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Work Abuse: How to Recognize It and Survive It [Paperback]

Chauncey Hare , Chauncey Have , Judith Wyatt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1997 0870471090 978-0870471094
Tens of thousands of people hate their jobs, merely enduring them a day at a time. For many, the true problem is an abusive work environment: one that disempowers people and destroys self-esteem. Work abuse is the dehumanizing of people through patterned ways of interacting at work.

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Over the recent past, the concept of what constitutes abuse has broadened. No longer is it limited to the domestic setting, and no longer is it restricted to physical harm. Some of this change in thinking has not gone without controversy. Now Wyatt and Hare up the ante, and they are certain to stir opinion. The authors are organizational consultants and licensed psychotherapists who coined the term work abuse in 1988 in a report to the California state legislature's own oft-debated task force on self-esteem. They define work abuse as "the flagrant mistreatment or silent neglect of people." This abuse may take the form of neglect, chronic scapegoating, or denial of due process. The only solution to the problem of this abuse, Wyatt and Hare argue, is for democracy to be brought to the workplace and to eliminate authoritarian work organizations. The authors' equating of work abuse with child abuse, on-the-job sexual harassment, and discrimination will offend many. David Rouse --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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5.0 out of 5 stars A survivor's reaction to "Work Abuse" Jan. 4 1998
Format:Hardcover
Wyatt and Hare are doing for work abuse what Anita Hill did for sexual abuse. After suffering four years of chronic scapegoating and three years of subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder, "Work Abuse" finally afforded me the luxury of crying from relief. Though my professional career is over now, I can take deep comfort in knowing that what happened to me was very real and very much denied by everyone concerned. Americans are indeed being brutalized in the workforce; we blame ourselves. But this abuse can be recognized and dealt with, thereby sparing careers, lives, families, and even the abusive institutions and organizations that traumatize us. We owe much gratitude to Judith Wyatt and Chauncey Hare for their profound introduction to the dialogue on this issue of work abuse. Let the healing begin.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Work Abuse Toolkit Nov. 23 1997
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Work Abuse is the book those of us toiling in abusiveworkplaces havebeen looking for. In clear concise language, the book offers real and positive means to survive while working to reduce abuse in workplaces. It is an essential tool kit for Union leaders and others who have seen the devastation of work abuse. The solutions offered do not cause further harm to the individuals caught up in this situation. I have used the methods in the book and have provided it to many others. The universal response is delight at finally finding a way to survive and grow despite an abusive work situation. I recommend it highly.
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Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A survivor's reaction to "Work Abuse" Jan. 3 1998
By cac@quiknet.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Wyatt and Hare are doing for work abuse what Anita Hill did for sexual abuse. After suffering four years of chronic scapegoating and three years of subsequent post-traumatic stress disorder, "Work Abuse" finally afforded me the luxury of crying from relief. Though my professional career is over now, I can take deep comfort in knowing that what happened to me was very real and very much denied by everyone concerned. Americans are indeed being brutalized in the workforce; we blame ourselves. But this abuse can be recognized and dealt with, thereby sparing careers, lives, families, and even the abusive institutions and organizations that traumatize us. We owe much gratitude to Judith Wyatt and Chauncey Hare for their profound introduction to the dialogue on this issue of work abuse. Let the healing begin.
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Work Abuse Toolkit Nov. 23 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Work Abuse is the book those of us toiling in abusiveworkplaces havebeen looking for. In clear concise language, the book offers real and positive means to survive while working to reduce abuse in workplaces. It is an essential tool kit for Union leaders and others who have seen the devastation of work abuse. The solutions offered do not cause further harm to the individuals caught up in this situation. I have used the methods in the book and have provided it to many others. The universal response is delight at finally finding a way to survive and grow despite an abusive work situation. I recommend it highly.
15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Work Abuse Hidden better than spousal and/or child abuse Aug. 9 2004
By Flora Newsom - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am reading, for the second time, WORK ABUSE - HOW TO RECOGNIZE AND SURVIVE IT by Judith Wyatt and Chauncey Hare. Work abuse is a very unpopular subject and is at least equally as widespread as is spousal abuse and/or child abuse. It is the best hidden of any abuse inflicted by one person upon another. Work abuse replicates child abuse in that the abused is scapegoated, trapped and alone without help from either inside or outside the system. Work stress is simply a euphemism for "work abuse," that hampers job quality and production as well as cripples, disables, and destroys the quality of life for millions every day and has been rampant in our society for many years.

Work abuse disempowers, dehumanizes and destroys self-esteem through systematic denial that the abuse is happening. More often than not, work abuse affects an entire organization. Society as a whole tends to reinforce work abuse and place the blame on the traumatized victims. Human resource offices (another euphemism for personnel offices) seem likely places for victims to find support. Human resource departments strictly protect the organization.

Millions of people enter the workplace every Monday saying, "is it Friday yet;" on Friday, millions more say, "thank God it's Friday." Others frequently sigh and struggle just to get inside the buildings and refer to their situations as "burn-out" and "work stress," when realistically for most of those people, the true problem is an abusive work environment.

This book explains how and why work abuse happens. It offers an understandable plan for healing, and includes in-depth case studies, exercises, and worksheets to guide the reader. This book is a must read for everyone who is now employed, has been employed, or ever plans to be employed.

Flora Stringer

fnstringer@kricket.net
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars WORK ABUSE - QUIT - UNLESS YOU HAVE $$$$$$ March 4 2012
By G. Charles Steiner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Work Abuse: How to Recognize and Survive It
by Judith Wyatt and Chauncey Hare
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $34.95

This is an important book for those who suffer from the unacknowledged crazy-making that can and does go on in the workplace. I read this book in the year 1998, and it remains the only book I know on the subject. The book does help the reader cast a hard-eyed look at the circumstances of the workplace, but whether it helps the individual resolve any workplace issues is negligible, I'm sorry to say.

What isn't likable about the book is the constant emphasis on Sims, core beliefs and survival strategies based on childhood means of relating to one's parents and how these Sims play into the norms of the group at work and in work's organization. The personality styles of Sims are too narrow and simplistic, while the level of detail provided about the Sims is excruciatingly complex -- when the fact remains: dealing with work itself on a daily basis, when there's abuse regularly going on, is almost more than one can handle.

Also, the authors seem to know the inside-info about people who have never come to them for therapy. Thus, their characterizations in the book are suspect for the psychologizing they do outside of any concrete context like a psychotherapy session. Are they making these people up? Is this fiction to illustrate a point?

The book makes you constantly evaluate not only your personal character and your personal work at a job or workplace, it also forces the reader to evaluate its generalizations about other characters and other work situations while at the same time forcing the reader to evaluate the truthfulness and validity of the text itself.

This book promises to give you a handle on your individual work situation again and again, but despite the promises, like happy-faced road signs on the highway of prose, the reader is driving through the bumper-to-bumper traffic of prose the whole time. The reader has plenty of time to think whether this ride is worth the journey and expense.

In the end, the text revealed the workplace issues but didn't help this reader solve them at all. What was required was to pay one of the authors for advice in handling workplace abuse. After several months of psychotherapy on work abuse, the advice was: Quit your job and find another; it's cheaper all the way round, particularly since no interventions in the workplace can be obtained for anyone earning less than six figures and is therefore unable to pay the fee for a workplace intervention.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Making Sense of the Abusive Situation July 15 2011
By Lily15 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book was a life-saver for me as I worked through issues of bullying in my workplace. I would recommend it to anyone who has been bullied (or currently being bullied) at work.
Judith and Chauncey offer an excellent understanding of the "workplace reality" and why you have been chosen to "not fit" based on that "reality". This book is an excellent tool to walk you through the "craziness" of workplace abuse and into healing.
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