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Disgruntled Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; First Edition edition (September 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425165078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425165072
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,011,796 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniel S. Levine is an award winning business journalist and creator and editor of Disgruntled, "The Business Magazine For People Who Work For A Living". Mr. Levine's work has appeared in The New York Times, The San Francisco Examiner, Adweek, PC World, The San Francisco Business Times, World Trade, Wired News and The Oakland Tribune. He has a masters in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley and an A.B. in English from Vassar College.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

(from the opening of chapter I -- Why Work Sucks)

Bobby Northington had nothing to lose but his chains. A $5.50-an-hour production worker at Hambleton-Hill Publishing in Nashville, Tenn., Northington had been on the job three days. Early in the afternoon of July 12, 1995, he rose from his seat, walked about ten feet to a colleague to give her a piece of chewing gum and immediately returned to his workstation. His supervisor then approached him with a chain and padlocked him to his desk. Amused, she laughed and said that she should now finally be able to get some production out of him. He was kept that way for 40 minutes, a fitting image of life on the job today.

Northington worked the rest of the day, then resigned and filed suit against his company and supervisor for false imprisonment, outrageous conduct and for creating an extreme and abusive work environment. Some people just don't have a sense of humor. In response to the allegations, Hambleton-Hill Publishing denied any wrongdoing. The company said it immediately checked into the charges and found conflicting reports. Though the case is still pending, the company said as a matter of policy it does not approve the activity alleged in the suit -- at least not without the supervisor completing all of the requisite forms in triplicate.

Welcome to the wonderful world of work. From the moment God threw Adam's sorry ass out of Eden and told him to go work for a living, we have toiled to get our bread from the sweat of our brows. For many of us, the hot sun may have been replaced by the harsh glow of fluorescent bulbs, the green fields by gray cubicles and the physical strain by that unique brand of torment that could only come from working for someone stupider than ourselves, but it's work just the same.

If the existentialists are right -- that action defines being -- then we are what we do and what we do is work. It defines us and consumes us. When we are not at work, we are driving to it or escaping from it, doing it at home or preparing for it. If our struggle for the legal tender has put us a bit on edge these days so that we go home and yell at the kids or kick the dog now and then, that's too bad. But it's part of making a living and they probably deserve it anyway.


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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Holier Than You on June 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If you're one of those who is tired of meaningless mission statements, patronizing inspirational posters, lame corporate-speak, paternalistic slogans and has realized that your employer doesn't have your best interests in mind, then you'll love this book! Disgruntled is a polemic blast for working men and women who have suffered in silence for too long.
What makes Levinson's book refreshing is that it's the first one I've seen that doesn't assume that all one's misgivings about his/her company and all one's problems at work are his/her own fault. It's great to see someone finally validate what so many of us have been feeling: corporate America chews workers up and spits them out.
Levinson does a nice job deconstructing the myth of the benevolent employer one layer at a time. He shows over and over again that in the corporate world, only profits matter; employees are useful only in the way that cannon fodder is useful. Executives get huge salaries and perks even if the company isn't doing well while the rank and file don't even get raises large enough to cover cost of living increases. Employers say they're pro-employee, but demonstrate absolutely no responsibility to protect their employees from unsafe conditions, sexual harassment, etc.
I also liked that Levinson offers some real solutions, up to and including walking away. This book is sure to get you fired up enough to change the situation you're in and work towards positive change for American workers.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 13, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Disgruntled: The Darker Side of the World of Work by Daniel S. Levine review by Martin Sprouse, editor of Sabotage in the American Workplace
For most Americans, experiencing the darker side of work is a daily routine. It starts with dreading the morning alarm and ends with a bargain basement paycheck. In between, there's an endless amount of frustration, humiliation and boredom; not to mention supervisors, managers and bosses. And that's if you have a job, the darker side becomes pitch black if you're looking for work, or were recently downsized or fired.
In his new book, Disgruntled, Daniel S. Levine breaks down the world of work piece by piece. With a sharp sense of humor, straightforward reporting and an inherent distrust for most authority figures, Levine explains the bitter truth about the American work experience. With the grim reality, Levine offers insight, knowledge and resources, turning the book into a how-to fight and survive manual for the American worker.
Disgruntled is an informative and entertaining read. Levine's confrontational approach makes him the Michael Moore of the old school newsroom. He makes it clear where he stands and I'm glad he's on our side.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Before Danny Levine's book, there were neither words nor a voice besides doublespeak to describe the angst of the American White Collar Worker. In one straightforward phrase, Levine encapsulates that experience: "Work sucks."
Work shouldn't have to suck, but as long as it does, Levine provides a sounding board for everyone who has has ever awakened in quiet desperation anticipating the Monday morning starting gun.
"The Darker Side of the World of Work" affirms that you are not alone, that there are worse sins in the world than anger and those dark thoughts which simmer in the back of your mind as you struggle to placate the fool who controls half your waking hours.
And it will help answer that question which you've got to be asking yourself every time the boss hands you your self-esteem on a chopping block: "Is it just my imagination, or are they all crazy . . ."
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By William E. May on September 27, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Excellent book, full of information.... From the cover and title, one might assume this is a rather jokey and lighthearted book, but it is actually a well-researched and very well-written overview of problems plaguing the working poor and working middle-class in America now. That's not to say it isn't pretty damn funny in spots, too, though in a cringing in kind of way.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Gaines on July 20, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know why the person from Wisconsin gave this only one star; I bet s/he's an executive of a corporation that doesn't want its employees to form unions. Anyhow, this is a very good book. It uses several excellent examples to illustrate points and remains interesting throughout, but never gets into an overly-preachy "Michael Moore" mode. It's a shame there aren't more books on this particular subject. The chapter on drug testing should make anyone who is jealous of their privacy cringe. It could be a little more in-depth, but as scholarship on this subject is rare, it's rather valuable nonetheless.
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