Review: Surviving the Toxic Workplace–Protect Yourself Against Coworkers, Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison Your Day

5 Star, Capitalism (Good & Bad), Civil Society, Consciousness & Social IQ, Culture, Research, Leadership, Power (Pathologies & Utilization), Values, Ethics, Sustainable Evolution, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Worst Case Stories, Depressing, But Relevant, May 6, 2010

Linda Durre

Disclosure: the publisher sent me this book after asking for permission to do so, and I agreed to read and review the book. Then I got a job that took me overseas and I am just now catching up with my commitment on this specific book.

First off, this is the most comprehensive treatment I have ever seen and the typology that the author developed is very–VERY–scary on multiple levels, including recognizing myself in multiple categories including Socially Clueless, Angry, Rescuer, and Obsessives. Bummer.

I found the book absorbing. Although each “chapter” is really closer to a four-page blurb, there is nothing wrong with the typology, the substance, or the intentions of this book.

At best it should make most people grateful they do not work in a toxic environment. At worst it could be a wake-up call for those who have put up with extraordinary abuse, have come to think of it as normal, and might find this checklist approach to toxic environments helpful.

For me the best part of the book was the end where the author itemizes a number of class action law suits that have led to big wins for some groups, but sadly only have decades of litigation and decades of loss.

The stark reality is that both governments and corporations have forgotten that their mission includes the nurturing of their employees and the communities that host their offices. Ethics has gone down the tubes, and corruption at all levels is the norm. From where I sit, the healthiest route right now is to simply disconnect, move to Seattle, or Portland, or Alaska, and start over. If on the other hand you are a CEO, are being “born again” and want to get it right, then this book is a good introduction to the professional that can help your company get back on the right side of goodness.

Some other equally depressing books:
Rage of the Random Actor: Disarming Catastrophic Acts And Restoring Lives
The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong to Get Ahead
Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle Class – And What We Can Do about It (BK Currents (Paperback))
The Working Poor: Invisible in America
The Global Class War: How America’s Bipartisan Elite Lost Our Future – and What It Will Take to Win It Back

On the bright side:
Nonzero: The Logic of Human Destiny
Emergence: The Shift from Ego to Essence
Reflections on Evolutionary Activism: Essays, poems and prayers from an emerging field of sacred social change
Revolutionary Wealth
Collective Intelligence: Creating a Prosperous World at Peace

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