All Up in Your Bizness: Managing Your Business Crap

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With its witty and irreverent title, All Up in Your Bizness: Managing Your Business Crap by Julianna Newland promises a no-nonsense approach to navigating the various aspects of business management. This is emphasized by the fact the book is dedicated to Newland’s “many former colleagues whose seemingly random foibles, missteps, and screwups became fodder for this book.” However, in amongst the humorous observations and welcome distractions from the day-to-day grind, the book also offers a surprisingly insightful take on the intricacies of business life.

One of the standout features of All Up in Your Bizness is its format, with the very short or bite-sized sections covering a quite remarkable range of workplace scenarios and predicaments. These topics run the gamut from elevator protocols to the value of mentors to office hookups, and Newland’s droll comments and candid humor shine through as she explores the often pointless or rage-inducing trials and tribulations of modern business environments. Her ability to find the comical aspects of such matters renders the book highly relatable for anyone who has ever experienced the corporate grind.

The other key feature of the book is the inclusion of nine bespoke cocktail recipes throughout the text. These cocktails, which have workplace-relevant names such as “Department Meeting” (principally tequila but with a decent amount of mezcal, lime juice, agave, and Cointreau mixed in) and “Think Outside the Box” (vodka, fresh lemon juice, limoncello, and simply syrup—“A few of these, and you will not only be thinking outside the box, but you’ll also be speaking Martian.”), have been specially created by two bartenders of Newland’s acquaintance. They can either serve as a source of relaxation after a day at the office or turn the book into a drinking game.

While Newland’s unusual approach to dissecting the world of work generally works well, her inclusion of comments about her “muse”— “She is very mercurial, but I can usually find her in my master closet.”—falls a bit flat. Although the muse is presented as inspiring Newland and helping her get ideas down on paper, this aspect feels rather disjointed and underdeveloped. The notion of having a muse is a valid one, but it’s unclear why it needs to be personified or even mentioned at all. This is an area where the muse could either be entirely omitted or the text could be expanded to elucidate her significance, and either approach would enhance the book.

Despite having a distinctly humorous bent, Newland’s advice on surviving and thriving in the face of office politics, performance reviews, the old boys’ network, the need to negotiate pay rises, and the like is often both practical and actionable, and even the more tongue-in-cheek elements at least serve to distract from the horror of office conformity. In particular, her insights into how the workplace has evolved throughout the Baby Boomer, Generation X, and Millennial generations, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transition to remote working, are interesting and thought-provoking.

While the fragmented and piecemeal structure of All Up in Your Bizness will not appeal to all readers, leaving those looking for more in-depth insights and information on particular topics to seek other sources, and while certain sections will resonate more than others depending on readers’ experience of the corporate world, the book offers a refreshing approach to business management literature as well as an appealing blend of humor, practical advice, and creative indulgence. Whether a seasoned professional or someone just starting out in their career, there’s something in this book for everyone looking to manage the “business crap” with a smile.

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Author Julianna Newland
Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 50 pages
Publisher Fulton Books
Publish Date 03-Aug-2023
ISBN 9798887313641 Buy this Book
Issue October 2023
Category Non-Fiction