It seems that most of us are doomed to spend the largest chunk of our lives in wage slavery, on a treadmill of soul-destroying servitude to corporations, shareholders and little Hitlers. If it sounds depressing, then it probably is.
In the real world, we can do everything in our power to avoid those of the human race that we dislike, disagree with or just don't get on with (and if you are like me, you'll know that consists of a large proportion.) However, in the workplace there is no getting away from it. Wherever you go in life, you can pretty much guarantee that sooner or later you will be thrown into the bear pit with a Boss from Hell or a Secretary of Satan.
A recent survey was conducted that showed, (in the UK at least), only 1 in 10 of the working population actually enjoyed their jobs. It seems to me that for the most part, we've got the world of work wrong. After all, if we are to spend the lions share of our lives in the workplace, then surely the onus should be on making it a place of fun and fairness. Life's too short for backstabbing, brown-nosing, arse-licking, political-scheming and nitpicking. Unfortunately though, there are too many Pains out there that don't want a brighter future in the workplace to happen and certainly couldn't countenance the idea of fair play and fun for all.
You see, some people have the right idea right from the get go. It's either their way or the highway. Look at Alan Sugar. He worked for someone else, realised immediately that he didn't like it and only wanted to work for himself. He is now one of the most successful businessmen on the planet. More power to him.
People who run their own businesses are the modern day equivalent of latter day dictators, ruling over their own mini empire in the global marketplace. But even for the Donald Trumps of this world, there must be those days when tough decisions have to be made and they come up against it.
So it seems that, in the world of work, no matter who you are, there is no getting away from the depressing fact that, at some time or other, you will have to deal with the worst that mankind has to offer.
Pains in the Office is an enjoyable, hilarious and sobering read. It exposes the 50 worst character types you will come across in the work environment. In places, it is laugh-out-loud funny.
What's great about this book is that each character is labelled with an appropriate tag or name and there is a description of the traits and behavioural patterns you should come to expect from them and look out for, usually backed up with real world experiences to illustrate the point. The Pains are also given a rating as to their Annoyance Factor and their Rarity Factor and the author gives some handy hints as to how to counter the Pain's behaviour with suitable retaliation.
I found myself absolutely gobsmacked at how many Pains I'd encountered over the years. Of course, I knew that I would be able to pinpoint many of the characters illustrated, but the author has really done his research here and should be commended for it.
There are tons of manuals out there about how to get on in life and influence people, how to be successful, etc. For those of you that are more than a little cynical, (like me), you might need an escape valve, and this book may be just what you are looking for.
Imagine it as a cross between a Desmond Morris anthropological handbook and a script of TV comedy The Office and you won't be far wrong.
Pains In The Office is the perfect antidote to the toxic world of work and, as a lighthearted, humourous study of people at their worst, is probably of much greater importance in its analysis of modern humanity than it thinks.
I give Pains In The Office;