Wait, I’m Working With Who?!? The Essential Guide To Dealing With Difficult Coworkers, Annoying Managers, and Other Toxic Personalities – Peter Economy – Career Press – Published 1 April 2021




Who hasn’t had to deal with a jerk at work? Whether it’s a toxic team member who loves nothing more than to suck the life and excitement out of her colleagues, the difficult coworker who isn’t happy unless the office is filled with mayhem and drama, or a bad boss who causes his employees to constantly dream of telling him to “Take this job and shove it!”, we’ve all had to deal with people on the job we would rather not.

Wait, I’m Working with Who?!? is the essential guide to identifying and dealing with jerks at work, including bad bosses, troublemaking coworkers, lazy and time-sucking team members, and toxic people of all sorts. This book covers the negative impact that problematic coworkers have on the workplace—lost productivity, high turnover, a company culture of ambivalence or defeat—and catalogs 16 specific species. It then goes on to share detailed steps for dealing with these characters—whether you’re an employee or a manager. The information and strategies in these chapters will be immediately actionable and profoundly helpful.

My thoughts

Everyone has worked in teams and everyone has worked with or for a difficult person at some point in their life (and if not, then you are pretty lucky). Working with others takes a careful balance of skills and considering different personalities. I’ve read many books about working in teams or people management but few of them focus on the challenges and the really tough stuff of conflict management. If you too have noticed that gap or want a guide on how to handle that person you just don’t get or who is constantly negative or bringing you down at work, then this is the book for you.

Wait, I’m Working With Who? Starts with A Field Guide To Jerks At Work. It outlines both the impact of workers that the book labels as jerks and then lists the sixteen most common jerks you’ll encounter. It lists behaviours and traits you might recognise or things to be on the lookout for. I like that though this book is all about helping you work better with others, it doesn’t neglect the reader or their role in the workplace, encouraging you to reflect on your own behaviour and identify when your behaviour might slide into jerk territory.

Once you are able to identity and name common jerk behaviour, the book then moves into part two, where it outlines eight strategies for dealing with jerks. Throughout these eight chapters, the jerk behaviours are referenced and there are case studies and worked examples, so you can see how these strategies can be put into action. The eight strategies range from things you can do in your everyday practice, minute by minute, like stepping back and assessing the situation to strategies that are good for those in management positions, like hiring and firing procedures.

I love that this book tackles the hard stuff head on and doesn’t pretend that a positive work environment is something that just happens. This book is perfect for those who are in management positions but equally for any worker in any position. This is a guide I am going to want on hand throughout my working career, something I can dip back into as needed.

The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.

More information

Category:  Non-fiction

Subjects: Work, team work, working relationships, conflict resolution, bullying, workplace harassment, human resources, management.

Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 224 pages.

Published: 1 April 2021 by Career Press

ISBN: 9781632651853

Find it on Goodreads