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I Admire Our Society's Yes Men

Updated on January 28, 2012



They Have Been Called . . .

two-faced. Forked-tongued. Hypocrites. And other less-than-social names. But still, like the cockroach, they have this invincibility about them and keep going doing what they do. Yes men. And yes women. Special breeds of people. Set apart from us regular people. Envied by those of us on the assembly lines of American industry. Idolized by those of us who are 'at the brink' of having the guts to do what they do, but just wilt back into our cubicles like a neglected daisy left to die in the summer sun. What a way to exist.

For years and years, yes men have been the butt of awful jokes. Slanderous pokes. And their names written in vulgar settings in restrooms in the office or factory. But still, the yes men venture on making things and life better for those of us who would love to have a decent workplace, but can't tolerate the scorn from a boss who hates the very sight of us.

Questions: Are you a yes man? (answer yes or no). Have you ever been a yes man? Would you be a yes man, "if," your job depending on it? Do you know any yes men?

Answers: (personally) Not anymore. Yes. Yes. Yes. Allow me to explain briefly. I 'have,' like you, been a yes man probably in a high-pressured, severely-tense moment, such as coming in to the office which to me, was high-pressure and severely-stressful and my boss would always ask, "Hey, Kenny, gonna give me a hundred percent today?" "You got that right!" I would always say to make my boss feel good. Unburdened. Not anxious about me or my work performance. That day. And yes, I did know, in my work history two master yes men who knew their craft down to the last puckered lip of the proverbial kiss-up to the higher-ups. And what an amazing thing to watch these two yes men in action. Like the choreography in a James Bond action flick. Timed to the last second. Their actions and words were slick, smooth, and always successful.

Sure they get on our nerves. Or 'did' get on my nerves with their loud, boisterous bragging and bellowed-laughter, but in all honesty, what would my workplace be without the two yes men I have mentioned. Boring. Sleepy. Unproductive. Those words leap to mind.

Right about now you are really wondering what I have found out, by extensive research, just what are the duties and roles of yes men and yes women. And I appreciate your interest so much that I am going to, at this very moment, share with you what little information my sources could give me on the yes man. And woman.

  • a Yes Man makes sure that HE, gets the first crack at any new project, not you. And think. The Yes Man might have done you a tremendous favor for you might screw up this new project and the boss, who already dislikes you for some reason, would really get steamed. Might fire you. So don't be too quick to judge a Yes Man.

  • a Yes Man, you could say, runs interference for you and the team in the office or factory. You may say he is 'brown nosing,' but I would call him taking the first wave of complaints that the boss may have bottled up for you and your coworkers. Be nice to the Yes Men in your workplace if you have any.

  • a Yes Man, whether you know it or not, helps to keep down friction between the customer and the workers in the office or factory. Just watch any episode of Bewitched, with Elizabeth "Samantha" Montgomery and you will see a white-haired gent named "Larry Tate," played by David White, who is not only "Darrin Stephens'," boss, but Samantha's husband played by Dick York. Darrin is an advertising executive at McMann and Tate Ad Agency. And when a pesky client acts up and doesn't like Darrin's ideas, instantly Tate jumps into action taking the client's side--smoothing over what might be a money-losing situation. And if the client does like Darrin's ideas, Tate jumps aboard Darrin's bandwagon, shakes the client's hand and they all go out to have a martini and a lunch at their private club. To me, "Larry Tate," was the King of All Yes Men.

  • a Yes Man keeps the office or atmosphere in the factory humming. All the time. Either with threats on his life for (being like Larry Tate) to help your boss chew you out or the Yes Man takes the credit for the great job that YOU did. This makes for morale-boosting material.

Face it. It's tough. Hard. Difficult as getting a Republican and Democrat to agree on one law, to really dislike a Yes Man. I know. You are the exception to that statement. And that's fine if you are, but overall, I would say that Yes Men are loved as much as the barking dog about six blocks down the street. You can faintly hear his annoying bark at night while you are dozing off to sleep, but not enough to keep you awake. And over time, when the dog is either sold, or has ran away, you find yourself missing him. Just like the yes man. If he gets the promotion that was destined for you, and is relocated to a bigger town with a higher-paying position, then you miss him--if only between regretting and hating him.

What Are The Distinguishing Signs Of A Yes Man?

You can pick a Yes Man (or Woman) out of any crowd because . . .

1. They are always smiling. Big. Beaming like high-powered searchlights. They practice this big smile in public to use on your boss during the week. And many times, the yes man will be friendly to you in public. You see there is a big difference between a yes man, a brown-noser and a suck-up. A yes man DOES have a conscience.

2. They are always talking about how 'they' are going to see to it that 'you' get that raise you've needed for months if you will give the yes man time to whittle down the boss in the next private meeting. He or she winks at you to assure you that they, the yes man or yes woman, has your best interests at heart.

3. Yes men and women never dress down. Even grocery shopping. They live in fear for the boss or superiors seeing them in casual clothing thus making the bosses think less of them. The yes man cannot have that. No sir. He or she must dress the part of a successful company man all the way, while stringing you along like a hungry donkey being teased by a fresh carrot on a stick.

4. Yes men and women use the 'wink' as a negotiation tool. You ask them a confidential question and they always wink, then give you a 'fluffy,' feel-good answer.' Such as: YOU (talking to Yes Man): Uh, I was wondering if maybe I might be taken off the Brubaker Project on Monday for I am not that up on my computer skills," YES MAN (winks), hey, sure, buddy. I will see 'Jim' first thing, no, I will see him at church Sunday night, I'm visiting his church, and I will hit him up about your problem after services. Don't worry, bud." Then he winks again for extra insurance. When you see Yes Man on Monday, he keeps walking, not stopping to let you know what the boss said about your transfer. And has it occurred to you yet, why have you asked the Yes Man for this favor? He is just a salaried employee like you. Oh, I see. He snowed you under like he did all the people he's ever worked with and for. He's slicker than a newborn salamander.

5. a Yes Man cannot stay in one place for too long for fear of being called out for something they said to you in a falsehood (lie), fake promise, or favor they never did for you. The professional yes man always has somewhere else he (or she) just has to be. They are constantly dancing back and forth on the balls of their feet looking at their fancy 'looking' wristwatch they bought on sale at the local TARGET store.

6. a Yes Man always knows about what you are talking about. Atomic energy. Nuclear scientific principles. Show business. Physics. Yes, they are up on all these subjects. But have you ever really listened to them intently and hear what they are trying to say? They use big, complex-sounding $50-dollar words to throw you off-track to amaze you with their brilliance all while in front of a boss or manager to make him, not you, pal, look good. When you get home from listening to a Yes Man yak, Google some things he said and see what kind of responses you get.



Because . . .

  1. They get things done
  2. They keep the morale up
  3. They keep you on your toes
  4. They can help, or hurt you in the workplace
  5. They are entertaining
  6. They help occupy the boss giving you time to finish your project
  7. They help American business and commerce
  8. They are important icons in American life

I realize that it gets tough . . .

all of the yakking, tale-telling, shoe-shuffling, winking and ducking by the yes man in your company, but be honest with yourself. Take a good hard look at the yes man. Then take a good hard look at yourself.

Maybe he or she didn't have the educational opportunities that you had. Or maybe he was kept back in grade school for a learning problem that he has hidden over the years. And could be that he is very insecure about his own talents and is really intimidated by people like you, the hard-workers, good-earners, who do things the right way and not the yes man way of the short cut. It might this reason. Or all of the above.

But I firmly think that if we all, and I include myself in this lecture, would just take time to slow down and study the yes man or yes woman in our workplace and learn to look beyond their 'smoke and mirrors,' we might see a person in need or our help.

Do I hear any YESSES?


Always laughs at ALL of boss's stale jokes.

Always compliments boss's children

Always compliments ALL of boss's wives.

Always says it was the BOSS' idea for that great idea.

Always blames someone else but himself for using faulty advice.

Always seems to be the center of attention.


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    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Awwww, that' so sweet and touching, sharewhatuknow. YOU have made my day. Again. You are a gifted friend. That's why I am so glad to have you in my life. I could learn lots from you-about life and writing. Glad to be your student. Kenneth

    • sharewhatuknow profile image


      7 years ago from Western Washington

      And Kenneth, How could I ever forget you?? Never!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Dear sharewhatuknow...THANKS SO MUCH! You are one of the BEST FOLLOWERS/FRIENDS I have on hubs. And I mean that in all sincerty and respect. Yes men? I have worked for a number of them. Some are down-right comical while some, pardon the language, are down-right jerks. But that is the past. I just want YOU to know that I am indebted to you for ALL the nice things you have said to me. I will NOT forget you. I promise. Kenneth

    • sharewhatuknow profile image


      7 years ago from Western Washington

      yes, Yes, YES, YESSES... LOL. This article was not only entertaining, only because it brought some laughs to me, but very informative. I don't really believe that I have ever had to deal with an actual Yes Person, but as for those who believed they were better than me while employed in the same position I held with their winking eyes and I'll give the boss kudos about you, OH HECK YES !!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      9:42 p.m./cst

      Hi, Dearest Susan . . ."Wow, you quoted it word for word. I am so humbled by YOUR comment that I will rest good tonight. I appreciate YOU and YOUR comments, Susan, more than YOU can fathom. And you are right...all talk and no action, but what fun to watch. Thanks also for the votes. Fondly, Kenneth

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Dear Kenneth

      "They are constantly dancing back and forth on the balls of their feet looking at their fancy 'looking' wristwatch they bought on sale at the local TARGET store."

      Very funny my friend.

      These "yes" men and women are all talk and no action.

      Voted up and awesome.

      Take Care :-)

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      Hi, Serena . . .Thank YOU so much for coming by and taking time to observe Yes Men. What an idea for TNT...they had Mad Men, why not Yes Men? Just a thought. If you ever get to know a yes person, you are in for a treat. They are hilarious. Serena, visit with me often and for Thursday, have a Great Thanksgiving. KENNETH

    • profile image

      Serena Gabriel 

      7 years ago

      Interesting ideas. I don't think I know any "yes men," personally.

      Voted up!

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Pollyannalana . . .did you see who just signed this "comment tree"? With YOUR name? Dennis "McCloud" Weaver! Wow. Oh, I see what happened. I am still glad that YOU signed this, Pollyannalana! I do believe that Dennis has been gone from us for a while. I Love and Miss him. Thank you for the comment and much-needed laugh. KENNETH "ARNESS"

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Ah well, everyone already knows I would never be a yes man, lol. Great write though and you have a bigger heart than me. Voted up. Loved Dennis Weaver.

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hello, Dear Mary . . ."you are so kind and sweet to remember me with a warm nightly wish. That touches this old heart of mine. Honest. And I WISH I were a genius as you said to kindly, but I do what I can and let God do His best work when I submit to His ways." Does that make sense? Mary, a favor for me: Have Yourself a Happy Thanksgiving You and Yours. God love and keep you. Sincerely, KENNETH

    • kenneth avery profile imageAUTHOR

      Kenneth Avery 

      7 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama


      laurathegentleman . . ."Sincerely and Seriously Appreciate YOUR kind remarks on this hub. I LOVE Larry Tate. He is my hero of heroes. Thanks to him, Darrin made a lot of bonus money at his ad agency. Wish I had thought to put that one in." Thanks again and Happy Thanksgiving. Kenneth

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      7 years ago from Florida

      As always, you entertain me! I always wonder where you get your ideas for your Hubs. You are a genius! Night.

    • laurathegentleman profile image


      7 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      Very interesting hub! I enjoyed reading it from start to finish! :)


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