Eye-opening, insightful, and filled with practical advice about office jerks.



An organizational consultant highlights unsavory characters found in the workplace.

Carnachan’s well-organized, exhaustive study of “Jerketypes” is simultaneously unsettling and reassuring. The fact that she can identify so many jerks in the workplace may be disturbing, but her reasoned counsel for how to cope with them should have a calming effect on most readers. The author applies her decades of experience as both an employee and a coach/consultant to identify nine broad types of jerks, breaking them down into subsets. Some of them, such as “The Narcissistic Jerk,” seem more dangerous than others, like “The Jokester Jerk,” but all of them are worthy of exploration. In each chapter, Carnachan identifies the characteristics of one type of jerk and offers detailed suggestions for dealing with the culprit. The author covers interactions with difficult or exasperating individuals who may be bosses, co-workers, or subordinates. Carnachan includes richly described anecdotes that appropriately illustrate the behavior of each Jerketype. Several of these vignettes are drawn from the author’s coaching experience. For example, in discussing the “Gang Leader,” one form of Narcissistic Jerk, the author relates the story of Samantha, a skilled worker who “was an absolute misery for her manager, Ashley, because of her sarcastic and critical comments about management.” Carnachan explains how she worked with Ashley to create a “performance improvement plan” for Samantha, who, it turns out, eventually resigned. “Lesson learned,” writes the author. “Ashley appointed a new lead from her existing staff who had excellent interpersonal skills and good technical skills.” These illustrative tales enrich the book and make for engaging reading. There is also an opportunity for self-reflection using worksheets included by Carnachan and designed to identify if readers might be Jerketypes. A chapter called “When the Jerk Is a Toxic Work Culture” discusses workplaces more broadly, defining several typical dysfunctional cultures and potential actions to take. A closing chapter reinforces a key overarching theme: “Remember that the only person you can change is you and what you say and do really does affect others.”

Eye-opening, insightful, and filled with practical advice about office jerks.

Pub Date: June 14, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-64742-369-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: She Writes Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2022

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.


“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.


Everyone’s favorite avuncular socialist sends up a rousing call to remake the American way of doing business.

“In the twenty-first century we can end the vicious dog-eat-dog economy in which the vast majority struggle to survive,” writes Sanders, “while a handful of billionaires have more wealth than they could spend in a thousand lifetimes.” With that statement, the author updates an argument as old as Marx and Proudhon. In a nice play on words, he condemns “the uber-capitalist system under which we live,” showing how it benefits only the slimmest slice of the few while imposing undue burdens on everyone else. Along the way, Sanders notes that resentment over this inequality was powerful fuel for the disastrous Trump administration, since the Democratic Party thoughtlessly largely abandoned underprivileged voters in favor of “wealthy campaign contributors and the ‘beautiful people.’ ” The author looks squarely at Jeff Bezos, whose company “paid nothing in federal income taxes in 2017 and 2018.” Indeed, writes Sanders, “Bezos is the embodiment of the extreme corporate greed that shapes our times.” Aside from a few passages putting a face to avarice, Sanders lays forth a well-reasoned platform of programs to retool the American economy for greater equity, including investment in education and taking seriously a progressive (in all senses) corporate and personal taxation system to make the rich pay their fair share. In the end, he urges, “We must stop being afraid to call out capitalism and demand fundamental change to a corrupt and rigged system.” One wonders if this firebrand of a manifesto is the opening gambit in still another Sanders run for the presidency. If it is, well, the plutocrats might want to take cover for the duration.

Even if they're pie-in-the-sky exercises, Sanders’ pitched arguments bear consideration by nonbillionaires.

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2023

ISBN: 9780593238714

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 21, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

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