Tuesday, February 27, 2007

A must read for every white collared 'professional'

I first happened to come across a few Dilbert strips during my engineering days. I had heard a lot about how funny it was and how popular it had become over the years. A friend of mine, whose elder brother was in an IT service based company, happened to have a copy of the book, 'The Dilbert Principle'. He himself hadn't read it, but told me that his brother loved the book. With high hopes, i began reading it. First and foremost, it wasn't a comic book, much to my disappointment. Secondly, most of the strips didn't make any sense to me. I just couldn't get myself to go beyond the first few pages. 'What an over hyped piece of crap!' was my reaction back then.Needless to say, the book was promptly returned.

Then it happened. Actually, IT happened. I joined Infosys right after my college. Pandemonium ensued.With some of my peers or senior colleagues and their strange, funny and at times irrational behavioural patterns, i realized how different office is from my college. The irony of a bunch of amateurs in a professional setup confused me. And then, the Gods decided to be kind to me.
The enlightenment. My first appraisal meeting.In the divine presence of the supreme being. The greatest leveller of them all. The manager. The final piece of the jigsaw puzzle was in place.

All of a sudden, Dilbert became the Bible of our lives. Me and few of my friends lapped up everything Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert, threw at us. This guy is a genius. The similarities between the characters in Dilbert and some people i know in real life, is eerie. The situations in the central character Dilbert's life is generally what anyone amongst us might be facing on any given day in our office. I can identify with most of these characters or situations. So can a lot of readers, as evident from the letters they write to Scott Adams.

Coming to the characters of Dilbert; we have Dilbert himself, the geeky engineer who doesn't get appreciated in his office for all his hard work; the feisty Alice; the smart Dogbert with his brilliant philosophies on life; Catbert, the evil head of HR and many others. But the three standouts , according to me, are Asok, Pointy haired boss and Wally.

Asok is the unappreciated intern vying to become a permanent employee. He is a graduate from one of the IITs and is at the receiving end of his boss or colleagues' ire most of the times. The poor fellow does all the work and is never rewarded for it.

Pointy haired boss, as you might have guessed, is the manager of the whole bunch. He is shown to be a moron, who relies on his 'managerial instinct' to save his ass from the board and to assert himself on people who work under him.His speeches or presentations are like crash courses on managerial jargon. A must for every aspiring manager. His lack of brains is the premise of many strips, but more often than not, he emerges on top in all situations. There is a only guy who outsmarts him regularly. That is Wally.

Wally is a coffee guzzling co-worker of Dilbert, and is probably the laziest person on earth but one who is smart enough not to get fired. He uses his wit to get himself out of any work that is assigned to him and goes back to his favourite pastime, sleeping. Get to work, drink coffee, sleep for sometime, drink coffee again, have lunch, sleep again, pass on some gyaan to the interns on how to avoid work, fool your boss, go home and get paid for doing nothing. That's Wally (and some other people i know at work ;) ).He is the one character most of us lazybones aspire to emulate, but few are successful.

If you are working in such a setup or if you identify with any of these characters, start reading Dilbert. In case you already don't, that is.

Take a bow, Scott Adams.


Anonymous said...

article is too good ,infact i have never read Dilbert before but this article have aroused interest to read Dilbert .....Amit

Anonymous said...

The article was good in the sense that it throws light on the Dilbert series,

Very rightly put,Dilbert finds its way easily into an individual's heart,as it potrays the same emotions,feelings,frustrations as would an employee working in an organization under a "khadoos" boss would feel.

This article made a good read and has inspired me to take a look at Dilbert again,this time with a new outlook,
Who knows,perhaps,I too would start writing a blog or two on the same


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