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Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Book Review Work Jerks

“Work Jerks-How to Cope with Difficult Bosses and Colleagues” is a dynamite must-read useful guide by Louise Carnachan. It offers a template designed as a resource inviting management and colleagues to reexamine their behaviors and communication skills so they can effectively work together. Carnachan's 40-year career as an instructor, coach, and organization development consultant assisting others to achieve interpersonal success in their jobs, adds a high level of credibility to her writing. Her wealth of experiences collecting relatable stories along the way has provided her with much insight and wisdom. Carnachan offers expert advice with practical solutions to implement for those in work and in social settings. I felt the inclusion of humor in the book proved to be an effective tool that engaged me throughout my reading.

After decades of observing and interacting with people in a variety of work settings, Carnachan has accumulated a set of behavior patterns called jerktypes. “Jerk” is defined as a person who displays consistently annoying or disruptive behavior. Jerktypes, a form of categorization, serves as the book's format dividing it into easy-to-follow chapters: The Narcissist, The Know-It-All, The Incompetent, The Runaway Train, The Fight-or-Flee, The Poor Me, The Not So Funny Jokester, The We Are Family, The Habitually Annoying Jerk, and When the Jerk is a Toxic Work Culture. Carnachan's writing advice is straightforward on how to deal with certain types of work jerks. In addition, a worksheet at the end of each chapter is helpful to encourage one's self-examinations of behaviors, Many people reentering the workforce, after working remotely for the past few years, will find the strategies in the book for problem-solving and improving interpersonal relationships helpful. Senior leaders involved in team-building exercises would find purchasing multiple copies of “Work Jerks” for employees a useful resource to facilitate small group discussions. The book is also intended to be an accessible reference for a variety of situations and confrontations that can develop in other settings such as HOAs, places of worship, volunteer activities, and even those with friends and family.

Setting yourself up for success by taking small steps to make a positive difference is great practical advice from the author in the last chapter. She outlines several scenarios which are easy to implement when faced with management and colleague confrontations. Carnachan believes being mindful in setting intentions is a helpful daily practice. This simple act of writing intentions each day is one small step to help in fostering healthy interpersonal relationships. 

I highly recommend this resource for those who are looking for a practical plan of action to deal effectively with problematic people in workplaces and in social settings.

Louise Carnachan, MSW, has helped thousands of leaders and staff members achieve interpersonal success in work relationships. As an instructor, coach, and organization development consultant, her employers and clients have ranged from large Fortune 500 companies to small nonprofits. Along with her credentials, Louise has firsthand experience being an employee who has dealt with the nuances of organizational politics. She pens a workplace advice blog (with debatable input from her feline officemates) from a suburb of Portland, Oregon.


  1. Oh, goodness, I could have used this book decades ago.

    1. yes so informative with step by step suggestions to help improve work relations

  2. Excellent thorough review


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