Girl Friday: An Extraordinarily Ordinary Working Life

Kristine Philipp

Girl Friday: An Extraordinarily Ordinary Working Life
Hardie Grant Books
31 January 2024

Girl Friday: An Extraordinarily Ordinary Working Life

Kristine Philipp

Girl Friday: A job title used in 1970s workplaces for a junior administration assistant or receptionist. Common synonyms include junior office chick, shit-kicker, donkey worker, general dogsbody or gofer (go for this, go for that).

Girl Friday: An Extraordinarily Ordinary Working Life is the hilarious and moving memoir about women at work, pay inequality and the alienating nature of the 21st century workforce. This is a story about resilience and reinvention, and it is also a story about how we are not human resources, we are human beings.

Kristine was 15 when she lied to get a junior office job as a Girl Friday in 1975 – she took the job because she thought she only had to go to work on Fridays. She went on to experience the full gamut of working life, from joblessness, self-employment, mind-numbing office roles, toxic workplaces and out-of-control workloads. Miraculously, Kristine clocked up forty years of admin work, and then in her fifties she became unemployable and ready to tell all.

Wisecracking, frank and completely relatable, Kristine Philipp’s Girl Friday offers stirring insights into the personal and political contexts of working women’s lives, the lengths older women must go to keep a job, the trials of walking the poverty line in later life and the power of friendships and camaraderie in the workplace.

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