This Could Hurt (Medoff) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for This Could Hurt by Jillian Medoff … then take off on your own:

1. How Emory has been impacted by the 2008 financial meltdown? In particular, how does the crash affect the team working for Rosa?

2. Talk about Rosalita Guerrero. What kind of a manager is she, and what kind of sacrifices has she made for her career? Have you ever worked for someone as devoted to the job as she is? Do you have a similar kind of investment in your own career or job?

3. According to Rosa, "A business unit was not a family—period. Yet what fueled an employee's success, and in turn, the company's, were the very qualities that bound a family: loyalty, diligence, humor, grace." Care to unpack that statement? Do you find it contradictory—a business unit is a not a family, but it has to act like a family—or does it make sense to you?

4. Talk about Rosa's staff—their various traits and quirks: Rob Hirsch, Lucy Bender, Leo Small, and Ken Verville. Of the team members, whom do you admire … distrust … find fault with … or sympathize with more than others?

5. Rosa advises her subordinates: "The key is to be the same person at home and at work." Why does she believe that? Are you the same person in both venues? Is it truly advisable—is it even possible? Or is Rosa implying that the "you" at home is the more authentic person than the "you" in the office?

6. Talk about Lucy and Rob's relationship. Is Lucy Rob's "office wife"? What is an "office wife"? Are there "office husbands"? Have you been an office spouse or had one? Does your spouse have an office spouse?

7. What kind of "gender wars," if any, are played out in this novel?

8. The author pokes fun at the way women dressed for the office in the 2000s, calling it "the worst period of women's business attire." How should women dress in the corporate world—what is appropriate attire? Same goes for men—and why is the business suit de rigueur?

9. What is the significance of the book's title?

10. Follow-up to Question 9: Is it true that "every new job is another chance to reinvent yourself"?

11. The primary concern of This Could Hurt is finding satisfaction and fulfillment in our work and relationships. How does the novel suggest we should go about that?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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