I just love reading accounts like this of a pretty straightforward career in the book business. The Passive Voice brings us a substantial extract from Lori Hildebrandt’s account of her career and recent layoff, with a link to the original at Publishers Weekly, (which is only a sentence or two longer). Companies come and companies go, and we get to roll with the punches, coming back for more, because that’s the job we just love to do. Ms Hildebrandt, an inside sales rep for a book wholesaler who was laid off recently as a result of coronavirus, writes of her career with such positivity that one can’t imagine her remaining unemployed for long.

Typically dyspeptic, the Passive Voice sneers at the publishing industry for its treatment of Ms Hildebrandt, failing to notice that she has never actually worked in publishing.

When it comes to work, there’s really nothing I can think of that can beat a life spent embedded in the network of relationships with people of good sense and will. This is the experience of anyone who works in the book industry. Over a fifty year career I can, as I’ve written before, think of two or maybe three people who were out and out unpleasant, but I’d go to considerable lengths to chat again with almost everyone I knew in the business. Every day I would learn something new from someone I came into contact with for even a small amount of time: colleagues, suppliers, sales reps, customers, reviewers, authors, bosses even.

Can others say the same? I do think so, though I’m sure lots of us don’t have time to stop and think about it. Well, Ms Hildebrandt is certainly another with my positive attitude. Best of luck to her.