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Jerks with Perks

Bob Goldman on

Welcome, friend, to Jerk City.

The jerks who run Jerk City have created a living hell hole of abuse and dysfunction, but to you, it's just "the place I work."

Of course, your workplace may be 100 percent jerk free, but I doubt it, and so does Stanford professor Robert Sutton, author of "The A--hole Survival Guide: How to Deal with People who Treat You Like Dirt." I discovered this essential self-help book in "A Field Guide to Jerks at Work," an article in The Washington Post by Jena McGregor.

According to McGregor, "the abusive bosses, uncivil co-workers and tyrannical teammates who populate office cube farms are not all the same -- and require different responses."

The one universal solution to a jerk at work is to quit your job. Alas, this may not be possible if you find yourself addicted to eating regularly. For those of us who can't take flight, there is only one alternative -- fight!

It may not seem possible, but with hard work and consistent effort you can become an even bigger jerk yourself.

Consider the "bosshole."

A bosshole is a jerk with real power over you and your co-workers. Sutton suggests that you keep your job, but transfer to a team that appears to be bosshole-free. That's probably not the case, but it will give you the opportunity to take on the bosshole position yourself.

Another species of work jerk is the "powerful bully."

This is someone with skills so unique and so important that they get away with jerkish behavior.

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