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Working With You Is Killing Me

by Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster

We wrote Working With You Is Killing Me in an 8' by 15' room, also known as Katherine's therapy room. Even though we'd begin each writing session with just the two of us, as we started working, the room began to fill with people from our past. Among the visitors were our own workplace ghosts. Kathi's history included an alcoholic boss, a drug dealing, womanizing colleague, and a Saboteur business partner. While Katherine's past featured a charismatic Pedestal Smasher, an Exploding CEO, and several Empty Pit co-workers.

In addition to revisiting our past work instructors, we also re-encountered many of our colorful clients. We became re-acquainted with the executive recruiter who hired flamenco dancers to do his typing in their free time. We reminisced over the clothing manufacturer who referred to managing her temperamental staff as running an Adult Day Care Center.

With each chapter of the book, we were able to draw upon numerous real life stories. We tried to make sure that every voice was heard. Some of the characters and situations were too complicated to put in the book. Some of the examples were just too embarrassing. (We couldn't bring ourselves to highlight the CEO who only hires blondes, or the boss who gets high with his employees.)

As we'd begin to craft a scenario, we'd get sidetracked with the humorous details of past experiences. We laughed over the restaurateur whose tour of his establishment included a gyrating seduction dance with each female customer…but that's another book.

We decided to explain the concepts of Working With You Is Killing Me through case studies because that is how we developed our expertise - by working with clients and noticing what truly helped them. Every vignette is based on real people and circumstances that we've encountered.

So there you have it… We aren't consultants trying to sell a canned technique that we hope is commercially viable. We're two people who've worked with people who drove us crazy, and who've had the privilege of helping others deal with the same thing. We wrote a book that offers solutions based on the many times we successfully talked our clients off of an emotional ledge day after day after day.

Copyright © 2006 Katherine Crowley and Kathi Elster

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