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Bob Sutton, creator of the No Asshole Rule, posted Wednesday 8 suggestions for enduring and triumphing against abusive bosses and co-workers titled Latest Tips for Surviving Workplace Assholes. Professor Sutton offers the following course... [Read More]

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Coopcooker

Thanks for the amazing post, and these are all great tips to live by. Because I've had my fair share of employees that were less than pleasurable, but thanks to you and http://www.hesl.ca it's been a lot easier to avoid confrontation.

Lizzers_

I got a copy of the No Asshole Rule and left it at work - in a 'private' cupboard that I knew people snooped in... it didn't help directly but made me feel better! But the whole thing of trusting your instincts and GETTING OUT is SO SO SO important. I worked at a job for an extra four years after I realized the whole place was toxic. I stayed on past when the main boss left, but the toxicity had already infected *my* brand, so it was an uphill battle with the next boss. LEAVE LEAVE LEAVE.

Magriebler

The best tip and the hardest to follow is #1: Get out. And getting out really is your only option if your boss is the asshole in question, because someone (probably his/her boss) is supporting and possibly nurturing the behavior. And that means the culture of the organization is against you.

This is the most difficult in your list of great tips because we associate leaving with failure. ("I should have been able to triumph over the cruel, dehumanizing way I was treated!") And we also know that the buck stops with us when it comes to paying the bills.

But there's an inevitability about bullying that is sobering. Statistics tell us that once you've become the target of an asshole (especially a powerful one), there's a 66% chance that you'll be out of a job sooner rather than later.

And the benefits of getting out with your health and sanity intact can't be minimized. An article published last year in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine came to the unexpected conclusion that some jobs are so demoralizing that they're worse for a person's mental health than no job at all. If you're working for an asshole, that pretty much defines the state of your existence.

Thank you for the important work you do on this often overlooked and all too pervasive problem in organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Marla Gangler

I share an office with one of our department's acknowledged assholes. He's survived two re-orgs and is now suddenly being sent to training for an area that he doesn't appear have the personal skills to succeed. Part of me is happy that he's getting the training as it means that he'll assigned to another area but then again, his bad behavior is being rewarded, frustrating. I picked up your book on a whim but found it to be a good read. I'm already doing the ignore thing with my co-worker, my iPod and headphones have been a sanity saver, but have picked up a lot of other ideas that I'll implement as well.

Wakjob

Hey Bob, you asshole. steve Jobs is a real asshole but Apple is booming. Many workplace assholes are the result of being forced to work with lazy, you shuts like you who think running a corporate social club is more important than getting the job done.

Asshole employer

Here is my problem. I am actually one of these assholes that you are talking about. Owner of a small business. Frustrated day in, day out with staff that keeps repeating mistakes, ignoring directives and refusing to take responsibility.

I started off as a nice guy, until I saw my company going down the drain because of apathy and lack of professionalism.

You might argue that I am not a good motivator, I am a bad boss. However since I started becoming more of an asshole, telling people off in no uncertain terms and exposing their mistakes for all to see, work has picked up and everything is running much better.

I do not want to be a feared asshole employer, nor enjoy making people feel bad. I want to be liked in my office and not avoided. Is this possible?

Your thoughts would be much appreciated.

Ryan B

Dealing with Assholes

This is for all of you who occasionally have a really bad day when you just need to take it out on someone!!! Don't take that bad day out on someone you know, take it out on someone you DON'T know!!!

Now get this. I was sitting at my desk, when I remembered a phone call I had to make. I found the number and dialed it. A man answered nicely saying, "Hello?" I politely said, "This is Patrick Hanifin and could I please speak to Robin Carter?"

Suddenly the phone was slammed down on me! I couldn't believe that anyone could be that rude. I tracked down Robin's correct number and called her. She had transposed the last two digits incorrectly.

After I hung up with Robin, I spotted the wrong number still lying there on my desk. I decided to call it again. When the same person once more answered, I yelled "You're an asshole!" and hung up. Next to his phone number I wrote the word "asshole," and put it in my desk drawer.

Every couple of weeks, when I was paying bills, or had a really bad day, I'd call him up. He'd answer, and then I'd yell, "You're an asshole!" It would always cheer me up.

Later in the year the phone company introduced caller ID. This was a real disappointment for me, I would have to stop calling the asshole.

Then one day I had an idea. I dialed his number, then heard his voice, "Hello." I made up a name. "Hi. This is the sales office of the telephone company and I'm just calling to see if you're familiar with our caller ID program?" He went, "No!" and slammed the phone down. I quickly called him back and said, "That's because you're an asshole!"

The reason I took the time to tell you this story, is to show you how if there's ever anything really bothering you, you can do something about it. Just dial 925-6594.

Then, one day this old lady at the mall really took her time pulling out of the parking space. I didn't think she was ever going to leave. Finally, her car began to move and she started to very slowly back out of the slot. I backed up a little more to give her plenty of room to pull out.

Great, I thought, she's finally leaving.

All of a sudden this black Camaro came flying up the parking aisle in the wrong direction and pulled into her space. I started honking my horn and yelling, "You can't just do that, Buddy. I was here first!" The guy climbed out of his Camaro completely ignoring me. He walked toward the mall as if he didn't even hear me. I thought to myself, this guy's an asshole; there sure are a lot of assholes in this world. I noticed he had a "For Sale" sign in the back window of his car. I wrote down the number. Then I hunted for another place to park.

A couple of days later, I'm at home sitting at my desk. I had just gotten off the phone after calling 925-6594 and yelling, "You're an asshole!" (It's really easy to call him now since I have his number on speed dial.) I noticed the phone number of the guy with the black Camaro lying on my desk and thought I'd better call this guy, too.

After a couple rings someone answered the phone and said, "Hello."

I said, "Is this the man with the black Camaro for sale?"

"Yes, it is."

"Can you tell me where I can see it?"

"Yes, I live at 7705 87th Ave NE. It's a white house and the car's parked right out front."

I said, "What's your name?"

"My name is Mike Beaudin."

"When's a good time to catch you, Mike?"

"I'm home in the late evenings."

"Listen Mike, can I tell you something?"

"Yes."

"Mike, you're an asshole!" And I slammed the phone down.

After I hung up I added Mike Beaudin's number to my speed dialer. For a while things seemed to be going better for me. Now when I had a problem I had two assholes to call. Then after several months of calling the assholes and hanging up on them, it just wasn't as enjoyable as it used to be. I gave the problem some serious thought and came up with a solution.

First, I had my phone dial Asshole #1. A man answered nicely saying, "Hello." I yelled "You're an asshole!", but I didn't hang up.

The asshole said, "Are you still there?"

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Stop calling me."

I said, "No."

He said, "What's your name, Pal?"

I said, "Mike Beaudin."

He said "Where do you live?"

"7705 87th Ave NE. It's a white house and my black Camaro's parked out front."

"I'm coming over right now, Mike. You'd better start saying your prayers."

"Yeah, like I'm really scared, Asshole!" and I hung up.

Then I called Asshole #2.

He answered, "Hello."

I said, "Hello, Asshole!"

He said, "If I ever find out who you are..."

"You'll what?"

"I'll kick your butt."

"Well, here's your chance. I'm coming over right now Asshole!"

And I hung up.

Then I picked up the phone and called the police. I told them I was at 7705 87th Ave NE and that I was going to kill my gay lover as soon as he got home. Another quick call to Channel 13 about the gang war going on down 87th Ave.

After that I climbed into my car and headed over to 87th Ave to watch the whole thing. Glorious! If you want to watch two Assholes kicking the crap out of each other in front of 6 squad cars and a police helicopter, ...

I taped it all off the evening news. lol


~Anonymous~

MM

This past Thursday, September 24, Tracy serviced XX. I waited for him back at ops to give me the service ticket, eventually left for the XX XX - part of this you may recall as you was in the XX lobby Mike. I ran into Tracy on way up to North XX in the XX side service drive. When I asked him for the service ticket, he told me he left the ticket at the XX XX with David.
Was quite a bit of effort to find it, I asked David, Bob - who later said the service ticket was not located, Barb and the XX mechanic - both of which meet me as I pulled to XX, and Loftis and none knew anything about it, eventually asked Nirva who had it. Barb said she asked Nirva who told her he did not have it but when I asked him, he gave it to me! Content with its location resolved, I did not think anything more about it at the time. Tracy could have left the ticket in the truck book in the truck Nirva was in and he found it as he was servicing XX.
Now, the reason I was compelled to write this email is the fact that today (September 27) I asked Tracy next time he services XX to just bring the service XX ticket back to XX to avoid such confusion. He told me he gave it to me in the XX parking lot as we were passing each other on Thursday! You see my confusion. I do not know what to think about the whole thing, but I sure do not want to go though that event again.
So, why did Tracy lie to me about the XX service ticket? I have no idea. Maybe he tried to tear me down in order to feel good about himself. Maybe he is not thrilled about servicing XX. Maybe he thought this would be a good time to get me in trouble in some way.
Regardless, though, I am disappointed in him for lying to me. Good triumphs and liars have to go home and live with themselves.


---------------------------------

Above email i want to send to my managers, any thoughts? The XX block out parts that can id my employer and i wish to keep this post confidential. Person in email Tracy is a well know a-hole. Thanks for your time.

a$$hole-intolerant

Sweet justice... I've waited a long time for this day, had lost all hope of it ever coming. It just goes to show that good things really do come to those who wait, at least sometimes. My company just FIRED one of the most toxic, lazy, ignorant, incompetent, arrogant, whiny, dishonest, thoughtless, manipulative, neurotic, two-faced, puerile, self-pitying, and all-round tiresome losers I've ever worked with -- ultimate FAIL on his part! As a result, the company has earned big points in my estimation. Good work guys! You've made it worthwhile to come to work again. Thank you thank you thank you!

sara

im counting down the days till i get out of this town and my job. i feel like i cant really talk to my boss about the asshole situation that it seems that i am the only target. my boss dates the head asshole and the lesser ones have been there way longer than myself.not only do they put me under a magnifying glass, but they have burned a pair of my shoes, and banished me from the kitchen area when they are cooking on my shift.

Rachel Anderson

He never stops and he does the same shit to the assistant manger.He's been called in many times to the office because of his behavior and I'm sick of his ass.Trust me there are many things that I'd like to say but I'll end up getting into trouble.

I have a feeling if he really does it in it's gonna get really bad more then normal.

Rachel Anderson

Rachel
there's an total asswhip at my place that I can't stand it and I'm not the only one that dislikes likes him.And the thing is is that he doesn't care and a very disrespectful person.

Anonymous

It appears as if someone is tired of working for assholes...check out the blog at http://isometricprinciplesofbusiness.wordpress.com

Workplace Success

Having to work with or for assholes
in the workplace can certainly be a difficult and depressing experience.

In the modern day corporate environment, more and more emphasis is placed on managers being leaders who should lead (NOT dictate work terms) in a positive, empowering and nurturing environment.

Yet there are still types of old school practitioners who just run (notice the word "manage" was not used here) their departments in draconian, disempowering and creativity-choking ways.

Perhaps 2 lessons of value can still be gained from the experience of having worked with an asshole:

1) Never be an asshole yourself.
2) When you have future coworkers and even subordinates, you should perhaps be on the lookout for subordinates who are assholes toward their subordinates. It can make you lose valuable people, choke creativity and negatively impact your organization.

To Your Success!

http://SuccessArticle.info
Your Resource for Success, Personal Development & Living a Fulfilled Life.

a$$hole-intolerant

The number of assholes in our tiny workplace is disproportionately high. One of these has the emotional development of an angry, messed-up 13-year-old. Her sense of humor and general conversation is meant to be shocking, but she's not sophisticated enough to be provocative, she only manages to be vulgar -- just a big-mouthed, small-minded skank from a small town. She is not happy unless she has someone to hate or look down on because she's so competitive and insecure. Her loyalty changes from day to day and you never know where you're going to stand from one moment to the next. She thinks that the way to get people to like her more is to get them to like each other less, so she is constantly bitching about people to each other, telling them things that are meant to manipulate them and make them distrust each other. Luckily for the rest of us, she is not that good at it and every new victim sees right through it all eventually. People keep backing off from her, but she doesn't seem to get it that they don't like or trust HER and her deranged personality. We are all tired of it and can't wait for the day when she leaves or gets laid off -- which may happen very, very soon, thank goodness.

a$$hole-intolerant

The number of assholes in our tiny workplace is disproportionately high. One of these has the emotional development of an angry, messed-up 13-year-old. Her sense of humor and general conversation is meant to be shocking, but she's not sophisticated enough to be provocative, she only manages to be vulgar -- just a big-mouthed, small-minded skank from a small town. She is not happy unless she has someone to hate or look down on because she's so competitive and insecure. Her loyalty changes from day to day and you never know where you're going to stand from one moment to the next. She thinks that the way to get people to like her more is to get them to like each other less, so she is constantly bitching about people to each other, telling them things that are meant to manipulate them and make them distrust each other. Luckily for the rest of us, she is not that good at it and every new victim sees right through it all eventually. People keep backing off from her, but she doesn't seem to get it that they don't like or trust HER and her deranged personality. We are all tired of it and can't wait for the day when she leaves or gets laid off -- which may happen very, very soon, thank goodness.

Beth Norwood

I believe it's not necessary to even speak to someone who has been nasty to me at work for no reason. So I just don't. I avoid these people completely. I will even leave a room when they are in there talking to someone else. If they're in an office by themselves, I won't even go in there. This has gone on for years. The hardest thing is to keep myself from feeling like a total loser because I work with such awful people. I'm thinking about getting another job entirely, in an almost completely different line of work too. If only I had something great to run TO, instead of something awful to have to run FROM. I'm ashamed of working here because these assholes work here too. I don't want anything to DO with such people.

John Asarwa

Your book really helped me. Was a post-doctoral fellow in basic science research at a "prestigious" medical school (a "learning" institution) in New England. The boss was verbally abusive, combative, and ranted me personally. Constant yelling, harassment, personal insults from her. It was unrelentling since she was a baby boomer and addicted to work--constantly in the lab. She had issues as she stated with men, and that women she stated were "moody", "you know how we are," ; so we kept logs (10 pages) of every incident (time, date, witnesses, occurence) including preventing a worker with a severely infected thumb from virulent S. aureus from taking a day off (directly related to her work demands), she used foul languge, and used and abused the immigrants and American post-docs for her self grandisement. Eventually, we all reported her (logs and all) to the CEO, CFO, the ombudsman, HR, etc.... to no avail b/c she was bringing in grant monies, all they could do perhaps "was to smooth her corners"??!!?--the best remedy was to leave--let her enjoy the lab mice, the chemicals, the yelling, the constant harassment, computer BS, and the baby boomer workaholic mentality. we are far better off LEAVING, yet the scars from her are very real--since many companies and academic institutions do VERY little if any to FIRE these a-holes. Why is that--is verbal abuse acceptable/proctected in the USA workplace? Do employees in USA have ANY rights? Why is the EDD useless in this regard?

Becky

I simply decided to blog about my asshole bosses. Check it out:
http://danvilleva.blogspot.com

The nice thing is - I posted emails, photos and newspapers along with other documentation. I have about 20,000 hits to date.

campaign for decency

Assholes are like cockroaches. If you shine a light on them, they run for cover. At our workplace, we're starting to insist on more transparency, less backroom chatter, and an end to the secrecy that allows our resident asshole to carry on his antics. We share information with each other, refuse to let him trap us into private discussions of our coworkers, and generally don't give him permission to manipulate us. It's driving him nuts! He's run out of allies (who were never very willing to begin with), and he doesn't know what to do next. I'm kind of hoping he drops dead of a heart attack from frustration. I'll be the one stepping over his dead body on my way to the lunchroom. Good luck everybody. Keep up the good fight!

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