Pub Writes

About the publishing Industry, editorials, and reviews

Malled by Caitlin Kelly

Posted by Caitie F on May 23, 2012

Title: Malled
Author: Caitlin Kelly
Hardcover:  240 pages
Pub Date: April 14, 2011
Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (Penguin)
Rating: ++

Summary from goodreads:

After losing her job as a journalist and the security of a good salary, Caitlin Kelly was hard up for cash. When she saw that The North Face-an upscale outdoor clothing company-was hiring at her local mall, she went for an interview almost on a whim.

Suddenly she found herself, middle-aged and mid-career, thrown headfirst into the bizarre alternate reality of the American mall: a world of low-wage workers selling overpriced goods to well-to-do customers. At first, Kelly found her part-time job fun and reaffirming, a way to maintain her sanity and sense of self-worth. But she describes how the unexpected physical pressures, the unreasonable dictates of a remote corporate bureaucracy, and the dead-end career path eventually took their toll. As she struggled through more than two years at the mall, despite surgeries, customer abuse, and corporate inanity, Kelly gained a deeper understanding of the plight of the retail worker.


I really enjoy memoirs,e especially when they are about relatively normal things because I think it helps give insight ot how millions of people live everyday. When I saw this, I thought it would be great. I never worked retail (the closest I got was a concession stand at a pool), even though I tried to get jobs there for years.

The book was…okay. Some of what she had to say was interesting. I was fascinated by all the behind-the-scenes information, mostly about how companies don’t care about their employees at all. They put them at risk and made their jobs much harder than they have to be. It was just simple things that would cost $5 to fix, like better lights, but they just couldn’t be bother. Or the bigger things like paying  next to nothing to employees, while making millions upon millions in profits. It was depressing, but something we all have to think about more often.

Yet I found the author very irritating. She was SO judgmental of others, especially people she was working with.  She had opinions on everyone and the were not all nice. The negative attitude really bothered me. She was also such a braggart. I don’t know how many times she said her store was always one of the top five stores nationwide and how she was the best salesperson. If it was true, fine, but there is a line between confident and cocky and she crossed it several times.

I also didn’t like her attitude about the recession making people take jobs that are “beneath them.” I get that things are really tough and it is hard to go from a great job to a minimum wage job, but a job is a job and by saying a job is beneath you disrespects the people who do that job. It was very inappropriate.

There were parts I really liked, but her overall attitude made me not be able to recommend this book.


2 Responses to “Malled by Caitlin Kelly”

  1. I like memoirs too, but not when they’re mean spirited like this one sounds.

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