Monday, July 26, 2010

Dilbert - The Joy Of Work - Scott Adams

Most of you would have read the Dilbert comic strip.
Well, Dilbert is this fictitious comic character created by cartoonist Scott Adams.
I was surprised and delighted to know the guy is an author too.

It would be difficult for me to write just one paragraph of humour. I dont know how someone can author four books of humour and that too on the same subject - office work.

The joy of work is Dilbert's guide to finding happiness at the expense of your co-workers. This is not a book to be reviewed but to be read and enjoyed.

Since this was light reading, I chose this one for reading in the cab.
It is hilarious. Sarcasm and exaggeration at their culminating points.
As one might imagine, the book isn’t just a collection of cartoon strips. There is a lot of text organized into chapters that contain strips too that are related to the topic/chapter.

It’s a sort of empowerment guide to a victim office goer. Dilbert is completely on the side of an ordinary worker while running down, bosses, supervisors, managers and the top management. Of course, in a funny way.

There are parts of the book that make you fall from your chair and roll from one end to another in laughter. And then there are the others that are just okay.

Will mention the names of a few chapters to give you an idea.

Managing your boss
Cubicle sex rumours
Cubicle yoga
More sleeping tips
Pretending to work
Laughter at the expense of others
Starting false rumours for fun
Pretending to be psychic
Office pranks
Surviving meetings
Managing your coworkers
And so on…

For background,
Scott Adams spent 9 years as a necktie wearing corporate victim assigned to cubicle 4S700R at the head quarters of Pacific Bell. He lives in Northern California.

That explains all the jargon, the terminology u8sed in this book, that is typically the lingua franca of an IT/software professional.

This book therefore would be appreciated mostly by IT professionals.

Perhaps there is one percent truth in the scenarios and suggestions found in this book and 99 percent exaggeration.

I will end with this extract from the book. It was one of those parts that made me fall from my chair and roll from one end to another in laughter. Almost.

As we all know ombudsmen (or HR personnel playing the role of Ombudsman ) who are appointed to arbitrate in disputes, conflicts only cause more annoyance and irritation to already annoyed employees by offering no clear solution and giving general ambiguous HR gyan that makes you feel like slapping them.

So the author suggests that we should make use of the ombudsman to have some fun by asking questions on ethics like the ones mentioned below.

Questions for the office ombudsman
- every one of my co-workers is mentally undressing me. It makes me feel like a … what the… what are you looking at?

- one of our vendors gave me a sports utility vehicle. But it’s not the colour I wanted. Is it okay if I kidnap his dog?

- when I phone in a bomb threat to the office, is it wrong to use my company calling card?

-I discovered that my boss has been embezzling from the company. Should I stop dating him?

-My travel allowance for food is 30 $ per day. Can I spend some of it on drugs if I eat them?

And by the way, Scott Adams defines Ombudsman as the combination of ‘Om’, a spiritual thing, ‘bud’, an alcoholic drink (Budweiser, I think) and something called ‘sman’!

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