My book

While one of the keys to life may be in keeping the balance
between the yin and the yang, the pros and the cons,
the plusses and the minuses; and while there may always
be three sides of a story—yours, mine, and the truth; there
are only two sides of a ledger—the debit and the credit.
Or that’s what we are told …

“The Other Side of the Ledger” is a light-hearted series of short stories, bound to resonate with anyone who has ever been challenged by office politics, compulsory meetings, ambiguous communications, or suffocating policies and procedures.

Although each story is set in a different workplace, each has a common thread that somehow unravels when human nature and bureaucratic bungling intertwine within the unnatural confines of an office environment. Some of the stories explore the ramifications of personality clashes, lapses of professionalism and managerial failures; while others expose the more personal emotions of losing a job, facing a period of unemployment or looking for another job. And although many of the characters and plots are tempered by a greed for position or power, or tinged by an office romance, or tainted by a white collar crime, underneath the layers, human vulnerability is never forgotten …


Ruth Miller knows the world of the working woman from the inside but steps aside to look at that world with a clear insightful view. The stories in “The Other Side of the Ledger” are sharp and edgy, intelligent and compassionate without a shred of sentimentality. Above all she creates a wholly credible account of women in the workplace. These stories are, line by line, a pure pleasure to read.

Don Meredith, George Garrett Fiction Prize Winner

Recent Reviews

Fluid and articulate style pulls no punches and keeps things flowing right up to the very last word.

From Wellington to London’s Earl’s Court, anybody who has ever worked in an office for even the shortest time will recognise scenes from Ruth Miller’s The Other side of the Ledger. Her humorous accounts of the chaotic mayhem, so often hidden behind an efficient façade, ring only too true.

For those whose only experience of an office is waiting endlessly at the other end of a phone line, or viewing rows of desks through an open door, it might come as a surprise to discover the seamier side of bookkeeping. Whether you’re one of the former, or have actually served time counting beans, there are lots of smirks and chuckles in store from this lively series of tales.

Ruth guides us through darkened corridors filled with shabby sexual intrigue, and littered with indiscretion, to sunlit, open offices where expense sheets and balances are fiddled with the adeptness of a concert violinist. We see alcoholic inefficiency mixed into a cocktail of infidelity and sexual intrigue. She tells us how office politics and downright betrayal often take precedence over talent and loyalty behind the filing cabinet. Her wit and observational skills are skilfully employed to expose a world where sharks often outnumber dolphins, and Friday nights bring emergency alcohol transfusions down at the pub. Where office Christmas parties are mostly best forgotten, rather than remembered, that’s if the participants can even remember what they’re supposed to forget.

Having spent much of her life working as a bookkeeper Ruth knows what she’s talking about. Her fluid and articulate style pulls no punches and keeps things flowing right up to the very last word.

Review by Bryan Hemming (short stories, comment and photography), 06/04/13

Obviously the lovable, dedicated, honest, rogue and philanderer work side by side wherever people work together!

What a great job by the author to develop such convincing characters so quickly- to breathe life into their storylines for each chapter! Despite my never having worked in the “office scene” (and now thoroughly convinced my career choice was the right one!) I was impressed by Ruth’s ability to produce characters with personalities I was able to relate to, and identify with. A thoroughly enjoyable read on a subject not usually tackled!

Review by Johbar, 27/02/13

Humorous at times yet thought provoking, it is an easy entertaining read.

Initially I wondered how I was going to handle this book. I had visions of pages filled with the bitchiness of office gossip. The he said, she said, they did world of female office staff with nothing better to do. How wrong I was. The Other Side of the Ledger has a story for everyone. Humorous at times yet thought provoking, it is an easy entertaining read. The Other Side of the Ledger is full of real life stories that take you on a different journey through the corporate world and the thoughts and actions of the female staff that keep the cogs turning. From office friends and affairs, to working around family life, traveling abroad and the balance of life, love and loss of employment, The Other Side of the Ledger has it all. It speaks of the reality of the day to day grind of office workers in a light hearted and fun manner.

It is obvious that Ruth Miller knows the world of the working woman and the office. The Other Side of the Ledger is written with professionalism, style and truths of the working world. Ruth has not held back but allowed the reader to take a step in the door of each individual office scenario, taking them through the motions, emotions and hustle and bustle that each day brings. When reading The Other Side of the Ledger I laughed and I related. Having worked in an office myself I could all too well relate to the squabble, cat scratching drama that embraced a group that too often competed against each other. Of course there is also the love, friendship and goal driven desires.

One thing that did leave me wondering about this book is the use of a subtitle underneath each chapter (short story) title. As I reached each chapter I would scratch my head trying to work out the reason why this was done, going back to the previous to see if I was missing a link between the two. Have I missed something that may be a vital part to the book? Each subtitle starts with the prefix ‘un’. There is undulating progressions, unintentional indiscretions, undiminished services, undeniable ineptitude, unacceptable hypocrisy and the list goes on. By the end of the book I was all ‘un’ed out. These subtitles set the mood for each chapter and as I became irritated by the ‘un’ I became a little annoyed with the book. I found each story spoke for itself, subtitle not needed.

Overall, I was impressed with the feel and presentation of this book. The cover is glossy and smooth, feeling soft to the touch and pleasant to hold. The presentation is plain and simple but clearly gives a visual cue of the topic within. It leaves one with enough information to set the scene, invoking an inquisitive mind which leads to reading the back blurb and turning the pages. If only all of life was as simple, plain and entertaining as The Other Side of the Ledger.

So did The Other Side of the Ledger weave its magic spell and keep me enthralled, amused and wanting more as it claims. I do not know about weaving a magic spell as such or keeping me enthralled but it kept me amused, entertained me and held my attention enough for me to continue to read from front to back. It was a non threatening relaxing read that allowed me to remove myself from the grind of my own life and take myself into the world of others. The Other Side of the Ledger is a book that every woman, from all walks of life would understand and enjoy, after all what woman doesn’t like a bit of gossip.

Review by Jennifer Deaves, 19/02/13

Enjoyable read

I really enjoyed this book. It was easy to plunge into each story and go on the journey of each office encounter. The professional face of each company visited is stripped back to reveal the other side, often full of shenanigans, mishaps and disarray. The female characters find repression in the site of the office and even if some of them move on in the hope of a more satisfying employment opportunity, they may continue to be deeply disappointed. Whilst potentially a bleak subject, Ruth Miller sprinkles in a little humour and drama to make this a delightful read.

Review by Kat S, 09/02/13

Cleverly titled book that achieves its promise of taking us to the other side of the ledger, and provides a (humorous) call for attention to the health of our workplace cultures.

Ruth Miller’s cleverly titled book achieves its promise of taking us to the other side of the ledger, beyond the front-of-house veneer of civility into the messier, and often murkier, backrooms of workplaces large and small. It includes stories that can be read one at a time, and is therefore an excellent choice for the public transport commute. It also has coherence and continuity so that reading larger chunks is equally feasible. I would guess the author has done her own time as a temping bookkeeper and has encountered some pretty colorful characters in the process. Her sense of humor makes her stories easy to read. I sometimes chose the option, provided by the light touch, of staying close to the surface and not delving too deeply into the world of boozing, sexual intrigue, harassment, fraud, corruption, and abuse of power that is accessible at a deeper level. At other times, I went with the emotional flow and felt sad, angry, irritated or queasy at the way we can behave towards each other. This is a book that can be read at more than one level: it is fun and easy to read, but also provides a call for serious attention to the health of our workplace cultures.

Review by Joan B, 01/02/13


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