A broad indictment of the contemporary workplace as a miserable place, learned the old-fashioned way—by living through it (and reading a lot, too).
Workplace veteran Bouffard has such a light touch that some readers may think that this broadside against the everyday working milieu will be fueled solely by colorful, comical anecdotes. Actually, the author delivers a spirited, peppery attack, examining a wide variety of issues: the globalization of rudeness, the death of empathy, the eradication of humility, the drive to bond and to secure scarce goods, to master the world and protect against its threats, to defend self-esteem and protect against shame. Bouffard leisurely ambles through workplace environments to vividly provide evidence of its sociopathic dynamics. He provides plenty of footnotes and scientific studies and knows when to deploy the wisdom of Erving Goffman or Scott Adams, Moliere’s Harpagon or Ralph from The Lord of the Flies. The real strength of the book, however, is its communality—may of the ills are universal, and readers will continually nod along with the critique. Bouffard provides a fine synthesis of most of what is wrong with how we conduct our business lives: the feudalism of organizational structures, mob violence, communication as a game, vile acts of posturing, organizational amnesia, plausible deniability, the development of oligarchies, subjective perception, the elimination of irregulars, the performance-review process, etc. His book is an early distant warning, with tools of recognition to know the enemy.
Ace preparation for the emotional abuse that comes in heaping helpings from today’s dysfunctional workplace.