It's a Jungle Out There That truth is the point of departure for the most recent installment of Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht's Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series, Work (Chronicle, 2003), which couldn't come at a better time. For those still in the workforce, the authors offer a handy guide to the untold "physical, mental, social, and occupational disasters" lurking in every place of business. Here are three of their scarier pieces of advice. Remember: Forewarned is forearmed!
How to Deal With a Nightmare Boss Be aware of the many different styles of Bad-Boss Behavior: the Supreme Delegator (takes all of the credit and none of the work); the Yes/No Manager (the boss for whom the "executive summary" was invented); the Indecision Maker (who needs input from multiple sources before making any decision).
Basic Survival How to avoid a downsizing: Perform thankless tasks (offer to replace the toner); offer to organize office social events; get your name out (write an article for the company newsletter); be the one at meetings who says, "Okay, let's get started."
How to Deal With a Nightmare Coworker The Talker: Leave documents on your desk and stare at them intently when the Talker approaches; avoid eye contact; the Talker will wander off within minutes.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2003 issue of Fast Company magazine.