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The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life | [Charles Murray]

The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead: Dos and Don'ts of Right Behavior, Tough Thinking, Clear Writing, and Living a Good Life

Best-selling social historian Charles Murray has written a delightfully fussy - and entertaining - book on the hidden rules of the road in the workplace - and in life - from the standpoint of an admonishing, but encouraging, workplace grouch and taskmaster. Why the curmudgeon? The fact is that most older, more senior people in the workplace are closet curmudgeons. In today's politically correct world, they may hide their displeasure over your misuse of grammar or your overly familiar use of their first name without an express invitation. But don't be fooled by their pleasant demeanor....
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Publisher's Summary

In the best-selling tradition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a gently curmudgeonly but invaluable guide to the dos and don'ts of the workplace

Best-selling social historian Charles Murray has written a delightfully fussy - and entertaining - book on the hidden rules of the road in the workplace - and in life - from the standpoint of an admonishing, but encouraging, workplace grouch and taskmaster. Why the curmudgeon? The fact is that most older, more senior people in the workplace are closet curmudgeons. In today's politically correct world, they may hide their displeasure over your misuse of grammar or your overly familiar use of their first name without an express invitation. But don't be fooled by their pleasant demeanor. Underneath, they are judging and evaluating your every move and utterance. And in most cases, if you want to advance in your career, it is their approval you need to win.

In the course of this pithy and powerful book, Murray tells us the proper etiquette for email, how to stop using such overused and fuzzy phrases as "reaching out" and "sharing", his thoughts on piercings and tattoos and proper dress, the importance of rigor in language and good writing, why being judgmental is good, and other curmudgeonly pieces of wisdom and advice. He suggests how to stand out at work (work long hours when you are young and unencumbered by family and other obligations), when to use strong language and when to avoid it, and offers a bare-bones usage primer on how to avoid confusing words like "advice" and "advise", which look or sound similar but have distinct meanings.

Written with both verve and reserve and drawing on the core values that have historically made good manners the best lubricant to social and professional advancement, The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead is an invaluable resource for anyone hoping to land the job of their dreams - or get ahead in their career of choice.

©2014 Charles Murray (P)2014 Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

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3.8 (297 )
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  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 05-22-14
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 05-22-14 Member Since 2014

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good Book: From one curmudgeon to another"
    Any additional comments?

    I have always respected the research of Charles Murray. He has a history of conducting socially important research, citing solid peer reviewed evidence to support his hypothesis, and fearlessly stating his points regardless of controversy. His books (The Bell Curve, Coming Apart, Real Education...) challenge conventional wisdom and social assumptions about our culture and behaviors.

    Murray's "The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead" (2014) is meant to be a "how to" book for young adults relative to blending into an established corporate culture and engaging in behaviors associated with successful adult independence.

    The big problem? The audience "Curmudgeon" is intended to help would probably never be interested reading this book. Murray hammers these young adults for their tattoos, casual use of profanity/obscenity, and faulty applications of English grammar. "Curmudgeon" is broken down into sequential chapters that permit Murray's to dispense his personal advice to young adults.

    Personally, I enjoyed "Curmudgeon". However, I am 49 years old and may be defined by my employees as a curmudgeon. Overall, Murray has a interesting and engaging book that other curmudgeons will use to validate their perceptions of the younger generations. Reading "Curmudgeon" feels a little like preaching to the choir. On my rank order book rating system, I place "Curmudgeon" 40th of the 68 books I have read over the last two years.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 04-22-14
    Josh 04-22-14
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    "Great Advice for Young People"

    The book was a great, short, practical guide for how a young person should look at life. Some self help books can drag on but Murray did an impressive job of keeping a busy college students attention.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shanoboy! Cartersville, GA USA 06-09-15
    Shanoboy! Cartersville, GA USA 06-09-15 Member Since 2014

    We Wear Khakis Dot Com

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    "Thought Provoking"

    I started the book thinking it would be a whimsical or funny collection of anecdotes. It ended up being one of the more thought provoking books I've listened to in a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David P. Wingert 06-03-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Murray is fearless!"

    Charles Murray takes on yet another taboo subject: proper decorum for the workplace. The book is insightful and full of wit and good cheer. It is highly recommended for any young person who hopes to do well in his or her career. Moreover, even if one's aspirations are not high, the chapter on thinking and writing well is for everyone. You may not like Murray's advice--but woe to yo if you fail to heed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura 05-22-15
    Laura 05-22-15
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    "Not worth buying"
    Any additional comments?

    A lot of the ideas presented are downright offensive. Very old school view of the world.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mercedes 02-15-15
    mercedes 02-15-15
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    "Grandma's Choice"

    I have just been going through a serious time with my grandson who is graduating from Michigan Tech. He just has the jitters about life after school out in the big world. Your comments on finding the right fit in the job world are just what he needs..
    Thank You

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angela C. Southern CA 02-07-15
    Angela C. Southern CA 02-07-15
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    "Solid advice"

    This book is full of solid advice for younger workers and older ones. I am in my 40's and still walked away with many nuggets of advice.

    The narration was well done, the writing is equally as great.

    Short book but a worthwhile book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nick C. 02-06-15
    Nick C. 02-06-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Better than expected"

    Well-rounded, good life advice. He covers a number of professional, academic, and personal issues with astounding clarity and insight.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben-Hur 01-03-15
    Ben-Hur 01-03-15
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    "Really good"

    Great piece of advice, for a 24 year old like me. Very funny ans witty

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aryn 10-25-14
    Aryn 10-25-14
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    "It's aimed at the 18-22 year old"

    Might have been interesting had I been the right demographic. I'm not, by many years, though. I didn't like it enough to finish it. Had I known, I wouldn't have bought it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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