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How to Work for an Idiot

Book Description

Praise for Hoover’s bestseller How to Work for an Idiot:

“Anyone who has to work should read How to Work for an Idiot.”

– USA Today

“Dr. Hoover recommends admitting that you are ‘powerless’ over the jerks in your life. Otherwise, ‘harboring all that resentment is like drinking a cup of poison and waiting for the jerk to die’.”

– The Wall Street Journal

“‘How to Work for an Idiot’ contains a lot of humor, with plenty of good information as well.”

– Campbell Brown, Weekend Today Show

“There is no question that How to Work for an Idiot is a subversive book. People will pick it up expecting a tasty blend of commiseration and advice. They will put it down thinking, to paraphrase the famous line from the cartoon character Pogo, ‘We have met the idiot, and he is us’.”

– The New York Times

“Dr. John’s ‘How to Work for an Idiot’ is very funny stuff, with some stinging jabs in there.”

– Neil Cavuto, FOX News

“...an irreverent and realistic look at what people must deal with every day at work.”

– CNNfn

“After reading How to Work for an Idiot, I feel that I have become a better boss myself.”

—Stew Leonard, owner of Stew Leonard’s Inc.

How to Work for an Idiot is the confession of a recovering “I-Boss” (Idiot Boss). After decades of writing and consulting, John Hoover, also known as Dr. John, finally realized that the vast majority of people he kept trying to energize, to motivate, and to enlighten were, well—idiots. He also realized that he was an idiot for trying to change them.

Instead, he has decided to enlighten you, the poor schlubs, who actually must continue working for these idiot bosses. You cannot change them. You cannot challenge them. And, no, you cannot practice anything on them you saw on CSI or even CSI: Miami. But, you can survive them, even thrive under them, if only you know how to deal with them.

How to Work for an Idiot contains real solutions for real problems that employees must deal with every day:

• Idiot-speak—How to speak and understand your I-Boss’s language.

• Idiot-eat—What to do when your I-Boss gets lettuce stuck in her teeth at lunch.

• How to appear dumber than your boss—a key way to save your job and go far in it.

So, despair no longer—this book offers hope for the spirit, strategy for the mind, and the essential ins-and-outs of dealing with an idiot boss. And it wouldn’t hurt idiot-bosses themselves to take a look at what Dr. John says in this book.

John Hoover, Ph.D. is an organizational leadership consultant, a former publisher of books on tape, a middle executive with Walt Disney Productions, and a divisional general manager with McGraw-Hill. He has helped dozens of clients in the corporate and public sectors overcome the disease of idiocy, including Delta Air Lines, IBM, Hilton Hotels, and Xerox.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Acknowledgments
  5. Table of Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Chapter 1: Confessions of a Recovering Idiot
    1. Mi Casa Es Su Casa
    2. Recovery is a Test in Itself
    3. Watch for Signs Your I-Boss is on the Mend
    4. That’s a Mirror, Not a Window
    5. Idiots, Idiots Everywhere and Not a Thought Worth Keeping
    6. Idiots: Stranger than Fiction
    7. Cosmic Questions
    8. Testing the Theory
    9. Self-Employment: Will the Cure be Worse than the Disease?
    10. The Birth of an Idiot Boss
    11. You’re Not Invisible
    12. Become an Influencer
    13. Hard Work Makes Friends and Enemies
    14. Idiot Oblivion
    15. Your I-Boss Might Care More Than You Know
    16. The Stupid Gene
    17. Steps to Stop Stupidity
  8. Chapter 2: Will the Real Idiot Please Stand Up?
    1. Good Bosses
    2. Thicker Than Blood
    3. God Bosses
    4. Machiavellian Bosses
    5. Masochistic Bosses
    6. Sadistic Bosses
    7. Paranoid Bosses
    8. Buddy Bosses
    9. Idiot Bosses
  9. Chapter 3: The Making of an I-Boss
    1. Choosing Cool Role Models
    2. Origins of Idiot Power
    3. More Than One Way to Create a Personality Disorder
    4. Idiots vs. Intelligents
    5. An Opportunity to Build a Bridge
    6. An Opportunity to Grow
  10. Chapter 4: Idiot Procreation
    1. That Loud Sucking Sound
    2. Once Ignited, the Fire Spreads
    3. Institutionalizing Incompetence
    4. Timber!
    5. The Right People, the Right Reasons, the Right Things
  11. Chapter 5: Banishing Talent
    1. The Circle of Fairness
    2. Head Bashing
    3. Communicate Your Way to Serenity
    4. Shamu Management
    5. It’s a Cruel World, But a Great Life
    6. Competency, Creativity, and Change
    7. Damage Control
    8. Put the Boundary Where It Belongs
  12. Chapter 6: Success In Spite of Stupidity
    1. Stop Pursuing Perfection
    2. Being Right Is Stupid
    3. How the Smart (and Lucky) Succeed
    4. Faking Your Own Firing
    5. Surviving Your Performance Review
    6. The God Boss Review
    7. The Machiavellian Boss Review
    8. The Masochistic Boss Review
    9. The Sadistic Boss Review
    10. The Paranoid Boss Review
    11. The Buddy Boss Review
    12. The Idiot Boss Review
    13. The Good Boss Review
    14. Like Likes Like
  13. Chapter 7: Idiotthink: The Great Disguise
    1. Beach Ball Nightmares
    2. Don’t Bank on Cluelessness
    3. Idiotthink
    4. The Great Disguise Reversed
    5. Blend Into the Crowd Without Losing Your Goals
    6. Your Great Disguise Wardrobe
  14. Chapter 8: A Strategic Partnership
    1. How to Harness the Idiot’s Power
    2. Your Rock and Hard Place
    3. Drinking Poison
    4. Make Your Move—Positively
    5. Learn His Language
    6. Who Are You Really?
    7. Stuck in Adolescent Rebellion
    8. Then and Now
  15. Chapter 9: Idiotspeak: How to Talk to Your Idiot Boss
    1. Content
    2. Idiotspeak
    3. Forcing the Issue
    4. You Can’t Avoid Gossip
    5. The Office Bully
    6. Shamu on Trust
  16. Chapter 10: Idiot-eat: Using Meals to Advance Your Career
    1. Don’t Order the Crab
    2. Working the Meal
    3. Working Through the Meal
    4. Vacation Requests
    5. I-Boss Bonding Specifics
    6. Raising the Steaks
    7. Save Your I-Boss’s Bacon
    8. Suffer Fools Kindly
  17. Chapter 11: Idiocy: Theoretical, Theological, and Biological Roots
    1. If idiots didn’t exist, would we create them?
    2. God’s Grace and Your I-Boss
    3. Idiots: Real or Not Real?
    4. Concept Avoidance
    5. Blood Sacrifice
    6. An Exception to Everything
    7. Vertical Mobility and Trial Lawyers
    8. Defying Explanation
    9. Extreme Measures
    10. Pushed to the Brink
    11. Be Thankful
  18. Chapter 12: The Open Hand
    1. Give Away the Credit
    2. Be Part of Something Big
    3. Lost Perspective Can Be Regained
    4. What Costume Do You Wear?
    5. Be Part of the Best
    6. Be Realistic
    7. Terry
    8. It’s Your Move
    9. Growing New Rings
  19. Bibliography
  20. About the Author