Alice Williams is here to help us with etiquette for the 21st century - from how to introduce a new partner to your particular kink ("it can be difficult to 'organically' fall into defecating on someone's face" to dealing with asshat co-workers "next time they do whatever it is that shits you, try the 'not you, me' approach: 'When you do x I find it hard to deliver on my performance promise'; or 'It's so funny, because when you're an ass I wonder what I did wrong.'"
The book is divided, like many books of this category, into recreational etiquette (from parties, sex and drugs to technology like mobile phones), grown-up behaviour (share houses, career-type jobs, relationships), a 5-year life plan (including a multiple-choice "what kind of fame whore are you?"), and a concluding section on manners under pressure. And sprinkled through are both light touches of humour and enough local content to be attractive without hammering the reader with an I'm-an-Aussie sign.
I picked up the book while waiting in the library queue, and flicked through to the section on kinds of boss, where my eye fell on "A benevolent fascist Their most potent tool is their 'disappointment' in you. The thing is, this kind of boss will never have indicated that they had any faith in you in the first place." Nailed that one - thrilled to have a technique to use on my own 'disappointed dad' manager, I decided to take it home.
I came for the employer advice but stayed for the rest, particularly the relationship advice - "do you want to end up like one of those scraggy couples you see screeching at each other on trains? They may enjoy being nasty to one another... but do you ever think, 'Hey that chick/guy knows what they want and, cool, they're not afraid to be heard'?" And if you've been dumped and want to get your own back in the most satisfying way possible, flick to p. 121 for "the genius of the Reverse Dump," which is worth the price of admission. - Alex