This Could Hurt

This Could Hurt

A funny and deeply felt novel that illuminates the pivotal role of work in our lives—a riveting fusion of The Nest, Up in the Air, and Then We Came to the End that captures the emotional complexities of five HR colleagues trying to balance ambition, hope, and fear as their small company is buffeted by economic forces that threaten to upend them.Rosa Guerrero beat the odds...

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Title:This Could Hurt
Author:Jillian Medoff
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Edition Language:English

This Could Hurt Reviews

  • Marcy Dermansky

    I am lucky to have gotten the chance to red Jillian's new book before its release. I even blurbed it. This is what I wrote -- and mean every word.

    Searing, sexy and surprisingly funny, Jillian Medoff’s This Could Hurt burns through the pages. No one is safe in this cruel but compassionate take on corporate America. I loved it.

  • Emily

    Jillian Medoff is one of my favorite writer. Her new novel is a warm, witty look at modern office life that anyone who has ever come near corporate politics (and even those who haven't) will adore. Her quirky characters and their all-too-human relationships will stay with you long after you finish the book.

  • Karen Bergreen

    I was obsessed with this book from page one. Medoff reminds me of Franzen, although she is less judgmental in her writing. At first read, I felt as if I were spying on a bunch of very psychologically interesting characters. And then, all of a sudden, I found myself very emotionally attached--both to them and the story. A day after I finished, I found myself missing the characters.

  • Cindy Roesel

    THIS COULD HURT (Harper) by Jillian Medoff is an inspired satire on something we all (well, mostly all) have to do daily! Go to work! For the people working peeps in the Human Resources department of the Ellery Consumer Research Group, sometimes it’s a good day, sometimes bad, but at Ellery, it's never boring!

    Five somewhat dysfunctional people work hard, hoping to stay employed while the economy shifts making layoffs more realistic than ever being told, "Good job." Rosa Guerrero, Chief Executiv

    THIS COULD HURT (Harper) by Jillian Medoff is an inspired satire on something we all (well, mostly all) have to do daily! Go to work! For the people working peeps in the Human Resources department of the Ellery Consumer Research Group, sometimes it’s a good day, sometimes bad, but at Ellery, it's never boring!

    Five somewhat dysfunctional people work hard, hoping to stay employed while the economy shifts making layoffs more realistic than ever being told, "Good job." Rosa Guerrero, Chief Executive VP, oversees the entire employee experience and it's not a job for a wimp.

    "Being Chief at Ellery in 2009 was like running air traffic control during a typhoon. It was up to Rosa not only to guide each pilot to safety, she also had to protect the people on the ground and maintain the airport's profitability."

    Working at Ellery is being part of a family. Rosa is the strong mother who has been around a block or two, protecting and nourishing her babies. Each brings their own mishegas, and Rosa’s there to call for “time outs,” when necessary.

    THIS COULD HURT is set in 2009 when many people were being laid-off and changing their career paths, not necessarily on their own volition. Anybody hoping to take home a paycheck was fearful that the stock market may drop … again! Medoff’s narrative puts readers on the 9th floor of a converted lower west-side warehouse, where employees can’t help, but feel like commodities being put on and taken off the shelf.

    Jillian Medoff’s narrative and pithy dialogue reads fast, its smart and makes her fans smile, hoping she writes another novel, sooner rather than later!

  • Ettore

    Warm, funny, enchanting, intriguing... What words of praise could one not use about this book? Jillian Medoff takes what seems on its face a rather mundane topic--corporate human resources--and fashions a tale about the behind-the-scenes machinations that's thoroughly engaging yet heart-achingly and gut-bustingly real. The characters are so fully formed and well written that you'll come to feel you've truly spent time with these people. This is a can't-miss read whether you've worked in the corp

    Warm, funny, enchanting, intriguing... What words of praise could one not use about this book? Jillian Medoff takes what seems on its face a rather mundane topic--corporate human resources--and fashions a tale about the behind-the-scenes machinations that's thoroughly engaging yet heart-achingly and gut-bustingly real. The characters are so fully formed and well written that you'll come to feel you've truly spent time with these people. This is a can't-miss read whether you've worked in the corporate world or not.

  • Allison

    I haven't enjoyed a workplace novel this much since Then We Came to the End, and in many ways, the books reminded me of each other: biting, insightful, sardonic, fulfilling, unputdownable. Medoff juggles multiple characters deftly and carefully draws out their complicated inner-lives until you are rooting for (nearly) each and every one of them, even with their foibles and flaws. And the epilogue! Oh, I grinned from ear to ear on that last page. Bravo.

  • Jill

    It’s obvious that Jillian Medoff knows whereof she writes. Anyone who has ever been in a corporate environment will instantly recognize the truths that serve as the foundation for this plot. Many of us have either worked at a company like Ellery Consumer Research Group or have known friends who have.

    So, if the characters seem just a tad bit stereotypical, it’s for good reason. Rosa Guerrero is the widowed and childless HR Chief who is fiercely loyal to her staff, who serve as substitute family t

    It’s obvious that Jillian Medoff knows whereof she writes. Anyone who has ever been in a corporate environment will instantly recognize the truths that serve as the foundation for this plot. Many of us have either worked at a company like Ellery Consumer Research Group or have known friends who have.

    So, if the characters seem just a tad bit stereotypical, it’s for good reason. Rosa Guerrero is the widowed and childless HR Chief who is fiercely loyal to her staff, who serve as substitute family to her. She oversees a gaggle of employees: Rob Hirsch, her burnt-out protégée in danger of being laid off, Lucy Bender who seeks both a promotion and a man who is worthy of her, Kenny Verville with his MBA from Wharton, and Leo Smalls, her overweight and sometimes overwrought surrogate son.

    All these characters wrestle with the economic turbulence that threatens their job security and the insecurities of their marriages or lack of meaningful relationships. The small and not-so-small dramas are played out: the betrayal of a trusted friend being groomed for succession, the semi-crush on the co-worker, the New Year’s Eve spent with co-workers, and so forth.

    Jillian Medoff writes in an entertaining and compelling style that draws in the reader. I believe that a good editor would have done wonders; the book can be repetitive, drumming home some of the same points over and over. That being said, it’s a fun and authentic read and a worthy addition to books about corporate America.

  • Ron Charles

    Jillian Medoff knows corporate America intimately. She once worked for Deloitte, the multinational professional services network that exists so that Don DeLillo doesn’t have to invent it. In addition to three previous novels, Medoff’s résumé includes stints as a management consultant, a communication strategist and all manner of related workplace necromancy. The cover of her new novel, “This Could Hurt,” is an employee termination checklist.

    The story opens in 2009, amid the wreckage of the Great

    Jillian Medoff knows corporate America intimately. She once worked for Deloitte, the multinational professional services network that exists so that Don DeLillo doesn’t have to invent it. In addition to three previous novels, Medoff’s résumé includes stints as a management consultant, a communication strategist and all manner of related workplace necromancy. The cover of her new novel, “This Could Hurt,” is an employee termination checklist.

    The story opens in 2009, amid the wreckage of the Great Recession. At a small market-research firm in New York, the HR department has already been cut in half. “Despair had set in,” Medoff writes, but HR Director Rosa Guerrero is optimistic. Rosa had “elevated HR from a ragtag bunch of clueless clerks into a team of professionals,” and she knows they can get through this rough spot if they’re smart and nimble.

    Unfortunately, they’re not smart or nimble. They’re human, which is to say they’re scared, self-interested and indebted. Among Rosa’s employees is a depressed VP of operations who’s skimming. . . . .

  • Larry H

    2.5 stars for this one.

    Things at Ellery Consumer Research Group haven't quite been the same since the crash of 2008. Even the HR department took its licks, shrinking from 22 to 16 to 13 people, then finally to 11. But even though promises of stability were made throughout the company, even a year later, times were tough, and rumors of more layoffs float throughout the halls.

    Rosa Guerrero is the chief of human resources at Ellery, a woman who fought hard through the years to get where she is now.

    2.5 stars for this one.

    Things at Ellery Consumer Research Group haven't quite been the same since the crash of 2008. Even the HR department took its licks, shrinking from 22 to 16 to 13 people, then finally to 11. But even though promises of stability were made throughout the company, even a year later, times were tough, and rumors of more layoffs float throughout the halls.

    Rosa Guerrero is the chief of human resources at Ellery, a woman who fought hard through the years to get where she is now. She battled hostility, sexism, ethnic prejudice, but now, comfortably in her 60s, she rules the roost, and is well-respected throughout the company and within her own department. She knows the importance of both looking the part and acting it, and her own employees seek her advice, her counsel, her knowledge, and of course, her approval and favor.

    She knows that the company may need to downsize itself a little longer, but she wants to do everything to protect her employees. She tries to put plans in place that will keep her staff out of the crossfire, while continuing to demonstrate her value and that of her team, but circumstances constantly foil her. Her staff is somewhat of a motley crew of ambition, ego, insecurity, hunger for power, and occasional dysfunction. What's a boss to do?

    After discovering the wrongdoing of one long-time employee, Rosa feels betrayed, and starts to wonder how much longer she can handle the pressure of the job, especially as the CEO is breathing down her neck, expecting her to find ways that will allow for more people to be laid off. Little by little, chinks start to appear in Rosa's once-impenetrable armor, and her staff realizes they must protect her if they're going to be able to protect themselves.

    follows Rosa and her employees through a tumultuous year. From Lucy, the immensely ambitious yet insecure woman whose professional life flourishes while her personal life languishes, to Kenny, whose degree from Wharton makes him feel he's just biding time in this job until something better comes along—until he realizes nothing might, Leo, fiercely devoted to Rosa and the company, yet unhappy with himself and the path his life appears to be on, to Rob, happily married yet wanting more than he has, each employee faces crises, of conscience, of faith, and in their lives.

    Truth be told, this book didn't work for me. I think it couldn't decide whether it wanted to be funny (sporadically the book features unnecessary footnotes a la Kevin Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians series, yet none were as humorous as intended) or serious, because the book did deal with some emotional issues as well as office politics, but it never stayed firmly in one camp. While I started out thinking the characters were interesting, none of them were really that likable, and their foibles and issues became repetitive.

    I feel like when authors write novels about the workplace, they strive to capture the magic that the television show

    had, but I've yet to find a book that can tap into that effectively.

    is well-written and had an interesting premise, but it took too long to wrap itself up, and its conclusion, told in organizational charts over the years, is jarring, because they divulge changes in the characters' lives without explaining them.

    I'm disappointed, but you can't win them all. At least reading this book made me realize I've worked in far crazier and more dysfunctional places, no contest there!

    See all of my reviews at

    , or check out my list of the best books I read in 2017 at

    .

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