I Hope This Email Finds You Never The Official Guide to Blissfully Surviving the Modern Workplace – Ken Kupchik Book Summary

I Hope This Email Finds You Never The Official Guide to Blissfully Surviving the Modern Workplace – Ken Kupchik | Free Book Summary

I Hope This Email Finds You Never The Official Guide to Blissfully Surviving the Modern Workplace – Ken Kupchik

Congratulations! You’ve been hired at your dream job. Given how competitive it is in today’s world, that’s quite an accomplishment. It takes countless hours to search through job postings, go through multiple rounds of video interviews, and click that “I’m not a robot” thing on the employer’s website. Exhausting!

Now that you’ve put that stress behind you, it’s time to move onto new stress. Luckily, you won’t have to wait long, because there’s nothing quite as nerve-racking as the modern workplace.

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Unlike most workplace books, however, I Hope This Email Never Finds You: The Official Guide to Blissfully Surviving the Modern Workplace—this one won’t sugarcoat, deflect, or mislead. Author Ken Kupchik won’t bore you with some business titan’s life story, and he won’t try to convince you that if you just follow a trendy new self-improvement fad, you’ll be promoted to CEO.

This book puts aside the motivational screeds, productivity hacks, and pop-science and instead focuses on things in the workplace that truly cause us grief in a lighthearted, entertaining, and (most importantly) cynical way.Free book, podcast summaries

Social Events

Social events are a common occurrence in the modern workplace and they can be a great way to blow off steam and get to know the people you work with in a more informal setting. But they can also carry risks, as the loose, permissive nature of social events can bring out the person you swore you left behind in college.

Though a work-related gathering might feel more social than professional, it’s important to be on your best behavior, because what happens outside of work won’t stay outside of work for long. A good rule of thumb is if you wouldn’t do it at the workplace, then you shouldn’t do it at a social event, which probably rules out having a good time.


The modern workplace is filled with coworkers, who now have direct unfettered access to you at all hours of the day thanks to the magic of smartphones and direct messaging. This is why your relationship with your coworkers is so important.

Play your cards right, and your coworkers will have your back. But make a mistake, and you’ll have to look over your shoulder, as your workmates will be angling to take you down.

Building relationships in the workplace is never easy–there are so many variables that come into play. A coworker’s seniority, their trustworthiness, and their compensation as it relates to yours all must be factored in.

Workplace friendship is a journey, not a destination. If you don’t make a connection right away, don’t fret, since it usually takes time for people to warm up to their new colleagues.


The relationships you develop at work can be impactful, but there are many ways in which they will differ from relationships in your personal life. It’s important to set and follow boundaries, lest you find yourself stuck in an unpleasant situation from which you can’t escape.

Boundaries can help protect us from being exploited, but they can also help put distance between ourselves and our less trustworthy coworkers. These are the types of people who have no qualms about throwing us under the bus if it suits their ends. Given the opportunity, they’ll ruin our jobs and our lives, and won’t lose a wink of sleep.

Structure your day

Structuring your day is a difficult challenge in remote work. Good habits are important to form a routine

Tips for structuring your day and avoiding pitfalls:Use morning hours wisely

  • Create a dedicated workspace
  • Minimize distractions
  • Maintain a consistent schedule
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Leave the house on time.

Remote work has upsides and downsides, and opinions vary. While some people might thrive on being locked in their bedroom all day, others will long for the camaraderie and structure found in an office. And no matter which side of the spectrum you’re on, you can rest assured that your opinion is probably wrong.


Love them or hate them, meetings happen in every workplace, and every type of employee, no matter how junior, will be forced, at some point, to attend one. Some meetings will be short, and some will feel like they’re never going to end; some will be enjoyable, and some will feel like a police interrogation.

But whether the meeting is productive or not, you can always be sure that there’s no way you’ll ever walk out of a meeting and say, “Man, I’d really like to do that again.”

Get out of thos boring meetings

If you’ve ever wished you could snap your fingers and make every meeting on your calendar disappear, you’re not alone. Impending meetings have led to many sleepless nights, not to mention a myriad of creative excuses to get out of attending.

If you’re looking for a good (and believable) excuse, try using one of the following:

“I’m sorry, but I’m not feeling well and can’t make it to the meeting.”

“You’ll have to excuse my absence, since I will be praying for your forgiveness during that time.”

“Unfortunately, I can’t make it due to a conflict. The conflict is between the meeting and my desire not to go.”

In life, we are often forced to do things we don’t want to do. And at work, we’re always forced to do things we don’t want to do. Meetings are at the top of that list, which is why having a strategy to get out of them is so important.

Avoiding Extra Work

The biggest risk of attending a meeting isn’t losing precious work hours or being outed as a fraud; it’s walking away from the meeting with more work. You need to go into every meeting with a plan for how to avoid, or at least mitigate, additional assignments.

Without a concrete plan, you risk leaving the size of your workload to chance, and hope, as they say, is never a strategy, especially in the workplace where all hope goes to die.

Here are some tips:

  • Constantly talk about how swamped you are.
  • Try to look as flustered as possible.
  • Be proactive about deflecting assignments.


  • Deadlines are arbitrary points in time that make it difficult to delay projects.
  • The importance of deadlines varies and depends on the manager’s expectations.
  • Advocates believe that deadlines increase productivity, but everyone knows that they make people stressed.
  • Missing, avoiding, and ignoring deadlines is a thing!
  • When given a deadline, don’t get upset, thank the manager, and decide whether to meet the deadline or get out of the assignment.

Annual Review

Throughout the term of your employment, you should expect to go through a review process, usually held annually, during which time your manager will determine whether your work has met expectations and whether you deserve a promotion and/or a salary increase.

While we both know you deserve neither, it’s in your best interest to play an active role in this process and advocate on your own behalf. As they say, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and you are indeed very squeaky.

Instead of trying to wing it, you should take the time to properly prepare for your performance review. After all, it will affect how much money you make, which is literally the most important thing in life. Annual reviews are the perfect time to ask for a raise.


Signs your job may be coming to an end:

  • Negative performance reviews.
  • Boss stops asking for your help.
  • Personal belongings put in a cardboard box.
  • Coworkers refer to you in the past tense.

Leaving a job can be scary, but it’s important to understand your options. You can either view it negatively or use it as motivation to find a better job. Jobs come and go, but your attitude stays with you.

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