Inhuman Resources: A Guide to the Psychos, Misfits and Criminally Incompetent in Every Office

Michael Stanford, Allen & Unwin (IPG, dist.), $14.95 trade paper (166p) ISBN 978-1-74175-782-8
The thing about work is that, barring jobs like land-mine recovery and slaughterhouse clean-up, the worst part isn't the work, it's the people. So Stanford's guide to the many varieties of cretins, opportunists, suck-ups, and other toxic individuals populating the workplace should be handy. Since it's being marketed as a humor book, it should also be funny. Alas, it's a little of both and not enough of either. Stanford shines in pinpointing recognizable types—the "I hurry therefore I am" person, the "we'll have to reschedule, someone more important has come up person," and the "I don't want to be here" person, to name a few, but that's the problem: they're so recognizable that they feel old hat. Even when he's at his funniest—usually in the damning emails sent by offenders—he's still subverted by the format. Not only is bright yellow type hard on the eyes, but, more importantly, once we've heard the description of the annoying cubicle-dweller as he/she is in the office, was in childhood, and will be in retirement, plus the pithy email for context, we've heard the joke four times. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/08/2010
Release date: 07/01/2010
Genre: Nonfiction
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