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Pamela Lowe

While working for the state government I have come to believe, with all my heart, that it's not WHAT you know, it's WHO you know. What a complete damned shame for those of us who really do care about the quality of our job performance.



I saw your book today when I was on lunch wandering about outside the office to get away from the assholes I work with. It just jumped of the shelf at me.
I work with a few assholes and its only that other people that I've worked with that have left because of them that I know its not just me. Customers have even commented there is something really wrong in our workplace with the amount of staff we go through.
I thoroughly enjoyed my job for the first eight years out of the ten that I've been there I lived and breathed it and even did work above my role and stayed extra time without overtime but then we had a change of senior management as promotions were handed out and since then the new management one of whom is an asshole have let them run riot and are also a little afraid of them even though they are widely known in the company as being assholes, the previous management had managed them well.
Any new staff that are hired now don't stay so we are stuck in a permanent state of being short staffed.
I still enjoy the work I do and I am fairly well paid for it but I had decided that it just wasn't worth the heartache anymore and it was time to go but I'm going to read your book and give it another try.
My company has recently been taken over by an American man and all I can say is I really hope he has read your book!

Jed Christiansen

Hello, Bob.

I just wanted to say congratulations on this book. It's certainly a really important message for businesses worldwide.

Speaking of which, millions of people across London read about your book today, as I'm sure you know. Getting featured in the Metro (for non-Londoners, the free morning paper that damn near every commuter reads in the city) is a bit of a PR coup! Congrats, and I hope that starts to help things here in the UK.


Chuck Newton

You could just use that old school yard joke. "Oh, by the way, Scott said hi." "Scott who?" "Scott tissue. He knows all of the assholes in town."

Wally Bock

I've dealt with this issue in coaching situations where my client is the "abused" party. Here's the advice that I usually give.

1) Don't confront unless you're reasonably sure you'll be safe physically, emotionally, and politically.

2) Never confront in an emotionally charged environment. The emotion will rule.

3) Develop a short, 5 second or so statement of your concern, delivered as follows.

The behavior of the abusive boss, as you have witnessed it. This description should be free of all adjectives. Describe what they did.

A statement of the impact of the behavior you witnessed in both logical and emotional terms.

Following that quick statement, you need to be quiet. The person you're confronting should speak next.

As with all techniques like this, there is no guarantee that it will work, and your mileage may vary, but it increases the odds of a good outcome.

Bob Sutton

A manager sent me this comment and story asked me to post it anonymously -- scary story!

The fashion model was confronting a peer. It's really tough when the asshole is beating up on people who have far less power than does the asshole, especially when the asshole is on point for review and compensation decisions. I had that experience in my organization, where I was a senior executive. This asshole was a classic kiss-up / kick-down sort of person. So, those of us in the kiss up position had no idea of what was going on, until those being kicked down started to go around him. They first went to the asshole's peers – the peers, in turn, did not feel comfortable confronting the a-hole directly, but they did feel comfortable raising the issue with the a-hole's superior. Unfortunately, the superior, who, like me, was a senior executive, liked the a-hole and made half-hearted efforts to address the problems. Meanwhile, those being kicked down, started to leave the company. A small group of us in senior executive positions banded together and changed the reporting structure – I ended up with the task of, first, confronting the a-hole and, when his behavior didn't change, moving him out of his position. From start to finish, this all took about 5 months.
Here is what those without power did right:

· They spoke to people they trusted

· They assumed (until proven otherwise) that the company cared about them and their well-being -- as it was, it took the company too long to act, on the other hand, we did solve the problem in a way that not only moved out the a-hole, but also re-affirmed a commitment to a positive work-place

· They organized – a small group of those who were reporting to the a-hole (there were about 35 in all) compiled information about what was going on and presented it to the company's leadership. Sometimes, those who may not have power as individuals, will find that they have enormous power as a group.

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