Wednesday, February 16, 2005

How to Work for an Idiot, by John Hoover

How to Work for an Idiot, by John Hoover

I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of political nonsense in here about how to be successful (dress to complement your boss, adapt his hobbies and favorite foods, basically become a sycophant) but the self-evaluation stuff is pretty useful. It brings up the seemingly obvious point that it takes two to make a relationship. (I say seemingly because this hit me like a ton of bricks!) You can’t change bad bosses or peers, but you can change the manner in which you deal with them. Sounds obvious, but if I’d had this attitude a few years ago I’d be better off today. One discussion starts, “One of the worst workplace scenarios imaginable is a disruptive and abrasive team member left to terrorize his peers and a boss who refuses to do anything about it.” This is exactly the situation I’ve had at the office for several years now. There is one guy that is making everyone else miserable and his boss pretends it isn’t a real problem. I’ve been a jerk about it and as a result have no credibility when it comes to issues surrounding him. If instead of publicly arguing with him and trying to point out the trouble he is causing I’d simply let him be his obnoxious self, I suspect he would have self-destructed long ago and be gone by now. Instead, I’ve given my boss two problem employees and he is able to convince himself there are no real problems in the division other than the fact we don’t get along. Sigh.

First Sentence:
Author John Irving advises aspiring writers to write about what they know.

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