Jimmy Low’s book offers readers advice on one of the most difficult issues in the business world: how to deal with bosses.
According to jacket copy, management consultant Low based this book on his experiences in the corporate worlds of Hong Kong and Singapore from 1981 to 1993. They must have been dreadful, because in his first sentence, Low calls the book’s hypothetical boss a ” Sneaky Snobbishly-Obsessive Bully” or a “Double S.O.B.,” and, later, a “beast” or “monster,” capable of inflicting a “reign of terror.”
The first section provides “Seven Strategic Rules for Reducing Boss-Subordinate Tension.” Such tension, Low says, can be lessened only by avoiding the beast whenever possible: take the stairs instead of the elevator, he suggests, and arrange different times for lunch. Even less practical ideas include: Build a barrier so you can’t see him from your cubicle, and, in extreme cases, “close your eyes when you talk to him or see him,” even though this can be dangerous “when crossing the road.” (While one might think this is a joke, in fact, the book seems to lack intentional humor.)
The author offers some solid tips for becoming a better employee, but most of the advice is largely simplistic and seems dated. One section talks about replying to “letters” with no discussion of emails, and Low mentions women only as secretaries, retail clerks or sunglass buyers. While his advice targets corporate workers, his workplace examples are of small businesses or retail operations.
Additionally, the book’s syntax is clunky: “Beastly he has become. Of his mental stability it will be up to the psychiatrist to say.” The T.O.R.T.U.R.E. acronym stands for different ideas throughout the book, all awkwardly worded, as in: “Through Objective Recording to Understand Realities Extensively” and “Targets Off-course, Rejects Trebled; Utter Remorse Ensues.”
As a result of these many issues, readers seeking business advice may do best to look elsewhere.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.