Sunday, October 11, 2009

Idiots at Work by Leland Gregory

This is a completely frivolous book, the kind of thing that sits next to the cash register and is bought entirely on impulse. And I suspect that many of the stories in it have been circulating for quite a while, and a few of them may not be precisely true. But Idiots at Work is quite funny, and a quick, breezy read, so it accomplishes what it sets out to do impeccably and does it with some style as well.

Idiots at Work is a compilation of over three hundred utterly unsourced anecdotes about stupid behavior on the part of cubicle drones, customer-service cretins, moronic customers, feeble-minded government functionaries, and various others. In fact, if a story involves at least one person doing something that they get paid for, or simply being at their place of employment, it would fit into this book.

Some of the pieces are dialogues -- generally between one normal person and one idiot -- and some of them are short quotes, but most of them are narrative anecdotes, usually just a couple of paragraphs long. All of the bits have one thing in common, of course: they show people being intensely dumb.

Idiots at Work is a perfectly adequate diversionary book, suitable for the smallest room in your house or similar situations -- I read it in snippets at bedtime over a month or so. And if some of the stories strike you as possibly dating back to the mid-'80s, you may well be right...but it doesn't mean that they're not still funny.

Update: And speaking of idiots, I had to delete a spam comment that came in right after this posted. All spam comments get deleted, folks or bots, without fail. So just go somewhere else with your tinned meat products.

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