004) (with Pamela Redmond Satran, etc.)
- Dixieland Sushi (May 2005)
- I Did (But I Wouldn't Now) (May 2006)
Bard Academy Novels:
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About the Author:
Cara Lockwood was born in Dallas, Texas, and earned a Bachelor's degree in English from the University of Pennylvania in 1995. She has worked as a journalist in Austin, and is now married and living in Chicago, where she pines for sunshine and Tex Mex.