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I love flying. If only because it lets me catch up on all the reading Ive been meaning to do. As per Amys Assholes 101 post, Ive been stuck trying to finish The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace a... [Read More]

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@juxamist Guerhotthet

Hi!
I'm re-twit you post: to my @juxamist twitter

bisnis online

t shifts focus to a better future, gives people a feeling of control, and creates social bonds. Fantastic stuff.

get paid for surveys

Lol, I love the title and how you call them assholes. Well you know what this happened to me, and I think your tips are the best ever.

Melbourne Academic

I am working in the Australian University sector as sessional Academic and have come across allot of arsehole managers.
They engage in fake consultation which mean nothing as they do exactly as they like.
They employ sessional staff purely on the basis of personal likes and dislikes sexual attraction.
There is also no objective criteria for such employment.
These arsehole employ sessional staff under conditions that they have never had to tolerate or will not tolerate themselves.

Mike

What about subtle assholes? They appear perfect on the outside, mostly to upper mgmt, but abuse peers and subordinates. And they distort the past to justify their behavior.

Helped

Thankyou for this blog and also to the people who replied with tips on how to deal with asshole bosses. My situation with the asshole I work for is slightly different in that I work for a contracted company and the manager that oversees the area where this company is contracted to is the asshole- not any of my bosses. Unfortunately, the asshole is our customer... this makes things difficult to deal with because he is the customer. I am a first shift supervisor and I have to go see him every morning and give him a briefing- sometimes there is little communication between other shift supervisors and myself or people above me. The asshole blames me for it (or at least he seems to by the way he treats me), although I do my best to find out what happened on other shifts and communicate with other people, but this is also the responsibility of the people above me to make sure that information is being passed on.
Even though he wants me to give him briefings in the morning he walks away from me while I'm talking to him or he won't make eye contact with me while I'm talking to him if he's sitting down. He wants me to brief him before 8:30am every morning, which I attempt to do, except that he leaves his office before that time and I can't find him, or comes in after 8:30, then he acts like he doesn't have time for me.
He's rude and never says anything nice to me, although I try to greet him with a smile everyday and I always wish him a good morning and tell him that I hope he has a good day as I'm leaving. He never replies anything so kind back to me. He just grunts and goes back to whatever he's doing.
It's to the point where one of my co-workers thinks that his behavior may be a form of harassment (although I don't know if I consider it to be), and one of my bosses for the contracted company is speaking up the chain of command about his behavior toward me on my behalf.
I've considered confronting him myself and asking him what it is that I've done to deserve such rude behavior, but I'm afraid that it will only make things more tense between us. I've started looking for another job, but I really like my job and the people I work with, and I don't know if I can find another job that pays as well as this one. I only dread the mornings when I have to go see him and I am definately going to start keeping a journal like you suggest so that I can point out specific dates and incidents if the need arises to do so.

Thankyou!!

discouraged

Hi Bob,
An enlightened friend spoke to me recently about your book and how to survive 'assholes'. She knew I was in real need of some strategies to cope with them after being a Police Officer for 22 years. In this profession you would expect to meet a few assholes as clients, but I am telling you that the 'clients' don't come close to the one's you work with!! I have boss who is a 'certifiable asshole', judging by your quick test. Thinking about him and the behaviour of others in positions of authority in this organisation makes me ill and has led me into a depressed state. I am so uplifted to have read your blogs and articles and chapter one of your book "The No Assholes Rule". I listened to the 50 Lessons interview and I will somehow learn to be 'indifferent'. New South Wales Police Force is jam-packed with assholes. You should take some time to study them.

Jasmine

Hey Bob,

I want to applaud you with this post. You have a great discussion on how to get rid of the abusive bosses and co-workers.

I like to quote this one "THE BIGGEST AND BEST LESSON: ESCAPE IF YOU POSSIBLY CAN. The best thing to do if you are stuck under thumb of an asshole (or a bunch of them) is to get out as fast as you can". But according to a woman who wrote you that escape isn’t always possible, "I have to feed my family and pay my mortgage, and there aren’t a lot of jobs that pay well enough to do that around here."

In addition to this I would like to share also a very good insight from Tim Ferriss: http://davidseah.com/archives/2007/04/18/a-review-of-tim-ferriss-the-4-hour-work-week/
It's about - Escape 9-5, live anywhere and join with the rich-.

Thanks and more power!

Tim Ferriss

I know a guy whose trials I witnessed. He had a boss that would go from tirade to another. That boss would say what's supposed to be done according to his way of doing things, even if everyone around him told him he was doing wrong. But since it was his company and his faithful wife's money, he didn't listen.

He even told my friend "You are at my mercy because I'm your boss!". That broke the camel's back. My friend just stopped going to the office and looked for another job. It's been a year since then but he prefers not to talk about it. He says that if he doesn't have anything nice to say about anyone, he won't say anything at all.

In hindsight, that boss also tended to be nice to those above him and his equals but he was an absolute asshole to those below him. Personally I think that boss was mentally unstable. He had an abnormally huge ego.

PRJ

Bob, I saw your excellent manifesto on Changethis. I wonder if you've read an earlier manifesto, 'Why your boss is programmed to be a dictator' http://www.changethis.com/19.BossDictator Though it only talks of abusive bosses and not assholes in general, I think it's a very interesting, though radical, manifesto.

I currently have a boss who is not directly abusive, but causes hell for all of us. He doesn't have a personal life so expects us to be at the office till late in the evening. For example, he will wait until 6pm and then say, "can you please draft me a 30 slide presentation before you go. It's urgent." And he knows that we know that the work isn't urgent. He just does it to show off his power. I think of this as abusive behavior even though he is superficially very polite. If we disagree to do what he says, he hints to us that he will mark us down in our appraisal for not working hard enough. How do you deal with someone who is not overtly abusive, and someone the higher bosses think is an extremely sweet boss?

S.J. Hamik

I have been with my employer for 11 years. Approximately 5 years, 7 months and 8 days ago I transferred to a different division within the company and what a mistake I made. I work in a Financial setting and am responsible for the department that monitors losses. The President of my Division rules by intimidation to cover his poor management skills, performance and theft of company funds. He encourages poor performance from my staff in the form of "don't ask too many questions" for fear of what they may find. He has directed the firing of competent employees based on a popularity contest as opposed to skill levels. Heaven forbid you question or piss-off one of his co-conspirators, that my friend is a one way ticket out the door. His behavior is unethical and I believe illegal but continues unchecked by Corporate HQ. How could a so called manager conceivably justify firing someone over their weight ("fat and lazy"), ethnic background ("know it all Jew") or age ("he's an old slacker")?? I have lost all faith in Corporate America!!

S.J.

DotMySpot

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I have you on the Z-List as well:
http://dotmyspot.com/home/content/view/171/9/

Just wondering would u be interested in exchanging links..
http://dotmyspot.com/home

Do let me know :)

Thanks a million!

Peggy Andrews

Way to call it like it is! I have worked in HR for 15 years and it can get tiring trying to "coach" the uncoachable! I am committed to being as encouraging and positive as I can and seeing the best in everyone - but I am also going to buy your book as a gift for a few co-workers who are dealing with a real doozy of a boss! Two more horrendous (and 100% true) boss stories can be found here:

http://careerencouragement.typepad.com/the_career_encouragement_/2007/01/take_my_phone_n.html

http://careerencouragement.typepad.com/the_career_encouragement_/2006/10/take_a_half_day.html

Bob Sutton

Steve, Here's some good advice from a manager I know who read about your challenge and offered some advice to me via email: 1) have a direct conversation with the manager about the concerns that have arisen and determine her willingness to change her management style in ways that will help her be "understood;" 2) if she's not willing to listen, then it is probably best to part ways; 3) if she is willing to listen, if you can afford it and think the investment in this manager is worth it, hire a "coach" to conduct at 360 assessment and work with her to improve her management style. This intervention had the highest success rate in this manager’s experience -- the good thing is that it shouldn't become a sign of failure. Instead, it should be an indication that you think this manager holds a lot of promise and will improve with executive coaching. In this manager’s experience, these coaching programs have not worked nearly has well when they have been a "punitive consequence" for asshole behavior and, indeed few of those employees truly reformed. However, employees who genuinely cared about being better managers actually did improve with one on one coaching -- and a number actually learned to give their direct reports "permission" to tell them when they were stepping over the line.

Steve

After reading the reviews of "The No Asshole Rule" on Amazon.com, I went to my local Barnes & Noble at lunch and picked up a copy.

I'd still appreciate any additional suggestions you might have!

Steve

A link to your article came to me this morning via e-mail and I found it quite enlightening. I have a little different situation and would like to ask your suggestions for how to best manage the "jerk" manager.

I have a manager under my direction that wouldn't score a perfect 24 on the ARSE, but would be at least half way there, based on complaints I have received from her subordinates. Unfortunately, she thinks she's a good manager and is simply misunderstood by her employees because she's from Australia (my company is located in Virginia).

She is a very bright, talented person in many ways and has made many contributions to my department and the entire company in the short time she has been with us. However, this type behavior may wind up being a deal breaker if she doesn't come around. I truly want to salvage her.

Any suggestions?

Alexander Kjerulf

I agree 100% with the tips here - except for #3.

While annoying a jerk in those little ways can feel good in the moment, all it really does long term, is bring you down to the jerk's level.

Spending any kind of time plotting petty revenge does us no good, I'm afraid, and you should not fight jerks by becoming a jerk yourself.

Though I'm willing to make an exception for the ex-lax-laced candy. That was creative :o)

Jo Pro

My husband and I recently left the clutches of a terrible boss. I'm so glad that I - by accident - found your web site. I finally feel a wee bit of joy after leaving my previous place of employment.

However, she really flamed him and he will most likely not get promoted again - my husband is active duty and dealt with a senior officer who kissed up and blasted down to her staff. Some examples of her erratic behavior:

1) Told me she hated children - while I was holding my child at a work function.
2) Went on and on about how "big" I had gotten whilst pregnant with my second child in front of foreign dignitaries.
3) Informed a fellow civil servant, "I think you're getting too fat.
4) Forced the long-time office secretary to remove all of her art work outside of her front office.
5) Racked-and-stacked military men and women based on her personal opinions and not on job performance.
6) Although she was our commander - she informed her staff and worker bees of this fact every chance she could get - she never once called to ask how we were doing after our second child arrived pre-term. She only gave us a second thought after she discovered my husband was going to work - on a by-name-request - for a more senior officer in the same career field.

I could go on and on but you get the picture. What kind of post-traumatic stress treatment can you recommend for us? Writing to your and reading your blog has been cathartic! Thanks!

Bob Sutton

Wally,

I love this example, it shifts focus to a better future, gives people a feeling of control, and creates social bonds. Fantastic stuff.

Thanks,

Bob

Wally Bock

Sometimes you need to hang in there. There are organizations where the assholes come, dump on folks for a while, and then move on to other assignments. In some of those organizations, getting out right away means serious harm to you or the family. For those situations I share a response from a police department I worked with. The new chief, brought from outside, was an asshole, building reputation so he could go on to better things. Soon the officers started wearing t-shirts under their uniforms with the legend: "Outlast the bastard."

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