NEANDERTHALS AT WORK by Albert J. Bernstein


How People and Politics Can Drive You Crazy...And What You Can Do About Them
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 Bernstein and Rozen advance from their popular self-helper, Dinosaur Brains (1989), and the result is an avuncular, honest guide through the workplace. For some, corporate life is an involving challenge; for many others, it's a series of enervating insults. The authors have figured out why and, for those among the offended, what might be done to improve things. They divide all the gall producers into three models. There are the ``Rebels,'' cool and above the rules- -and never progressing. There are the ``Believers,'' highly motivated and devoted to all the rules--and never progressing. Then there are the ``Competitors,'' the warrior caste who can never be less than number one: ``It's against their religion,'' we are told. They are always progressing. (The authors never hint that there may be a fourth type. But, then, simple, incompetent Dorks don't want to be called that when they buy books, do they?) Each of the three archetypes is driven crazy by the others. And each is competent, of course, but just doesn't understand what makes the others go. With the accustomed paraphernalia of such manuals--pep talks, quizzes, and little morality plays--anxious readers will learn to identify themselves, those who work for them, and, most importantly, those who hold them in their power. Suggestions for coping are set forth. The repertory troupe of fictional characters (including one tyrant called ``Bronson'') may be onstage a bit too long, but they may also strike a familiar chord or two. Business myths are dismantled. The Bottom Line, no myth, is where it's at--where all the Competitors meet. And anyone can join them there. Just forget the need for praise and the fear of failure. Learn the unspoken rules and the corporate rituals. Here's the way the business world works, described in a superior self-helper that actually gets down to business.

Pub Date: April 15th, 1992
ISBN: 0-471-52727-0
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Wiley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 1992