Work Matters

Straight Talk and Solid Evidence About Organizational Life

The Asshole Rating Self-Exam (The ARSE)

Are you a certified asshole? Take the test and find out.

The No Asshole Rule is my book on the damage done by workplace jerks and how to build organizations that screen-out, reform, and expell these destructive creeps. One of the main themes in the book is that workplace assholes aren't just those other people, often, "assholes are us," and stopping this problem isn't just about dealing with other people's nastiness, it is also about recognizing our own tendencies toward leaving others feeling demeaned and deenergized.

Toward that end, the book contains a 24--item self-test that you can take to help determine if you are a certified asshole. Sample items include "Sometimes you just can't contain your contempt toward the losers and jerks in your wokrplace," "You secretely enjoy watching other people suffer and squirm," and "Your jokes can get a bit nasty at times, but you have to admit, they are pretty funny." Right after the book was published, Guy Kawasaki renamed it the ARSE -- Asshole Rating Self-Exam -- and put it online. Since then, over 220,000 people have completed it. Some people do it for themselves because, as the button shows, recognizing that you are a jerk is the first step. And others complete the test with a boss or co-workers in mind. Like the manager who completed it with his vice-president in mind, and when he realized his boss displayed 23 of the 24 asshole behaviors, he quit the job a week later.

Find a Therapist

Search for a mental health professional near you.

Enjoy the test. And be honest with yourself.


Bob Sutton is an organizational psychologist, Stanford professor, and author of five books including bestseller The No Asshole Rule and Good Boss, Bad Boss (September, 2010).


Subscribe to Work Matters

Current Issue

Let It Go!

It can take a radical reboot to get past old hurts and injustices.