Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday morning asshole update

I read some more about Bob Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't. There's some good reading on his site, Work Matters.

It must be that it's Monday, the start of the work week, that's got me thinking about assholes. Mr. Sutton explains why he calls them assholes:

To start with authenticity, when I tangle with nasty person, I don’t think “what a jerk” or “what an abusive person.” The first thing that comes to mind is “what an asshole.” That is also the word that nearly everyone I know uses to describe these creeps, even though they may later censor it. ...

We teach our Ph.D. students at Stanford in the Center for Work, Technology and Organization who do ethnographies of the workplace that using foul language is sometimes necessary for providing accurate and realistic descriptions of what people say and how they feel. I believe that – in terms of both descriptive and emotional accuracy – other words are simply inferior for describing how persistently demeaning people act and, especially, the feelings they unleash in their victims.

In other posts, Sutton offers helpful metrics to identify assholes, and perhaps measure their degree of being assholes in order to manage them.


Johnny Yen said...

I googled my name (It's not Johnny Yen-- that's a nomme de plume) and asshole, and among the results were a post I made to a newsgroup praising Burt Lancaster in the movie "Local Hero"-- that Lancaster was willing to take on a role in which he was a "nut and an asshole."

Of course, there are those that take that role on happily in everyday life (see my post today).

Tenacious S said...

What an awesome book. Now I know what Mr. Ten S is getting for Christmas. He'll love it!

Bubs said...

I'm passing out copies of some of these articles at the next staff meeting. It will be telling to see who howls with laughter and who gets offended.