Don't work with assholes

Assholes come in many forms. They can be your customers, investors, colleagues, advisors and sometimes family and friends – though I hope your judgment in friendship is sound.

Now in my mid-30s, I've sharpened my skill of saying "No", particularly when it comes to dealing with assholes. And don't get me wrong, who qualifies as an asshole or not is most of the times a very personal decision.

Nevertheless, the number of times I've had to work with assholes is overall quite limited, but in handsight I've regretted each encounter and wished I had either told them so or stopped working with them altogether.

"Just this one time"
"S/he is not always like this."
"I mean... We don't have to become friends, it's just work. I'll press on and hope it will be over soon."

But how come there are assholes people don't want to work with in the first place? Particularly in a professional context, capitalism tends to elevate the exceptions; those few, distinctive gems. And they can come in many forms.

Cooperation is fundamental in a capitalist society. Indeed, I'd even go as far and say that if someone is wholly incapable of collaboration, they would encounter severe challenges and face existential problems.

Yet the fact that assholes are all around us and they are often refered as business demigods suggests that a significant number of people still prefers to work with them.

What if more people would say no to working with assholes. What would that mean for the (business) world?

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