The Jackass Whisperer

Day One Reads – The Jackass Whisperer

The Instagram poll has spoken, so your next edition of Day One Reads focuses on The Jackass Whisperer by Scott and Alison Stratten.

When I closed The Jackass Whisperer I thought: that was different than I expected…but I’m not disappointed.

Because I didn’t read the jacket before I grabbed it, I thought it was perhaps a serious book on how to navigate difficult people in life and work. Instead, this little book is designed to poke fun at the frustrations all of us sometimes feel with others.

It’s an easy read: I read most of it in Des Moines, and couldn’t help but laugh out loud when the authors made a point of apologizing to the people of that city for some of their comments in the book (for the record – I found Des Moines delightful). This book won’t necessarily hone your interpersonal skills, but it will let you know you’re not alone in dealing with the “jackasses” of the world. There’s even a quiz to determine your personal level of jackassery.

The Jackass Whisperer

The Jackass Whisperer:How to deal with the worst people at work, at home and online—even when the Jackass is you

Category*: Reflective

Authors: Scott and Alison Stratten

About the authors: Scott and Alison Stratten are Jackass experts, co-authors of five bestselling business books, co-owners of UnMarketing Inc. and co-hosts of not only the UnPodcast but also five children, three dogs and one cat. Their books, their company and their show all represent their thoughts on the changing world of business through their experiences of entrepreneurship, two degrees (Alison), not lasting long as an employee (both) and screaming at audiences around the world (Scott; Alison is more polite). They were put on this earth as a reminder that not all Canadians are passive and apologetic. Businesses like PepsiCo, Saks Fifth Avenue, IBM, Cirque du Soleil and Microsoft have been brave enough to want their advice. They now spend their time keynoting around the world, and realizing they rank tenth and eleventh in order of importance in their home.  

Website: and

How I found it: Scott is incredibly well respected in the speaking industry as one of the best keynoters in the world. I spotted the book while running to a flight and, realizing I had no reading material, just grabbed it without even reading the back.

Book Jacket Description:

A rallying cry for anyone tired of keyboard commandos and people who use speakerphones in open-plan offices, The Jackass Whisperer is your guide to dealing with the worst people on earth.

Jackasses are those who make our lives needlessly harder. They drive too slowly in the fast lane and too quickly in the slow lane, reply all, heat up fish in the microwave at work and share way too much information about their cleanse on Facebook. They live in our homes, work in our offices and shop at our stores. Jackasses are among us, and we have some bad news for you: if you can’t spot the Jackass at the (enter literally any place on the planet), then the Jackass is you. After a lifetime of research, Scott and Alison Stratten offer the definitive guide to surviving the Jackassery in your life and making the world a better place, one set of noise-canceling headphones at a time.

How well I feel it delivered on what the jacket promised (scale out of 10 with 10 being completely delivered): I’m not sure how to answer this one. As I said above, I didn’t read the jacket before buying it, but if you did and didn’t pop the book open to see that their “research” is tongue-in-cheek and actually did think this was a psychological analysis of how to deal with difficult people and aren’t okay with discovering the entire book a collection of the type of things I post on Facebook when annoyed with the world, you’d probably have some kind of problem with it. But who does that other than me in this particular case? If you’re looking for a book that comes out and says the things most of us think and makes us feel a little better about ourselves in our collective jackassery, this certainly does the trick.

Amazon Rating: 4.0 (39 ratings – Canada)/4.0 (45 ratings – US)

Goodreads Rating: 3.85 (62 Ratings)

Anything someone might quibble with: Just what I mentioned above – that if you don’t realize it’s a pure comedy book, and instead thought you were getting a version of “Fierce Conversations” or “Getting to Yes,” I can see someone being annoyed. But who doesn’t open the book and read a few pages right?

Also, if you’re a total jackass you probably won’t love it. Then again, if that’s the case, you’re probably too busy holding a conference call on speakerphone in the airport lounge to read.

“Velcro quotes” (ideas that are going to stick with me moving forward):

• “Here’s the thing: With a platform like Twitter, this interaction didn’t just happen, it happened with an audience. A ton of people chimed in, both in public and private messages, telling Scott not to block or ignore the feedback. ‘Kill him with kindness,’ they advised. No, said Scott. ‘I’m not the Jackass Whisperer. It’s not my job to rehabilitate jerks online.”

• “The reason everyone was scared of the frozen fiends in Game of Thrones wasn’t because of their internal invincibility, but because in a group of ten, they walked 10 people wide.”

• “All you have to do to win the Jackass game is be mediocre, because everyone else sucks. Put that on an inspirational poster, with a picture of an eagle crashing into a mountain.”

• “Entrepreneur, after all, is Latin for ‘bad employee.'”

How likely I think I am to make a positive reference to this book in the next 30 days: 100%. I’ve actually been making a point of letting people know that according to the in-book survey, I’m only a “Contractor” – Level Two on the Five Level Jackass Ranking System.

If you’re looking for a book that comes out and says the things most of us think and makes us feel a little better about ourselves in our collective jackassery, this certainly does the trick.

How likely I’ll put something I learned in this book to use in the next 30 days: 100%. I’ve already referred to the plane on my flight home as a “Jackass Stew” – a wonderful term I appreciate learning through this book. I also look forward to someone else saying “they don’t believe in <SOMETHING DEMONSTRABLY REAL>” so I can steal a line from the authors: “You don’t believe in Global Warming? Global Warming isn’t Santa Claus.”

Total Pages: 176

Total “pulled passages”: 24

Page to Pulled Passage Ratio**: 6.1:1

P2P Ranking within category for 2020: #3 of 3

Overall P2P Ranking for 2020: #5 of 5.

*I break books into one of three categories in order to better compare apples-to-apples.

  • Reflective: Relies on first-person stories or insights
  • Biographical: Tells the story of an individual or organization from a third-person perspective
  • Research-based: The author(s) collect third-party research to support their discussion of a particular topic.

**As I read, I highlight certain passages/insights that really connect with me. Things that make me think “buying this book was worth it for ideas/information like that.” At the end of the book, I go back and “pull” them from the book and copy them all into a single document. P2P Ratio indicates how many pages on average tend to go by between these particularly powerful insights. This book’s 6.1:1 ratio means I felt there was a passage worth pulling out and writing down every 6.1 pages.