How to Survive from Nine to Five cover

Published: 1970


How To Survive From Nine To Five

‘Never drink black coffee at lunch: it will keep you awake in the afternoon.’

Jilly Cooper’s witty thumbnail sketch of office life – part valentine, part poison pen letter – offers a vivid evocation of the world in which many of us spend a large part of our lives.

There will be few office workers, whether they are bosses, sekketries or office crones, who do not recognize the Machiavellian politics and the lunacies she describes.

The topics covered by this survival guide range from ‘The Hierarchy’ and ‘Office Happenings’ to ‘Extra-mural Activities’ and ‘The Firing Squad’.

Early in her career the author worked in an office and she has many friends, including a husband, who still do: but it will come as no surprise to readers of this classic volume to learn that since its publication she has been self-employed.

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A series of rollicking Cooperisms on the lighter side of office life

Yorkshire Evening Post

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Anyone who has worked in an office (in the 70's at least) will recognise and chuckle at this book.


Everything Jilly writes is erudite and entertaining. More please!


Quite a fun tongue-in-cheek look at office life. A definite historical artefact with much sexism and political incorrectness.