Nothing seemed very groundbreaking in this book. The author spent some time (how much, he never really explains) working on the front lines of retail jobs like Starbucks, the Gap, and UPS to see what it's like. And it's pretty much exactly as you would expect. The people who work at the Gap on the salesfloor spend a lot of time folding. The drinks at Starbucks are complicated to make. UPS is a complex network of integrated systems ensuring your packages get to where they need to go, with an emphasis on the human front-line interaction. The Apple store is staffed by enthusiastic people with technology interests outside of work who feel pressure to sell you accessories. There you go... I wouldn't expect it to be anything different.
Basically the author seems kind of entitled and surprised that the people who work in retail are actually human. I think he may have been laboring under the misapprehension that retail is staffed by robots. He seemed surprised every time work got busy or tough or he had to field complaints. It made him sound entitled. Also, he never really explained how he ended up doing this; it sounds like he started off focusing on UPS and then it blossomed into a major project. For each new job he set us down in the middle of his workday and then worked backwards, then forwards. Very distracting.
The most interesting stuff was about the little behavioral tests a lot of companies stick into their applications, but he didn't go far enough with it as I had hoped. An entire book could be written about that, and, I hope, will.