Sunday, November 12, 2006

The No Asshole Rule

In my opinion this is the book title of the year:

The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn't

Guy Kawasaki of How to Change the World has an excellent review. According to Mr. Kawasaki’s the definitive guide to understanding, counteracting, and not becoming an asshole. I am qualified to make this judgment because (a) I’ve been an asshole a few times and (b) been a victim of assholes more than a few times.
As Kawasaki says, the first step is recognizing who is an asshole. I'm going to quote him at length, and I encourage you to click on this link and read the rest of the article.

The first step is to recognize who is an asshole. Sutton’s blog cites one method. It’s called the Starbucks Test It goes like this: If you hear someone at Starbucks order a “decaf grande half-soy, half-low fat, iced vanilla, double-shot, gingerbread cappuccino, extra dry, light ice, with one Sweet-n’-Low and one NutraSweet,” you’re in the presence of an asshole. It’s unlikely that this petty combination is necessary—the person ordering is trying to flex her power because she’s an asshole.

A second method is to use Suttons’s dirty-dozen list of everyday asshole actions:

  1. Personal insults

  2. Invading one’s personal territory

  3. Uninvited personal contact

  4. Threats and intimidation, both verbal and non-verbal

  5. Sarcastic jokes and teasing used as insult delivery systems

  6. Withering email flames

  7. Status slaps intended to humiliate their victims

  8. Public shaming or status degradation rituals

  9. Rude interruptions

  10. Two-faced attacks

  11. Dirty looks

  12. Treating people as if they are invisible

A third method—albeit the least reliable, scientific, and fair but the most fun—is to search Google with a person’s name (or a profession) plus “asshole.” This yields some interesting results.


lulu said...

Having worked at Starbucks for several years, I have to agree with the veracity of this test. Reasonable people order one or two modifiers, non-fat, extra shot, no foam, etc.... Assholes remake the entire drink just for the power trip.

Johnny Yen said...

And of course, you serve them a latte with cinnamon and see if they know the difference. Good thing I never worked there.

Bubs said...

Johnny, at least that's better than just spitting in their coffee.

Lulu, is there a correlation between complicated orders and talking loudly on a cellphone?