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charles oliver

I have a supervisor at work. When he started working there, I tranined him for the job we do. His attitude as a school yard bully got him the supervisor job. We USED to be friends, now I'm nothing more than a second class piece of #%@*!!! I can't move left or right with out getting jumped. I USED to love my job. Now I wake up every morning angery because I did'nt die in my sleep. I day dream about suicide all day. Where i'm going to do it & how. I try not to let it get to me, but it does. It comes from out of nowhere for no reason other than this guy is an ass hole. I wish there were BETTER laws out there to better protect us from this kind of CRAP!


I cried when I read the first chapter of the book. Just to know there are others out there and that someone understands. You would not believe the asshole we have at work. This is an academic, tenured faculty situation--no removal possible. The asshole has bullied staff and non-protected, nontenured people, makes life uneasy at best for the tenured. Caused at least 4 people to leave, and I haven't been there that long. I thought I'd seen it all, I am not a 'youngster'in the work arena. Until this one came along. Such visciousness is unbelievable. And confrontation even minimal is met with violent reactions one doesn't even want to try. I tried and, of course, got threatened. Management is weak. and there are assholes above that are "friends" and offer support. I made a decision not to be bullied, but the cost has been high. No sleep, worry. And, still I get 'glared'at and not spoken to (which isn't a bad thing).I liked that Robert acknowledged glaring as a problem. This is not someone one can ignore. Any sharing or help would be appreciated. Thank you for the book...


at my workplace, the people who aren't assholes (people who are actually and honestly respectful) are the ones labeled and treated as assholes, while the real assholes get away with their assholish game of misdirection (which is essentially ‘ingesting poison to hurt someone else'). the 'non-assholes' occasionally stand up for themselves, however those actions are used by the 'real assholes' to justify their act of labeling and mistreating those, who were originally respectful (the 'non-assholes'), as assholes. Eventually, most of the 'non-assholes' join the ranks of the 'real assholes' into a hierarchy of 'assholes that are able to and/or are allowed to get away with being assholes'. What are honest respectful workers to do? Especially when the 'assholes' are even more assholish when exiting is on the table? (Example: ‘Person A is an asshole. Person A should just quit. Let's try to make person A quit.’ turns into ‘Oh so person A is quitting now… what an asshole.’) Why do the assholes create such a terrible 'lose-lose' situation?

rob skolik

was screwed around by an asshole boss six years ago.Have not found a good paying job since.When I hear about employees blowing the boss away I'm not quick to judge the employee.I think Iwill read the book. Just venting. Rob Skolik,hamilton,ont.,canada

At wit's end

SOS, dear readers and Robert!!! My secretary, "Godzilla," is lazy, incompetent, and abusive. She outright refuses to do work, constantly makes mistakes and excuses, and addresses me in a condescending manner and constantly tells me how to do my job (as if she were the boss).

Unfortunately, she has been with the organization about 30 years. I have documented her behavior and discussed my concerns with management to no avail. The managers always respond the same, passive way: assuring me that they will speak with her, but nothing really changes.

Interestingly, after asking other staffers about her, I discovered that Godzilla has a long history of pissing off everyone she has ever worked with, including the top manager to whom she used to report and who once told me "...can be a real pain in the ass."

The pattern is that people got fed up, then she was "passed around" the office from dept. to dept. by others who could not stand working with her. Apparently, the others, like me, have also complained to management to no avail. Given that well-known history, I am rather shocked that she is still employed. It would seem that it would be less expensive to replace a low-level office Godzilla than to pay the cost of chronic turnover as more senior employees get fed up with her and leave.

I realize that, at this point, since management refuses to can her, my only realistic option is to quit. However, in the meantime (while I search for other opportunities and try to save money), I am struggling to maintain my morale and avoid serious depression, and I am worried about dwindling job options in a bad economy.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions on how to maintain daily peace, sanity, and dignity while I search for a good life boat.


I am in the same situation myself, having a MEGA asshole in my workplace, the kind that everyone hates. Your book is a godsend. Thanks


I worked on a bully infested office. My boss treated me and other colleagues very bad and even used to write us bad emails(what an asshole...) The final result is that many people in the office were transferred and the colleagues that remained that collected all emails and sent them to the supervisor. To avoid legal actions this nasty person was transferred to another office. After a couple of months she left the company. I wish you had written this book 9 years ago Dr. Sutton, but I learned the lesson myself: Run as fast as you can from these nasty guys (mine was a woman..), life is yours don't let stupid people turn you into a stupid unhappy person.

Rate Your Job

The asshole Army major you cited in the article doesn't surprise me one bit.

The Army has plenty of persons such as the major. Instead of calling them what they are (i.e., assholes), they are euphemistically labelled "Type A" personalities.

Part of them being assholes is their fault. And part of the blame can be attributable to the institution. The Army breeds that these types of assholes by giving too much deference to officers and conditioning of subordinates not to stand up to such assholes.

Alas, when the asshole officer's commission has concluded, this asshole is released onto the civilian workforce.

Suffering employees can rate their boss and other assholes at


I just ordered this book after enduring months of abuse from a co-worker who verbally attacked me almost daily, while an indifferent boss (who is supposed to be some sort of six sigma guru) looked the other way. Last week, I reached my wit's end with this guy as I screamed at him, in an office full of people, to leave me alone. Yes, I'm still employed and yes, I'm looking vigorously for another job. This job pays well, but is not worth dealing with a hostile bully nor turning into a raging lunatic myself. I don't feel safe here at all.


Although targets of workplace bullying suffer the same post-traumatic disorders as POW's, it is the POW who is prisoner in the truest sense and should be acknowledged accordingly for what is endured in the name of freedom. Initially, as a target, it is okay and perhaps commendable to sway tactfully and judiciusly these bullies, in the hopes to one day reign victorious in the good cause of truth and justice. Unfortunately, the reality is as such, that the right to work with one's dignity intact is dearly lacking in many a workplace. There is no glory in staying with an employer after all reasonable avenues have been exhausted and, yet, the assaults continue. When the people of authority turn a deaf ear to one of their own, a crossroads has been reached and a decision must be made. Shall a spouse return to an abuser? A dog to his own vomit? Fight the good fight, and rally for the Healthy Workplace Bill, so that all bullies will be held accountable.


Dr. Sutton,

I think every Ceo in America should be forced to take a class based on your book.Maybe you could start with insurance companies? Especially for those of us who are "trapped" in an "at will" employment state.

I would also like to respond to Mr. Atkins posting... Escape is not always possible! There are specific states that require you be employed with a company for 12 months before you are eligible for Family Medical Leave. What if you have a critically ill family member? When you leave and go to a new job then your job is no longer protected! When your family member has a medical appointment and you call out within your probationary period what will your new employer think?

Thank you Dr. Sutton from those of us who are trapped and do not work in an asshole free workplace.

Shaun Dakin

I left and left fast. I found myself, within a month of joining a company, working for one.

I decided life was too short and got out fast.

Never been happier in my life.


Shaun Dakin – CEO & Founder
Citizens For Civil Discourse – The National Political Do Not Contact Registry

Read about what we are up to at:
Pittsburg Post Gazette:
WCPO – Channel 9 ABC News :

eBio @

CCD website:

Mike Sporer

I happen to work with a few assholes. I've quit being confrontational with the biggest one, and things have gone much better. The book has helped me stay focused.

It looked as if you very much enjoyed your trip, and the kilt is fitting!

John Atkins

Dr. Sutton,

These are good tips for dealing with abusive bosses and co-workers, but I take issue with the assumption behind them: that there are people who are “trapped” in these situations and “escape isn’t always possible”. Escape is always possible, and if the only alternative is to spend each and every workday experimenting with different coping strategies for battling workplace assholes, escape becomes an obligation – to those who love and support you, to your work, but most of all, to yourself. I have seen far too many people in my career – people with families to feed, mortgages to pay, college tuitions to finance, medical bills to manage, and so on – endure the worst kind of abuse from managers and co-workers only to fall apart physically, mentally, or emotionally and lose those very things they were trying to protect.

Stay if you want – maybe the work is sufficiently compelling to offset at least some of the nastiness or you make common cause with similarly-afflicted co-workers and the abuse somehow seems less threatening or the Zen-like disengagement thing starts to really work for you – but once you think you are trapped you are, and the assholes have won. At that point you cease being an active participant in your own work and career and become a victim – good material for a Dilbert cartoon or a sitcom like "The Office" but likely not the sort of the employee whose efforts will make much of a difference to the company or organization.

John Atkins

Francisco Marco-Serrano

...and beware not to become an asshole yourself. Sometimes, it's very tempting attack fire with fire (lex talionis).

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