The cover of her [Medoff's] new novel, This Could Hurt, is an employee termination checklist ... Together, Rosa and her team of desperate middle-managers are charged with guiding the company’s 'human relations'... While the recession grinds on, This Could Hurt rotates through these characters, one per chapter, sometimes showing us the same meeting or conversation from different points of view ... Medoff exploits that structure to illustrate how delusional Rosa’s staff can be, how willfully they misinterpret what’s happening ...plays lightly with the conventions of corporate discourse ... As smart as Medoff’s critique of corporate inanity is, it’s tempered by compassion for these people, who are ultimately tender with each other, too.
This Could Hurt is set in the offices of Ellery Consumer Research in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse. There’s an air of The Office TV show in its darkly comic tone, but it delves more deeply and seriously into the dynamics of a workplace ... Medoff mines the phenomenon of the 'office wife,' generational values, gender politics, racial nervousness, networking and more, all set against the irrevocable reality of meeting the bottom line ... The narrative cracks along, without an indulgent passage in the book. The characters change in credible ways, and Medoff has us, at various times, both rooting for them and wanting to dump coffee over their heads.
So how does This Could Hurt — based entirely around the daily happenings of a human resources team — yield such a delicious, satisfying book? Because Jillian Medoff delivers a story that is about so much more than run-of-the-mill office politics ...a worthy follow-up to Medoff’s bestseller I Couldn’t Love You More. Filled with heart and humor, it will ring true to anyone who’s experienced both the cruelty and the camaraderie that make up the modern American workplace.