The Asshole Survival Guide

The Asshole Survival Guide

Author
Robert. I. Sutton.
ARRSE Rating
5 Mushroom Heads
The title may at first glance strikes you as rather brash and crude, however being an American publication you soon realise that the Assholes they attempt to deal with, are simply people that make life difficult in every way possible, read this book and they will pop into your mind !!

The loud arrogant forceful bullying types ( both male and female) who are under the impression that by constantly attacking, harassing and criticising belittling and threatening fellow employees or members of the military they are furthering their own goals in life and making the organisation run better, the ones that when they enter a room everybody looks away and hopes they dont get noticed

Chapter 1. Back in 2007 Robert . I. Sutton wrote the "no asshole rule"

The No Asshole Rule - Wikipedia

From that he received enough emails, ( 8 thousand in all ) and case profiles that he knew a book was needed, in this book he mentions various case studies, and the different way that people coped, some good some bad.

Chapter 2

The author then sets out how to differentiate between permanent assholes and temporary assholes, and using his case studies he honestly points the finger at himself when due to other factors bearing on his mind he became a temporary asshole, and when it was pointed out, he apologised and realised the severity of his actions.

We have all been there; but the permanent assholes, wow they share one common factor, you cannot change them, its a sort of built in stupid that they fail to see, full of their own importance, toadying up to senior staff, and the need to dominate underlings, in my case the fellow suffered from A.P.D. A posh term for an asshole.

As I read the book I could visualise the scenarios and repercussions in my life, and how I could have coped better, although to be fair I did not do as bad as some staff.

He shows you how to decide the severity of the problem, some are worse than others, and again he relates through the case studies the level of the problem, and quotes many of the people who communicated with him and their cases, one you will recognise is the case of Captain Holly Graf of the U.S.N ( a real harridan on the first order) google the woman !!

By breaking down the problem in simple easy to understand terms the author allows you to make a far more balanced judgement on the problem ( you may not yet have the problem but this book is a strong weapon in your armoury).

Six basic questions will allow you to decide your course of action, and then reading further give you advice relating to each one , one of the problems being is that disruptive people like this often saturate an organisation and poison the workforce, in that case getting out is the only option, he also quantifies the different types of asshole.

My favourite is the Time Nazi, who reports back to management all the time, we had one like that; always sticking his nose in and brown nosing to the management, had I have been lucky enough to have the knowledge in this book I could have crimped his actions a bit sharp, but identifying the problem is often the hardest part.

Chapter 3 Here the author explains to how to make a clean getaway:

Excellent advice!

In my case I managed it through luck and good manners, the author sets out the case of an engineer who having endured despicable behaviour from a female senior member of staff, decided to keep quiet and take notes, eventually he handed in his notice, but in the meeting related why, and provided the evidence, the person responsible was escorted out of the building shortly afterwards and he reports that the department now runs smoothly.

That's a good way to do it, but when you are being bullied and threatened its often difficult to make a rational decision, other people who made getaways are illustrated and in one case although it made his life better and he achieved fame and recognition the employer fined him for his damage to the aircraft, so although a folk hero a poor one.

He then goes on the list asshole blindness, yes here I could see my own failings, in hanging on hoping it would get better, it rarely does.

The author then shows smart ways to deal with it, the previously mentioned clean getaway or deciding your options on a more clinical or financial basis, some people tolerated it simply because the end result would see them leave with a better future, a wise and balanced judgement, although most of them after making sure everything was sorted made sure the person involved understood the suffering caused.

Some other courses of action are shown which are very clever and simple ( why didnt I think of that).He also gives you some very useful asshole detection tips, if you are about to join a new organisation it will prevent you going in blind, and assist you to keep them at arms length

Chapter 4 Asshole avoidance techniques , reducing your exposure

My favourite, a work of genius based on many hundreds of peoples experiences.

Some of the things people did here made my face light up, if I had the brains to have tried these life would have been much easier, methods of informing other members of staff are also given, many of these tips come from the military so I wont list them here.

Chapter 5 Mind tricks that protect your soul.

I had never thought of this course of action, but it allows you to mentally deal with these people by creating barriers and actions in your mind that disassociate your self from them , and the stress involved. Even Michelle Obama is quoted here, and the methods she taught her children to deal with the abuse and invective that they would suffer by being in the public arena.

Chapter 6 the money shot really

Fighting back, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, and when dealing with assholes you need to make sure you are well protected against them; such tricks as Chocolate Bombing ! are worthy of an entire chapter, again something I had done to keep a female member of staff at a distance, speak nicely of me and not side with the big asshole. Now I did not realise that this was an approved method but it works I can assure you.

Also here are case studies where leading Universities monitored students under controlled conditions to see how they could manipulate and control their actions, and which sort of personality would always come out worse. I am surprised as to how many major corporations feature here; no surprise really, the bigger they get and the more money and social cachet are involved, the more people will lie and cheat to gain them.

Cleverly it also lists the wrong way to fight assholes.

Oh dear,I can see myself and my actions repeated so many times here, the author clearly illustrates why everything can get worse if you take a confrontational approach, no matter how good it makes you feel, chucking a cement mixer is not classified as a good move I feel.

Chapter 7. Be part of the solution not the problem

Here we learn the clever ways to turn around the situation to your advantage and to bring support in from other employees who will also feel threatened.

Finally the Author acknowledges all the people who took the time to communicate with him and tell their stories, all of which help make this book a rich and noble guide to assholes.

I really wish I could have purchased this book 30 years ago, it would have been a guiding light in my life and made so many decisions and actions much simpler, for me, and allowed me to spend more time with my family and on important projects. I know books existed on dealing with the subject, but they were written by University professors and used big words designed to confuse thickos like me, and in many cases they writers used far too many words to show off to their contemporaries. A specialist on workplace problems came to see me from my union and showed me a few of these publications, but she said they are all full of rich words and phrases and do not put themselves across to the working man simply because the writers live in academia and do not wish to descend to lower levels of humanity;
upon meeting my problem boss, she turned round and whispered her diagnosis in my ear, "He's a C*** of the first order !" That I could understand.

This book is a weapon, a tool, even if you dont have the problem, to read about it will prevent you getting drawn in and controlled by such retarded and selfish individuals and further your career and allow you to go home singing happy songs.

Buy it if only to laugh at people you hate, of course if you are an asshole you won't buy this book, because you are too clever and important to need such a reference book.

Author
Joshua Slocum
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