Dying on the Job: murder and mayhem in the American workplace

From Andrea Kalinowski
Author:  Ronald D. Brown
Dying on the Job: murder and mayhem in the American workplace
Dying on the Job is not a read for the faint of heart. It discusses the rise in workplace violence and explores some of the possible reasons for this increase. The spike is attributed, in part, to the economic downturn, the scarcity of employment opportunities, the threat of losing the employment, etc. Due to the scarcity of employment and the increase in debt,  debtors’ prisons  are being revived in some states. The author, in addition, investigates the difference that gender plays in how much force and how quickly that force is deployed against coworkers and employers. Women, it turns out, are much quicker on the trigger but they carry less weaponry into the workplace. Men, if they decide upon an act of violence in the workplace, come armed to the teeth. They usually bear several arms, some knives and extra ammunition. This book was an eye-opener. As a somewhat informed person, I was aware of workplace violence but somehow only on the periphery. Reading this tome made me more cognizant of the fact that violence can occur anywhere and at any time.

Man down: proof beyond a reasonable doubt that women are better cops, drivers, gamblers, spies, world leaders, beer tasters, hedge fund managers, and just about everything else

From Jackie Cantwell
author: Abrams, Dan
Man down: proof beyond a reasonable doubt that women are better cops, drivers, gamblers, spies, world leaders, beer tasters, hedge fund managers, and just about everything else
 This is a collection of recent studies performed around the world, which test whether men or women are better at certain tasks, such as investing. This is a quick read, as most chapters are only 2 or 3 pages long. This is refreshing for a male author to champion women in almost every aspect of life. The tone of the book is witty and conversational. He throws in references to popular culture and summarizes each research study in layman’s terms. He finds that women are less corruptible, both as politicians and cops. Some chapters are based on polls, and not scientific studies, such as the one entitled “Women are better world leaders”. This is a 2008 Pew Research Center poll about the public’s perception of women’s abilities to lead nations. Oddly enough, women possess more of the qualities voters are seeking in a candidate, yet far more men are still being elected. And similarly, in a 2008 Swiss study, they found that messages read by female newscasters were seen as being more credible, but that male newscasters were seen as more credible overall. Mr. Abrams found that women are better drivers, too. Surveying a few recent studies, he found that men get more tickets, have more accidents, and drive drunk far more often. And two recent studies, one American and one Canadian, found that women are better at giving and following directions. Men tended to give directions when they weren’t really sure, and misestimated the distances involved. Women tended to take the time to think the directions through before giving them, and when following directions, used landmarks. He concludes this chapter with: “So now a woman doesn’t only have to worry about getting in a car with a man who will drive less safely than she would and be less likely to admit that he’s lost; when asking for directions, she also has to make sure to ask another woman or risk being sent on a wild goose chase by some guy who doesn’t really know what he’s talking about.” He made a believer out of me!