“Most of us spend most of our lives at work, and what help do we get to survive?...accurate information is the key to success, so here is the skinny on what your work colleagues are really like, according to their Sun sign, so that you can defend yourself, attack their weak points, and predict their strategies.” – From the book
I was pretty hard on Stella Hyde’s first book Darkside Zodiac (can I use “been hangin’ out with Brightsider New Agers too long” as an excuse?), but the gloriously inventive cover of her newest book, Darkside Zodiac at Work, seduced me into taking another look at her blistering observations on the 12 Sun Signs.
Frankly, I’m thrilled that I did!
Whether I’m won over to the Darkside is still uncertain, but being a quadruple Scorpio—perhaps it’s inevitable that I join the sewers with Ms. Hyde.
All joking aside, the glossy, colorful Darkside Zodiac at Work offers intelligent, albeit over-the-top, roastings of everyone from Ram to Goat. It’s a thorough manual on everything from workaholic tendencies to office politics, brown-nose index to watercooler moments. Office romances are given their due, as are dream jobs, employability, workstation preferences, the daily grind, role models and conflict resolutions solutions (i.e. backstabbing).
Solid knowledge of astrology underpins the author’s remarks as readers are taken on a rousing ride through Qualities, Elements and Opposites, as well as the three planetary board members and how each affects the workplace: Saturn, the boss; Mars, the CEO; and Mercury, the communications strategist.
Here are some of the snarky—and hilarious— observations served up by Ms. Hyde:
• (On Aries’ cheapest trick): “You are not one for complicated, cerebral, bitchy scams involving e-mails or IT; slapstick and old-school practical jokes are what you do best, and no one can stop you. Covering a grouchy colleague’s cubicle with sticky notes, gluing all the mice to their mousemats, filling the watercooler with fake blood…”
• (On the Cancer workstation): “Bosses like you because you work hard and your Eeyore-ish presence prevents any outbreak of joie de vivre in cubicleland, but don’t understand your complete inability to hit a deadline when it’s standing right in front of you (you’re afraid of angering the gods by trying to appear in any way in control of your gloomy little corner of the universe.)”
• (On Libra’s dream job of Spin Doctor): “It’s the old straw-into-gold boffo. Take any piece of info—especially the dull or damaging kind—and spin it into a web of silken verbiage until it gleams. You can do this in your sleep, which is your work mode of choice, after all.”
• (On Capricorn’s employability): “How employable are you? Boringly so. Goats will eat anything—and you will do any job—as long as it has a large enough workforce for you to feel self-important; a complicated hierarchy of advancement that saps everyone’s will to live; and a proper name badge…”
And yes, even her treatment of my Sun Sign (Scorpio) is spot on (and funny). On Scorpio as Leader, Follower, Passenger and Grunt, she writes:
“Not really leader, more like Supreme Being, because people follow you whether you want them to or not, although you despise them for being so easily led. You’ll only be a follower if it is more politically sound to be the invisible adviser to a puppet leader (usually Libra), but despise them for letting themselves be used. When in dumpster mode, you’ll allow others to carry you as a passenger in return to your searing insights into the human condition, but despise them for being so slavish. You last three months as a grunt, through sheer willpower.”
Honestly, the first thing I thought before I opened up Darkside Zodiac at Work was “If she doesn’t say that Scorpios should be in business for themselves, I won’t be able to take her seriously” (despite the nifty book cover). I haven’t worked for someone for, gosh, over a decade! And I cannot—will not—see myself EVER working for anyone again!
So is Ms. Hyde’s answer to the question “How employable are you?” for Scorpios?
“Not at all. Ruthless but cowardly bosses who hire you as the office Doberman soon regret it when you turn on them…Self-employment is the Only Way: you have to be able to respect the boss, after all…”
Ah, the sweet smell of autocracy! *wink*
Really, though, I learned quite a few things about working with colleagues on joint ventures by reading Darkside Zodiac at Work, and was laughing out loud when I saw family members, friends and, yes, myself in this book! If you’re a low-level Scorpio (unlike myself—I like to think of myself as a high-flyin’ Phoenix—the evolved I’m-above-revenge eagle facet of deep, mysterious, psychic Scorpio), you’ll treasure all the ways to undermine, intimidate, hunt and crush your opponents.
You know I’m kidding, right? About the last part? (Oh yuck. Mars in Libra coming out. Sorry!)
Seriously, though, Darkside Zodiac at Work is eminently clever, but ruthlessly sarcastic. If you want feel-good Astrology, well, you’ll have to look elsewhere. But if you enjoy delving into the secrets of the mind, crave a belly laugh, or perhaps need an unusual gift for a friend or special someone, this book may very well be what you’re looking for. It would make a great book for the office break room, in fact (but only if there’s intelligent life in your work universe)!
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