picking the low hanging fruit book coverReviewed by Poppy Johnson

Picking the Low Hanging-Fruit by James Sudakow is a hilarious dictionary of terms that are commonly used today as buzzwords–especially in corporate America. The table of contents is an alphabetical list of the terms covered in the book, from A to Zed. Each section specific to a word explains what the word means and what it doesn’t mean (usually its literal definition), and includes funny illustrations and directions on how to use that word in a sentence. In the “more information” section, Sudakow provides real life information on how and why the phrase came into being, how it is applied, and what employees really think about the phrase today.

For example, the phrase “prepare a deck” – as in to present to the meeting tomorrow- is actually a reference to an employee creating a PowerPoint slide deck. The author jokingly tells us that it doesn’t mean to make a DIY home improvement project to build a new back on a home.

Some readers will see these phrases as old buzzwords, old phrases from corporate days gone by, or just silly expressions that appeal more to some employees than others. In our family, when we all used to play softball, a person who was coaching the team would motivate the other players by yelling, “Hey, let’s ham and egg-it! Let’s get going for some runs, and score some points!” Obviously, you can see from the context that “ham and egg-it!” is a phrase equated to the ancillary “let’s get going.” I don’t even know who started this ham and egg business but the point is that everyone knew what it meant, in context, and everyone tried a bit harder upon hearing it. I believe that the book’s corporate phrases, in their day, were also meant to inspire, lead, empathize or encourage cooperation with others in the workplace–to encourage everyone to be “on the same page”.

I recommend this book to readers of any age. It is funny, and provides some valuable insight into the corporate culture via the reasons for the outdated phrases. If nothing else, it is a lighthearted read with laughable illustrations.

After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by James Sudakow. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.