The story that results -- shared from Frankel's experiences inside a green apron at Starbucks, brown shirt and shorts for UPS, a car salesman get-up for Enterprise Rent-a-Car, khakis at Gap and Apple's plain black tee -- yields surprising truths about how to better empower front-line employees with corporate values.
Frankel's writing is candid and constructive; not one of the five companies profiled escapes criticism of its management or training styles. ("After just three days on the job, I began to dread punching in," Frankel writes of the boredom that ultimately consumes him at Gap.) It's juicy, investigative journalism in the style of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"...minus all that contaminated beef.
I won't say where Frankel ends up happiest -- or what he learns about himself as a team player (hint: he's not) -- but I guarantee you'll appreciate playing passenger in his cross-country quest for a genuine business culture. There's a bit of soul-searching here for everyone.