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Josh N.

The problem with a "No Asshole Rule" is it is ripe for abuse. The word "asshole" in itself is very abstract and easily corruptible. I bet a labelled "asshole" thinks the people judging him/her as an asshole are assholes. I think this rule is better in theory than in practice. You could end up with some clueless HR rep who unfairly labels all people assholes who disagree with him/her when the HR rep is in fact a arrogant asshole him/herself in a decision making position; which is unfortunate and petty in a country with a high unemployment rate. I do agree that excess abuse from customers/employees should not be tolerated, but on a note that labels can be dangerous and can lose a company valuable talent/profit when used incorrectly. In a society where unaccountability is on the rise 9 times out of 10 people will always say the other person is the "asshole" and they're not to blame. And in response to an above post, favoritism and cronyism are prevalent in many companies. A lot of American companies fail because favoritism is put above job performance and when someone is kissing a bosses' ass garnering unqualified positive recognition I'll bet the boss doesn't think the butt sucker is an "asshole". This leads to a company losing more real talent and profit due to a flawed culture that labels people on a whim based on fickle emotion; sometimes slighting the innocent out of business and jobs. Don't become what you hate. Just something to think about.

I came across a company you might consider for your list.

Beehive PR in Minneapolis has the following statement about their culture on their website -

"We embrace team members, clients and business partners who enjoy working with people who are (or try hard to be) savvy, insightful, candid, spirited, honest, ethical and respectful. We live and operate by the No Asshole Rule. We do not hire, harbor, work with or work for jerks. No exceptions."

I think I will apply.

Ward Tongen

Jordan Vidrine

You won't fucking survived the "real" Hollywood. It is not what you see on TV - you fucking asshole! Some bitch on a website wrote back to me when I was trying to help her out and suggested I take your Asshole quiz and made a perfect score. This is the payback that I get for telling her how it really is. Brainwashing some-of-a-bitch! I know you are a rich fucking asshole! You can't fool me! I will make you take a human lie detector test - you fucking jerk! A Phd in fucking bullshit!


Great book professor !!! I am just finishing up in Graduate school and I have noticed that there seems to be a large number of assholes in academia. In fact when I first started doing research I was working under the biggest asshole imaginable!! This person was all the things you described and more. Anyway, I was miserable and finally when I could not take the abuse anymore I quit and found another boss who was nice. Lo and behold my productivity increased exponentially.

Kevin Rutkowski

This is an inspiring list. I especially like the idea of not accepting or dropping clients who are assholes. Too often, I've seen small companies with one asshole client who is a big part of their business. These clients can ruin the culture of the company pretty quickly with the pressure they put on employees.

Laila Meadus

Hello Bob!

Thanks, thanks, thanks for writing such an honest and funny book, "The No Asshole Rule", as we, those trying not to be assholes, need all the funnies we can get to keep it all in perspective. Although working is a necessary evil, it surprises me even more that most people in our country don't have any reason to complain, attack, steal or ruin someone else's life simply other than because they ARE assholes. For some unknown reason, this continually amazes me as there are so many fun and wonderful places and activities to participate in, other than being a fucking bastard.
Keep up the good work, and maybe it will change something...

Rate Your Job

In an organization's effort to maintain or increase the morale of an organization, its adoption of the "No Asshole" rule is commendable. However, there are few instances when assholes or "hot shots" should be tolerated-- when he/she presents a unique and valuable skillset to organization.

During my work experience, I have witnessed such an instance. The company for which I worked, had a talented and indispensable asshole. The harmonious remedy was to leverage his talents and minimize his exposure to co-workers by putting him in a cubicle in the farthest corner of the office.

Perkins Staffer

I just read your article in the Seattle times, and you mentioned Perkins Coie. Unfortunately, at the staff level we do not have an enforced "No Asshole Rule." I know this because I was referred to buy your book from our HR department (who were surprised to see PC mentioned) when I was trying desperately to deal with a workplace bully. I've followed every suggestion in your book,and I've gone out of my way to collaborate with my coworkers to join me in reporting the bullying (and they have), but she's still there - badgering not only me, but our entire department. (This is only one of several bullies we have in our department.)

I think the No Asshole Rule is in play more towards to top of the food chain at Perkins Coie. Our attorneys are outstanding in their professionalism - and I've seen them change their tune after they were tuned in to their 'bullying nature.' This, again, does not hold true for those on the staff level. You can pretty much get away with being a major asshole, making people cry every week and pawning off your work on them while you make personal phone calls - with absolutely no ramifications. None.

In my opinion, you should not put Perkins Coie on your honor roll based on what the partners (especially the managing partner) - or the executive staff says - rather, ask the 1500 or so staff members if they've ever seen the "No Asshole Rule" in play at Perkins. The answer, I'm afraid, would be a resounding "no."

Just my two cents.


Illuminating list. I can see the value of such a cultural value (or meme) in improving the corporate atmosphere and its adaptability.

Now, it seems you are assuming "being an asshole" is somehow a this so? why do assholes behave that way? can they evolve? how?

It is different to have "0 tolerance" with asshole behavior than with "assholes" themselves (including labelling them so)

Francisco Marco-Serrano

It's a pity a lot of companies have no "No Assholes Rule". Sometimes, I'd even think of some making us think they have the "no-no asshole rule" (as I said, a pity).

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