Dr. Jody Foster, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania, is coauthor of a book with a compelling title: The Schmuck In My Office: How to Deal Effectively with Difficult People at Work. While we haven’t read it yet, it is now at the top of our list of books to read this quarter – it’s eliciting some great reviews. It’s described as:

“A book about how to understand and effectively engage those people at work who display annoying personality quirks which hamper productivity and, occasionally, throw an entire office off-kilter. This book will allow you to recognize, understand, and help manage relationships with people who are in some way difficult or disruptive at work.”

We learned about Foster’s book via an article that surfaced on Twitter: A Taxonomy of Troublemakers for Those Navigating Difficult Colleagues. The article is a generous preview of the book, with a sampling of eight common disruptive personality types, with a deeper dive into two specific types: Narcissus and the Bean Counter. You can read the article or listen to a podcast that’s just under 20 minutes. Both profiled personality types offer signs for how to spot them and very helpful, practical “don’t say / do say” tips for your interactions.

Disruptive and annoying colleagues are topics we all care about, managers and co-workers alike. We’ve dealt with the topic a few times previosuly here on the blog and they proved to be among our more popular posts. For more on the topic, see The Most Annoying Office Habits and Big-haired, smelly people who wear bells on their shoes: co-worker annoyances


Request a Quote