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I borrowed this book off a friend and it was absolutely hilarious. It features the cartoon character Dilbert and is written by Scott Adams. It is an American acrtoon strip however the humour translates well to this country, Dilbert is an engineer by profession who works in a cubicle and is not at all motivated. He has a cynics outlook on life and highlights the absurd business speak and practices of those around him.
The book is a mixture of cartoons and items sent to Adams over the years by employees highlighting some of the absurd goings on in their places of work.
Each chapter takes a business topic and examines it thoroughly. For anyone who has ever worked for a big company you will be able to spot some of the truths shown in this hilarious book which is perfect for dipping in and out of every so often. The humour is very accesible and really hits the spot.
I loved the example he gives which talks about a camera company bringing out a new model called the Weekender, people actually phoned them to check it was ok to use the camera during the week.
Th cartoons are hilarious and all the characters such as Dogbert are present. This is a great coffee table book and one that I laughed throughoutat, from cover to cover.
It is available for £1.49 from mazon.
This is a very scary book for anyone who has worked for a big company or in an office. If David Brent managed to show the cringe worthiness of office life Scott Adams through his cartoon character Dilbert manages to show the absurd and ridiculous action of companies, managers and employees.
Who is Dilbert?
Dilbert is the comic strip creation of Scott Adams. Dilbert is an engineer and spends his days working in his cubicle. Hardly a role model employee Dilbert is always drawn wearing a short-sleeved shirt and a tie that turns up at the ends.
Adams draws the inspiration for his cartoons from the nine years that he worked for Pacific Bell and also from the huge number of real life experiences that people post to him.
Adams has put together a book that begins with the theory that we are all idiots. He includes himself in this category highlighting his inability to change the batteries in his pager. He also justifies it with the example o when Kodak bought out a camera called the Weekender. Customers then called the support line to check that it is ok to use it in the week.
He then uses this premise to highlight the absurdity of business over the next 24 chapters. However it is not all-pointless fun making because in Chapter 25 he actually presents his New Company Model OA5 with the warning that following his recommendations may not actually benefit you but at least they are unlikely to do you much harm.
Each chapter takes a topic and examines it thoroughly. Throughout, both his cartoons and actual true-life examples punctuate the text. No area of business life is spared his observation and everyone will be able to identify with some parts of his work.
Chapters include his observations on
Great Lies of Management
Marketing and Communications
These are a few of my favourites mainly because they related most to my own workplace.
I loved this book and found it very funny indeed. Also because of the way that it is written you can read the chapters in any order you like and it is the sort of book that you can drop in on at any time. I have read it twice now as well as a few random sections and each time I find something different to bring a smile to my face.
It immediately struck a chord when Adams described how all companies will say that they employ the best people (my company) however the company will also have a policy of paying wages at the industry average (again my company) so why would the best people work for the average salary?
The only real criticism I would have is that obviously this book is written based upon the American workplace. In this country with the tendency for open plan workspaces the concept of the cubicle is not one we are familiar with. There are also a couple of chapters on very American topics and therefore some of the references lacked clarity however this is a minor inconvenience and does not detract from the satire and humour.
The real life examples are by far the funniest and especially when they are used to confirm the observations made by Adams.
If you want to check out the humour in Dilbert cartoons go to ww.dilbert.com. The rrp for this book is £4.99 although Amazon has it for £4.79 and from £0.50 used. I have even used some of the examples quoted in my own presentations at work and in training sessions so it has been money well spent.
Scott Adams used to work for Pac Bell before decided that rather than sit in an office cubicle, it?d be far better to quit that job and make a living writing cartoons about office life. His Dilbert cartoons are popular in newspapers - featuring a poor geek-y engineer (Dilbert), his (generally incompetent) co-workers, his (even more moronic) boss and a variety of animals (Dogbert, Ratbert, etc). Perhaps it says something of their popularity that my spellchecker recognises ?Dogbert?! The Dilbert Principle (first published in 1996, and Sunday Times no. 1 best seller) declares itself to be ?A cubicle?s-eye view of bosses, meetings, management fads and other workplace afflictions?. That pretty much sums it up really. It?s the funniest management book you?ll ever read! The introduction begins with an acknowledgement from Scott Adams that no matter how absurd he makes scenarios, he always hears disgruntled office workers tell him it?s so true! Being a student myself, I only have very limited office experience (from the last two summers) but even I recognise some of it. I?d say you may appreciate the books more if you do work in an office, but it certainly isn?t necessary. If you can relate to comedies like ?The Office? or that ginger office joker from ?The Fast Show? then there?s no reason why you can?t like Dilbert. This book isn?t just a collection of cartoon strips though. It?s 336 pages of mostly text, illustrated with cartoons demonstrating points and the odd inserted email from real world employees telling us how their life is like Dilbert (e.g. the bosses buy laptops so people can work on the move, then fix them to desks to stop people stealing them!) Divided into 26 chapters, the book covers everything office workers will no doubt know only too well about their environment - incompetent leaders, down-sizing, team-building exercises, budgeting and more. Some of it I?ve seen circulated on the internet (even ?pretending to work? tip
s from the mouth of David Brent from ?The Office?) Not having a plot or story as such, it?s the kind of book you can dip in and out of. I found it a relaxing thing to read a couple of chapters at a time on a quiet evening, and there?s no need to worry about losing the thread if you don?t come back to it for week. That said, I found it very funny and there was no chance I?d put it down for so long - it kept me going for a week or two of occasional browsing. There?s not much more I can say really. If you?re familiar with, and like, Dilbert then I highly recommend this book. I found it very entertaining, because like the best comedy it takes the basically true to life, and twists it just the right amount. I?m tempted to quote so much, but I?ll just illustrate with a few of my favourite lol bits: ------ Dogbert: Here?s my final report on your company Dogbert: I?ve concluded that you?re doomed. You waste too much money on consultants. Boss: You?re a consultant Dogbert: Ironic isn?t it? ------ On getting ?buy in?: ?You can?t accommodate a hundred different opinions, and you can?t ignore them. All you can do is provide people with the illusion that they participated in the decision. For some reason, that?s enough to make people happy*. This is that basis for all democracies? [p.83] *The reason would be that people are idiots ------ Boss: Our policy is to employ only the BEST technical professionals Dilbert: Question. Isn?t it also our policy to base salaries on the industry AVERAGE? Boss: Right. We like them bright but clueless Wally: I feel sorry for people like that ------ I found only three bad things about this book, and that?s stretching it a little: 1) it uses the slightly cheap Penguin Classic-style paper 2) some of the print is quite small, so it?s hard to make out some of the cartoons (speech bubbles or labels on things) 3) some of the cartoons I noticed were repeated to illu
strate two points - this I found a bit of a shame, as I?d just seen them once and there they were again! Of course, that?s pretty rare, and most are repeated from newspapers anyway I assume, so if you?re a big Dilbert fan you?re likely to have seen many before anyway. Cover price £4.99 [This is the 2000 Boxtree edition, which is on Amazon - though they seem rather keen on selling a more expensive 1997 edition with a different ISBN]. I picked up mine a few weeks ago in The Works for £1.99. Well worth it. ISBN 0-7522-7220-9 (paperback) If you are a Dilbert fan, you can get a free daily comic strip by email from www.dilbert.com
The Dilbert Principle, in case you don't know, is that "the most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage - management". Yes, Scott Adams is not overly keen on management and bureaucracy. Anyone who has read any Dilbert cartoons in the past will know what to expect from this book. What I hadn't expected was that the accompanying text would be so funny. Included in the book are a number of emails from people highlighting the most ludicrous suggestions from management, and tales of generally clueless managers. While on the face of it this may not seem the best topic for a humourous book, this is possibly the funniest book I have ever read. So many of the things noted in the book are instantly recognisable for anyone that has ever worked in an office. You may even find yourself contributing to a future edition of the book... Among the many chapters on getting ahead in business are Machiavellian Methods, Great Lies of Management, How to get your way and How to tell if your company is doomed. This was the first Dilbert book I read, and I loved it from start to finish. It is one of those books you probably don't want to be reading on a train, since everyone around you will be wondering why you are laughing out loud so much. This is truly a must-read book.
Dilbert is that cartoon bloke in the office whose workmates include: *pointy haired boss *asok the intern *wally and many more... If you've never seen it, here's what it's about. Funny office stories that have been adapted to sound like something less idiotic then they really are... Actually the best way to describe it would be to put one of the cartoons here, but i can't. So go to www.dilbert.com to have a look!(or keyword DILBERT on AOL). Its humourous, and like other popular cartoons, works on two levels, so it's great for us relativley mature people, but also for kids.