T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S
LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
THE 52 CORPORATE CAVEATS
WHAT TO DO WHEN IT HITS THE FAN
F.A.M.I.L.Y. IN THE WORKPLACE
MODEL EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT
CORPORATE SURVIAL RESOURCES
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S
The following individuals have been a huge help in guiding me through
the sometimes troubled waters of Corporate America:
Alan Sklover, Esq.
David S. Bunch (“Sensei Buddha”)
D E D I C A T I O N
This ebook is dedicated to all of the hard-working people out there
who are doing all they can to protect and provide for themselves and
S P E C I A L T H A N K S
Thank you to my best friend, who is more like a brother, David S.
Bunch. He is known affectionately as “Sensei Buddha.” You are a great
teacher and a cherished friend.
Thank you to my friend and mentor, Ciro DiSclafani. Your coaching has
helped me better appreciate and exercise the art of asking questions
and active listening.
I cannot call you by name, but you know who you are; those covert
operatives who have guarded my flank and pulled my coat to plots being
cooked-up against me. Without your help, I would have been a casualty
of war a long time of go.
Thank you to my enemies. You have helped to learn more about myself
and to identify who my true friends, allies, frenemies and enemies
are. I love you for that.
I N T R O D U C T I O N
First things first, this ebook is written specifically but not
exclusively for intrapreneurial employees, older employees, employees
who are exceptionally good at what they do and those who have never
worked in but will be entering Corporate America. Robert Greene, the
author of the The 48 Laws of Power and the The 33 Strategies of War,
inspired me to write this paper. The title of this ebook, The 52
Corporate Caveats, is intended to pay homage to him. I learned so much
from his books and adapted and applied the lessons learned to the
I have worked in Corporate America for more than 25 years. I have met
some good, outgoing people along the way. I have also met some real
jerks along the way too. There is also a healthy compliment of people
who are either apathetic or too afraid to get involved with issues in
the workplace. This book is meant to shed some light on some of the
shady things you should know about what you may experience while
working in Corporate America. It is not all doom and gloom, but I want
to tell you the real deal on how things go down.
I am not a lawyer, but one thing that you should know of the bat is
that the “At Will Employment Doctrine” is bull…! We’re fed that
nonsense so that employers can protect themselves from governmental
investigations and civil lawsuits. Bad employers tend to hide the At
Will employment lie cover-up their unfair and at times illegal
practices like retaliating against you for reporting harassment or an
unsafe work environment. I have resources listed like Adam Sklover’s
Sklover Working Wisdom blog and Workplace Fairness’s website that you
can refer to for more information on at will employment and how to
protect yourself against it and other shenanigans. Their website
addresses are listed in the Corporate Survival Resources section at
the end of this report.
My upbringing, the U.S. Army and my martial arts training have
certainly prepared me to be mentally tougher and more tenacious than
most. However, most of the things that I will be sharing can easily be
adopted and applied by just about anybody. The secret to survival is
being alert and aware of what is going on around you. When you see
that pile of poop, don’t step in it. When you see the writing on the
wall, read it and heed it.
I started sharing the various warning that I will be sharing in this
book on Twitter under the hash tag #loveyourenemies. Some of my
connections encouraged me to expand on what I was sharing so here it
is. There ended up being 52 tweets (i.e., posting on Twitter) so that
is where I came up with the number 52. I will provide brief
explanations on what is meant by each statement. The explanations are
meant to be thought-provoking. They are not meant to be exhaustive
explanations or proverbial “magic bullets.” Put on your thinking caps,
and draw on what you already know – what you have experienced, seen or
heard. Experience is always the best teacher, but it need not be your
It is funny how the number of caveats that I tweeted about ending up
being 52. The number 52 is special to me because you have 52 cards in
a deck of playing cards and there is an urban combat system called “52
Blocks.” This book is certainly 52 cards that you should have in your
deck that will help you be able to take a defensive or an offensive
posture depending on the circumstances – just like “52 Blocks.”
When I use the words enemy, foe, rival, adversary or hater in this
book, I am referring to a jealous peer at your job who always seem to
try to throw you under the bus for their own self-interest, or a
horrible boss that feels threatened by you or is just a jerk for no
apparent reason at all.
Thank you in advance for your time and attention and I sincerely hope
that you find value in what is shared here in this paper.
You will learn who you
really are. Adversity
alone will show you.
Colin Powell said,
“Get mad, get over it then
get going.” Wise words.
Do not let anger
consume you to the point of
Do not waddle in
the cesspool of self-pity.
It yields no results.
When one is prepared
a counter-strike will be an
You were not supposed
to be able to respond.
They thought you beaten.
Little did they know
how thick and impregnable
your castle’s walls are.
How deep your moat
and accurate your archers.
The oil pours so hot.
They thought you to be
alone, but you have allies
and wise advisors.
What foes may do to
you – or attempt to do, may
indeed be heinous.
However, do not
hate them. Hate blinds you. It makes
you brash and reckless.
Be thankful for what
they teach you. For how they push
you to new limits.
JFK said, “Fix your
roof when the sun is shining.”
Not when it’s raining.
Use times of calm to
fortify your defenses.
Prepare for battle.
Be not the one to
be called an aggressor, but
one who defends well.
That way, perhaps your
reputation will serve as
a deterring force.
To sum this all up
take the time to remember
this haiku chain rhyme:
To your rivals you
owe a debt. Pay them back by
not getting upset.
Work to get even
warfare hurts their heads.
Their greed and lowly
scruples give them gall to run
into a brick wall.
That wall is one of
your castle’s walls. Now you have
them by their damned balls.
You don’t have to turn
the other cheek. Not when its
justice that you seek.
Do all you can to
keep the peace. However, do
not let good sense cease.
Be patient and let
things take their course then ride-off
on your swift white horse.
It is a sweet thing
to give them a kiss and watch
their pants soil with piss.
Kind of like how Mike
told Fredo, “I know it was
you.” Smell the doo-doo?
[Sidebar, click on the link below to see a clip from the Godfather II
http://youtu.be/lv00uh1XsHs where Mike Corleone “sons” his brother
Be well-schooled in the
compiled teachings of Robert
Greene. Know what I mean?
Read The 48
Laws of Power so over
foes you will tower.
Learn from the book The
33 Strategies of
War to tilt the score.
“What would Jesus do?”
Well, look what they did to him
so they will screw you.
Kill them with kindness.
The unjust will think you dumb,
blind and mindless.
Feigning weakness is
a smart way to cope. Ali
5 2 C O R P O R A T E C A V E A T S
1. Appreciate your rivals. They push you to stay on your toes and
out-maneuver them. They help you sharpen your sword.
Why is Chevrolet such an improved automaker? Probably because
of Ford, Chrysler and imported options. Competitors cause you
to think outside of the box and do things that you may not
have thought possible. Sometimes you need a little push. Even
when it is one of the haters at work who are trying to throw
you under the bus.
2. Rivals use tactics that you can prep for in future battles and
even use against others. An unconventional advisory staff.
When a coworker does you dirty at work, shame on them for
being a dirt bag. If you let it happen to you a second time,
shame on you for being asleep at the wheel. Take note of what
they did to you and perhaps it is a tactic that you can employ
in the future to “off” one of your rivals.
3. Foes help you to determine the borders of your soul -- you'll
know when you’re firing on all cylinders or where you're weak.
Your enemies will let you know who you are. It is easy to talk
tough but it is a different thing once you have to walk the
walk. As it is said in boxing, “Everybody has a plan until
they get hit.” The founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano, emphasized
the need for free fighting (randori) because you will never
know what you’re made of until you meet a resisting opponent.
4. Keep your adversaries where you can see them. It is so much
fun to see them feign happiness at your achievements.
Once your enemies reveal themselves, keep your eyes on them.
It is like baseball – keep your eye on the ball. You must keep
them close so you can better study them. Also, it is somewhat
amusing to watch them fake their joy at your accomplishments.
That is when they really reveal themselves. They may smile but
their eyes reveal their true feelings.
5. Some become too emotional and public in their attempt to
discredit you. This causes new-found helpers come to your aid.
According to THE BIBLE, Pontius Pilate washed his hands from
having any responsibility for Jesus’s crucifixion and
execution. There are some good people in Corporate America
that will do things to help you when they see that someone is
out to get you. Believe me when I tell you, without the aid of
these new-found allies, you’ll be toast.
F. A. M. I. L. Y. I N T H E W O R K P L A C E
Okay, I talked about how things can suck so it is only fair that I
offer a solution. You know, it always killed me on some folks
criticize things but never offer alternatives. I remember when I was
at a seminar a few years back and the author of The Slight Edge, Jeff
Olson, said, “Have you noticed that there are no statues erected in
the honor of critics?” That is so true! I committed at that moment to
not criticize anything unless I was willing to work on finding a
So, what with this proposed workplace code I’m not talking about
bringing the kids and your spouse to work. I’m talking about a new
doctrine that could be used in the workplace that could yield better
results; more revenue, more happiness and more hope for advancement.
F.A.M.I.L.Y. is an acronym. I would be remiss if I did not admit that
this was inspired by my experience working in the direct selling
industry where cooperation is encouraged over competition. A good
leader should work to encourage these things in her little fiefdom in
order to create the “perfect workplace.” Now, people are not perfect,
but if we adopt this as our code we will get better.
Here is what F.A.M.I.L.Y. is all about:
Everyone is to be treated with appreciation and respect, and any
progress or special dates (e.g. birthdays, anniversaries with the
company, promotions, etc.) should be celebrated. Your skin color,
ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, religion, political views,
handicaps, health nor any other legally protected class should be a
factor. Whether you average-looking, ugly, drop-dead gorgeous matters
not. It is all about giving everyone equal access to opportunities and
to due process.
Everyone is to be held accountable for their actions and/or the lack
thereof. No more “throwing others under the bus” to save one’s own
hide. How can you have true success at work when everyone is
suspicious of each other? Let’s all be adults and like President Harry
Truman used to say, “The buck stops here.” That is the mindset that
needs to be instilled in today’s workers.
Ideally, promotions will be based on merit. Let’ start picking the
right man for the job. By the way, oftentimes, the right man for the
job is a woman. Organizations can’t achieve greatness with “hooking-
up” their cronies. Put the right people in right positions and
beautiful things can happen.
The best ideas come from the field. I heard that Post-It® Notes was
created by a 3M employee. Companies should start paying attention that
their employees have a wealth of ideas. As a matter of fact, companies
oftentimes steal employee-generated ideas and claim them as their own
intellectual property as per the employee handbook. Dang. At least
give the employees some sort of incentives and recognition. Well, they
don’t know about the F.A.M.I.L.Y. code yet so maybe they’ll do better
once we school them. Nurture employees and encourage them to come up
with new ways to do things or to submit product ideas. Have them take
entrepreneurial-like initiatives while working for the company.
Intrapreneurship is the new cool.
I believe that leaders are made, not born. Skills can be taught. If
you want your employees to be better, Corporate America has to do
better with giving them educational opportunities. This can be
classroom instruction, tuition reimbursement, mentorship or cross-
training. Also, leaders need to understand that you must be a servant
to your employees first. Being the boss doesn’t mean that you have to
be a “double S.O.B.” spelled backwards!
Yeoman Work Ethic
Projects should be handled with enthusiasm and a sense of urgency from
beginning to end. Revenue is lost because of lethargic work habits.
Work hard so you can play hard. Like the great rapper, Big Daddy Kane
said in his song, RAW, “I worked like a slave so I can become a
master.” Ideally, this is how one gets promoted.
All six parts of F.A.M.I.L.Y. are interdependent on each other. You
have to have all of them firing on all cylinders to create the perfect
workplace. Will there ever be the perfect workplace? No. Nonetheless,
it is an ideal to strive for because most current options stink.
M O D E L E M P L O Y M E N T C O N T R A C T
This model employment contract is taken from page 179, Appendix A in
the book You Could Be Fired For Reading This Book; by Glenn Solomon,
Esq. This sample employment contract is inspired by the Model
Employment Termination Act (META). It was adopted in 1991 by the
National Conference of Commissioners of Uniform State Laws. According
to Mr. Solomon, out of the 50 states in our great union only Montana
has adopted laws based or are similar to the principles outlined in
It is hereby agreed between _____________________ (Employer) and
_____________________ (Employee) as follows:
1. Employee is hired by Employer for the position of
_____________________, beginning _____________________.
2. Employee’s compensation is to be _____________________.
3. Employer may terminate employee’s employment only for just cause
or lack of work.
4. In the event of termination of employment employee has the right
to submit the issue of just cause or lack of work to arbitration.
5. The arbitrator is to be chosen by the parties with responsibility
and costs to be determined by the arbitrator.
6. In the event that the arbitrator finds that termination is no
supported by just cause or lack of work the remedy shall be limited to
reinstatement with or without back pay or front pay in lieu of
reinstatement when reinstatement is impracticable.
7. Employee and employer have the right to representation by counsel
at their own expense in arbitration.
8. In exchange for protection against at-will termination employee
gives up the right to sue under federal or state law for employment
discrimination, wrongful discharge, or breach of contract and accepts
arbitration of all disputes according to this agreement as the sole
9. By signing this agreement employee warrants that he/she has had
one week to consider it before signing with the opportunity to consult
with an attorney. Employee understands that he/she can rescind this
agreement within fourteen days of execution.
10. This Agreement supersedes any previous agreement as well as any
non-competition agreement or other employment agreement between the
parties that is inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement.
11. Except for paragraph 2, this Agreement can only be modified in
12. Employee does not agree to give up the right to termination only
for just cause or lack of work in exchange for an increase in
for Employer Employee
C O N C L U S I O N
Well, I hope that you found this ebook helpful. I dare not get too
deep into things by giving you actual names, events, locations, dates,
and why certain things happened. That would be unwise and could
possible open me up to lawsuits. However, the intention of this ebook
was to provoke thought and to pull your coat to some things you can do
and resources you can use to protect yourself and/or get justice for
wrongs done against you. Please, don’t let the bastards get you down.
Do your job to the best of your ability but do not eat crap – stand up
for your rights and demand respect. The info in this ebook has given
you A LOT of options that I did not have. Take heed of what was shared
here become the best professional possible. Remember to protect
yourself at all times.
Unfortunately sometimes bad things happen to good people. Don’t take
it personally but don’t take things sitting down either. The squeaky
wheel gets the grease but sometimes the squeaky wheel gets “greased”
(i.e., fired). Keep clean and document, document, document as it is
the best way to protect yourself. Personal notes are cool but email
communications to and from your enemies are solid gold. With emails,
make sure to bcc (blind carbon copy) your personal email account so
that you always have a record.
You’re the dealer of this deck of cards and you ultimately are in
control of your destiny.
C O R P O R A T E S U R V I V A L R E S O U R C E S
Workplace Fairness www.WorkplaceFairness.org
Model Letters to Keep You Out of
Trouble at Work www.SkloverWorkingWisdom.com
Legal Expenses Insurance Plans www.LegalShield.com
The National Labor Relations Board www.nlrb.gov
The Equal Opportunity Employment
The Occupational Safety &
Health Administration www.osha.gov
United States Attorney’s Office www.justice.gov/usao/
Protect Your Online Reputation www.BrandYourself.com
A B O U T T H E A U T H O R
Tyrone Turner has been working in Corporate America for more than 25
years. During that time he has seen the good, the bad, the ugly, and
the stupid. His hometown is the Bronx (NYC) and he currently lives
with his family in Queens, New York.
He is a consultant that helps intrapreneurs achieve their goals and
helps organizations and companies improve overall performance.
He has released three other books to date. They are a business
networking book entitled The Whole 9 Yards: Breaking Tackles While
Building Your Brand, and two poetry books; For the Love of Women of
Color and The Morning After. He has more information products and
poetry-related projects in production.
He is a martial artist and enjoys writing poetry, exercising, and
meeting new people.
Connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.
The page addresses are www.linkedin.com/in/tyroneturner and
His business blog is at www.Whole9YardsBook.com. He can be reached via
email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 347.948.3255.