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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book!!
This is THE best book that I have read regarding the "art" of identifying and dealing with difficult people, esp. when those difficult people are your managers. For me as an independent contractor, this is particularly helpful not only in dealing with difficult clients, but also in recognizing them at the interview stage! I wish I'd had this book many years ago - it would...
Published on March 10, 2006 by A. Lai

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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy bad workplace advice!
I used the advice in this book to deal with a bad boss and the toxic work environment that was created. In compliance with Amazon's review policy I won't reveal it here. In my case the end result is hostility, harassment, and retaliation. What Scott apparently forgets is that these "bad bosses" will regard ANY challenge (even those advocated in her book) as a personal...
Published on February 4, 2007 by Timothy J. Seguin


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75 of 80 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't buy bad workplace advice!, February 4, 2007
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This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
I used the advice in this book to deal with a bad boss and the toxic work environment that was created. In compliance with Amazon's review policy I won't reveal it here. In my case the end result is hostility, harassment, and retaliation. What Scott apparently forgets is that these "bad bosses" will regard ANY challenge (even those advocated in her book) as a personal threat and will use the assets at his disposal (i.e., company assets, discipline process) for retribution AGAINST the assertive employee. And since he IS the boss, he has the full backing of the company, regardless of legality, ethics, or motives. These tactics may work with rational, well adjusted supervisors in employee-focused companies, but in my experience pathological bosses are the rule and not the exception.

Do yourself a favor. If you have a bad boss, find a better job and DON'T buy this book or use the advice contained therein.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You need this book!!, March 10, 2006
By 
A. Lai (South San Francisco, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
This is THE best book that I have read regarding the "art" of identifying and dealing with difficult people, esp. when those difficult people are your managers. For me as an independent contractor, this is particularly helpful not only in dealing with difficult clients, but also in recognizing them at the interview stage! I wish I'd had this book many years ago - it would have saved me a lot of stress and aggravation! Another note: the ideas and suggestions presented in this book are relevant not just to dealing with managers, but also to your relationships with co-workers, teachers, "friends", and family members. This is a book that everyone should read if there is just one difficult person in their life.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Adequate Starting Point, January 26, 2008
By 
Amy Graham (Scottsdale, AZ) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
Reading A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses: Dealing with Bullies, Idiots, Back-Stabbers, and Other Managers From Hell is yet another book in a "set" that I checked out from our local library which I am currently reading my way through (and actually my third by this author). My housemate was recently promoted to a general manager position at a national pizza chain and was supposed to receive on the job training...but typically, has received none. So, we thought it might be helpful to do some reading on the subject of leadership, management and supervision of employees. This book kind of comes at my goal from the back end...being more about what makes an individual a "bad boss." I feel that it is, generally speaking, a good idea to look at things from multiple perspectives, and this book does just that. Overall I would say A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses covers the basics of what makes a boss "bad" and lays out some "real life" circumstances that give the reader a solid foundation on which to begin work on improving relations with any number of bad boss archetypes. That said, Graham Scott's book would probably be useless to anyone who had had adequate management experience (and/or had been in the work force for more than a couple of years) or for those who have already done extensive reading in this area. It's a great beginner book, and I would recommend it without reservation to young people just starting out in the work force or for first time managers to get an idea of what some common problems employees feel create a "bad" manager.

A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses is divided into six sections and five of the six deal with various types over-arching character types (i.e. Not Fit for Command; That's Unfair; Power Players; etc) and each of these sections is further divided into a number of sub-types. The sixth section is a review of the information as well as being geared toward putting all the info together in an easily accessible format for later reference. Each of section begins with an introductory paragraph, an example (sometimes more than one), a short set of ideas for alternative solutions or perspectives on the problem at hand, a brief discussion of how the employee dealt with (or might have dealt with the situation) and then some "take-always" for the reader to consider. The author stresses moderation in approach and response to any type of "bad" manager. Additionally, she urges that one take into consideration all possible causes and solutions before any action should be taken. I think this is a great resource, though it might have been nice for the author to acknowledge that her moderate and positive approach to these issues and problems does not always work...and she offers no progression or escalation of steps beyond the very basics...so if you have one of the problems she's describing and the solution given doesn't work, the author really hasn't helped delineate what the progression from there might or should be.

The writing here is simple, concise and accessible and the author makes her point very well (with the exception of escalation of problems beyond the scope given). We both enjoyed reading this and feel it's best used by those new to the job market as well as for those new to management who are not receiving mentoring or adequate on the job training as they are starting out. Long-time employees and managers or those well read in this area might enjoy it as a reminder or refresher for the basics of management but won't find much else to inspire or learn in these pages. Ultimately I give A Survival Guide for Working with Bad Bosses 3 stars...a good place to start, but don't stop here!
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very comprehensive set of options to consider, January 9, 2006
This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
There have been times in all of our lives when we have experienced working for someone who for whatever reason did not fall into the "great boss" category. This book however deals with those who transcend mere annoyance and dwell in the realm of the truly diabolical.

The highlights of the book are the rich stories and examples, and the endless options presented to dealing with various difficult and damaging situations. While some of the case studies are a bit generic, they ring true for the most part, which is important. There are few examples of "straw man" set ups here with two dimensional examples and easy fix platitudes.

The book is written well and is easy to follow. Even if you feel well equipped to handle most of the challenges, there will be options here you may not have considered, and a few that may make the difference between success and failure on the job in terms of your relationship and performance under duress.

Overall, I would say this is one of the better books out there on subject, and while it often fails to address the core psychology and personal accountability to the depth necessary (See; "Leadership and Self Deception", "Emotional Intelligence" and others for that), it nonetheless is a useful tool for current and future opportunities to endure the destructive antics of the worst bosses.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Keep looking this one falls short, March 25, 2006
By 
Clayton (Cornelius, OR, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
I was rather disapointed in this book. It appears that Ms. Graham Scott's prefered method of dealing with bad bosses is just to put up with them and keep things as status quo hoping it will all work out in the end. Pretty lame advise in my opinion. I am looking for a book that actually helps me solve problems not just put up with them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inside Secrets on Controlling (or Conquering) Your Bad Boss, March 22, 2006
This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
No blueprint exists for dealing with a difficult boss, but sometimes a tried-and-true approach can alleviate the problem. Author Gini Graham Scott provides scenarios that illustrate 34 categories of bad bosses. Useful as these may be, they do not make for a smooth narrative. Scott describes each classification and provides a case study and list of possible solutions - though you might find it scary to read about so many incompetent people. Your own bad boss may be enough. Even if you are highly motivated to diagnose your boss's particular pathology, you will need to take some time to determine exactly where your personal nemesis resides in Scott's rogue's gallery of mismanagement. Then, she'll help you devise a strategy. We found the book more descriptive than prescriptive or analytical, but it affirms that you are not alone in your struggle, and it offers guidelines that may help you decide what to do. Here's hoping that the job market remains strong so - if need be - you can escape intact, with this guidebook in your hand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dated, February 19, 2011
By 
JYK (Washington State) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
Is this book really published in 2005? Because some sections seem really dated, especially those related to specific violations such as drug use or harassment. I can understand that the remedies for dealing with office bullies and psychopaths aren't always clear cut, but she could have and should have included specific legal advice when dealing with harassers or drug addicts. Based on some of the recent training I received , her advice in parts IV ('Out of Bounds') and V ('Ethical Challenges') seem dated or, even worse, wrong.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A nice reference but be sure to own other main books, January 22, 2010
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This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
I've read many books on management, relationships, and dealing with "challenging people". I certainly respect Gini Scott's approach to this issue. Gini has written a series of fictional accounts involving "stereotypical" bosses. One boss is a pass-the-buck boss. Another boss is scatterbrained. A third boss won't provide backup. For each boss Gini creates an entire story with an employee. The boss is doing X and Y and Z, and what should the employee do? Gini offers a series of responses and suggests the best choice.

On one hand this is a great approach for people who like to think very concretely. You hear in great detail about Margie, an employee who had a "psycho hose beast" boss named Veronica. Veronica would call Margie at all hours, even when Margie was sick, even when Margie was on her honeymoon. Margie got tired of this intrusive behavior. Margie considered several options, and then took one. The entire chapter on "intrusive" bosses is focused on this situation between Margie and Veronica.

The problem with this approach is that it is FAR too specific. You hear about what Veronica is doing to Margie - but what if your boss isn't that exact same way? You can try to make guesses about how you should react in your situation, but you aren't getting any guidance. You have to extrapolate, on your own, how to make this one-specific-scenario fit your own needs. If you're lucky and your situation does match up, then you're set. If you're less lucky, then you are on your own.

There is of course some helpful information in here that you can use when interacting with people of all walks of life, not just bosses. If you have someone who *should* have authority but is disinclined to use it (a "no-boss boss") then go ahead and take on the responsibility yourself. Communicate so people know you're there to help, and dive in. If your problem is a scatter-brained boss, work with written lists and send email confirmations. That way you stay clear on what the path is. If your boss isn't providing fair treatment to everyone, document the issues and then ask gently to brainstorm on ways to fix the issue. If your boss nit-picks too much, then develop documented guidelines and agree that things done in this way will be considered acceptable.

However, I also find advice in here that I'm less fond of. With clueless bosses, apparently you're supposed to explain to him - when he has a stupid idea - just why it is stupid. I imagine if I went to any boss of mine and told him his idea was stupid (and why) that I would not get a favorable result. In another section a boss is maligned for providing constructive feedback with criticism. Apparently bosses should solely criticize if something is wrong. I feel quite the opposite way. If an employee is heading in the wrong direction, you make sure they realize they're on the wrong path, but you can do it by praising their other talents at the same time. The key is to make it constructive criticism, not a personal attack.

In general, I simply find the scenarios far too specific. I enjoy my other books far more, where they talk about types of problem bosses in a more general way, talk about a variety of ways the "bad trait" can happen in a workplace and discuss all of the ways to deal with it.

This is a good book to have as part of an overall library on dealing with issues, but I would definitely not start here. I'd read several other books to get a more solid grounding, and then use this as a cute "novelization" style supplement for a few extra tips.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival at the office, April 2, 2007
This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
It is a great feeling to know that you are not alone in the jungles of the workplace. Especially when the advice comes from an expert...You learn not to kill the "bad bosses" and how to deal with the problem zone with kindness without burning your fingers. Yet, I still hope someday any kind of pills will be discovered to terminate such "bad bosses" and we will live happily ever after.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Provides practical advice to those saddled with a good job and a terrible manager, February 5, 2006
This review is from: A Survival Guide for Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers from Hell (Paperback)
Gini Graham Scott's A Survival Guide For Working With Bad Bosses: Dealing With Bullies, Idiots, Back-stabbers, And Other Managers From Hell provides practical advice to those saddled with a good job and a terrible manager. What to do? Chapters advise various tactics to dealing with different types of 'bad bosses', from handling a rigid attitude with a demonstration of a more profitable path to opening up possibilities for achievement through back door options and handling rivalry between co-workers. A range of scenarios and techniques will readily apply to real-life scenes workers most commonly experience.
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