May 2, 1997
So many of you enjoyed hearing about Carl last week that I decided to share the story of how it was that I came to be hiking through Carl’s neighborhood in the first place. Years ago, I was, believe it or not, a Boy Scout. In fact, I was leader of a whole troop. Like all good leaders, my primary concerns were having a good time and allowing those above and below me to share in the leadership experience by doing all the important stuff. When necessary, I conveyed information from the adult leaders to my fellow scouts, but usually if it was anything really important, they would tell all of us, so there was never much of a need for me to pay attention. (My leadership example inspired a whole generation of office supervisors.) On this particular occasion, we were going on a survival camping trip, and, somehow, everyone but me knew that we were going to be dropped off and made to hike two miles to the campsite. While the adult leader was explaining all this to me and giving me directions, I was trying to figure out whether a really strange looking stick was a snake or not while at the same time making sure I looked like I was paying attention. The next thing I knew, the car doors slammed, and fifteen boys were asking me which way to go.
Next week: we don’t ever see Carl, but we do get a little help from a local militia group. More thrills, spills, and incompetence to come! In the meantime, enjoy these frighteningly true workplace rules:
DILBERT’S LAWS OF WORK
If you can’t get your work done in the first 24 hours, work nights.
A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.
Don’t be irreplaceable, if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you say you’ve done and what you’re going to do.
After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.
You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.
If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
There will always be beer cans rolling on the floor of your car when the boss asks for a ride home from the office.
Keep your boss’s boss off your boss’s back.
Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous."
Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour.
To err is human, to forgive is not our policy.
Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he/she is supposed to be doing.
Important letters that contain no errors will develop errors in the mail.
If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.
You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.
People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn’t.
If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.
When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
Following the rules will not get the job done.
Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?"
No matter how much you do, you never do enough.
The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.