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Surviving the Toxic Workplace: Protect Yourself Against Coworkers, Bosses, and Work Environments That Poison Your Day Paperback – February 16, 2010

3.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linnda Durre’, Ph.D., is a psychotherapist, business consultant, national speaker; magazine, Internet, and newspaper columnist; and television and radio talk show host, consults and speaks to businesses, companies, and corporations. She hosted and co-produced two live call-in TV shows: "Ask The Family Therapist," on America's Health Network, a national cable TV station associated with the Mayo Clinic which aired from Universal Studios, Orlando; and "Personal Success Hotline with Dr. Durre'," on a PBS affiliate, and three radio shows. She has spoken to hundreds of groups and given interviews on Oprah, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, The O'Reilly Factor, Canada AM, Daytime, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC, and Good Morning America, among others, and she has been interviewed, quoted, and/or cited in Forbes, Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Inc. Magazine, Business Week, Law Office Administrator, New York Times, LA Times, Christian Science Monitor, USA Today, Orlando Magazine, Toronto Globe & Mail, Pasadena Star News, Argus Leader, San Diego Union and Tribune, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Orlando Business Journal, Orlando Sentinel, Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner, Pacific Sun, San Antonio Light, Florida Magazine, and Parade. She has written for Forbes Online, AOL, Monster, Yahoo, Orlando Business Journal, American Cities Business Journals, Brentwood News, and in her column at eBossWatch on coping with difficult bosses.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (February 16, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007166467X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071664677
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am so sorry I bought this book. The first few chapters kept telling me what this book was going to do for me. I felt like I was reading one of those ads you see that keep going and going -- but wait there's more! I actually felt like I was reading a book report. It's very 101 and more an introduction to the real world than an actual book about surviving in it. The author assumes the reader knows absolutely nothing about people and has reduced personality types into general caricatures. Most of the scenarios/solutions for dealing with difficult co-workers sound ridiculous and are out of touch with reality. If someone approached me in many of the ways that the author suggests, I'd think "office busybody". I think it contains a lot of bad advice. There have got to be better books out there on this subject. Ugh. I hate when this happens. That's why I try to go to the library and not the bookstore.
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This book sounds like it would make a great book for someone responsible for the behavior of office employees. However, as a book for "all of us" this title falls flat on its face.

Reading through the book, it is very clear that the suggested conversations with trouble employees come from a position of authority. If you or I were to try this with someone on an equal footing, the other person would be left saying "who the Heck does he/she think they are?" If used in the way the author instructs, the person would likely alienate themselves quickly.

A better book for THIS topic of peer to peer or peer and peer to superior interactions would be Dirty Tricks at Work. However, that book is more into the politicking aspect and less of the everyday small stuff that we might commonly identify as counter-productive to the office environment.

Still, I can completely see this book as being useful to people in a superior position of leadership who get to "lay down the law". For them, this book will likely be very useful. For the rest of us, however, we will have to keep on looking.
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Format: Paperback
This book abruptly makes fun of people with severe chemical sensitivity. The author literally makes these people look like caricatures. For people with chemical sensitivity, the dear author calls them "delicate flowers" and says that "people at work do not have to change their style for delicate flowers; Delicate flowers can just go and get themselves treated or work from home". After reading this I was like "What the heck?" Well, I am not so chemically sensitive but if someone literally sprays a perfume on my face yea, I will get a bad attack and would need to be hospitalised. And this guy at my work literally did that --> spray perfume right on my face. Now it is very ruthless of this author to openly support people who are not chemically sensitive as opposed to people who are and sideline people by calling them "delicate flowers" and reducing them to caricatures! This whole book does the same job - characterises everyone into a mold and gives them nicknames. It's a shame. It's really the worst and most disgusting book written for bad/problem workplaces!
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Format: Paperback
The solution to just about every problem in this book is apparently to threaten to go to HR. Whether your coworker talks too loudly, interrupts you too often, doesn't socialize enough or engages in any one of a myriad of ways that any normal person would learn to deal with during the process of learning to work with others, the author of this book instead recommends writing a sternly worded email demanding the reader comply, with a threat to go to HR if they don't. In the case of the loud talker, she wanted him to be quiet whenever she put a finger to her lips, otherwise off to HR we go!

Following the advice in this book is guaranteed to sabotage professional relationships and make the workplace even more toxic.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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