The one-sentence summary

If you want to get promoted, do as little as possible (but be aware that you may also be fired).


  • This is an unusual book that provides a counterpoint to all those that suggest that increasing productivity is the key to success
  • It says that you can be a slacker and get away with it, and that only by reducing your productivity to zero do you have any chance of climbing the corporate ladder
  • Hard work and long hours won’t get you anywhere
  • Companies don’t care. They hate individuals who don’t conform.
  • They talk gibberish, use people as pawns, and move them around so no one can keep track
  • They have no ethics, no culture, and have mastered the art of appearing more intelligent than they actually are


  • It’s good to take the opposite view from time to time, if only to test what you believe
  • There are typologies of idiots: Mr. Average, The Hollow Man(ager), Consultants who con, Timewasters, Yes-Men, and Nobodies
  • The idea that business is effectively doomed is an intriguing one
  • What is a job for? Many workers genuinely don’t know what they are paid for, so why should they fear being lazy?
  • The author’s ten new commandments of work are:

1.     Salaried work is the new slavery

2.    It’s pointless trying to change the system

3.    The work you do is fundamentally pointless

4.    You’ll be judged on your ability to conform, not your work

5.     Never accept positions of responsibility

6.    Seek out the most useless jobs

7.     Hide away and stay there

8.    Learn how to read the subtle cues that tell you who else has rumbled all this

9.    Temporary staff do all the work – treat them well

10.  Business ideology is no more ‘true’ than communism


  • It is translated from the French and reflects many of the strange working practices in corporate France
  • If you choose to enact a large proportion of this book, you may get fired