Dilberts, in real life…

A magazine recently ran a ‘Dilbert Quotes’ contest.  They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life Dilbert-type managers.

These were voted the top ten quotes in corporate America:

   ‘As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards with photo ID. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks.'(This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp in Redmond WA )
    ‘What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter.’ (Lykes Lines Shipping)
    ‘E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business.’ (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)
    ‘This project is so important we can’t let things that are more important interfere with it.’ (Advertising/ Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)
    ‘Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.'(Plant Manager, Delco Corporation)
    ‘No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We’ve been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I’ll let you know when it’s time to tell them.’ (R&D supervisor,
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/ 3M Corp)
    Quote from the Boss: ‘Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.’ (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)
    My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we  could change her burial to Friday. He said,’That would be better for me.’ (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)
    ‘We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.’ (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

One can only wonder how these people every GOT to a position of power…  Or is this the Peter Principal in action???


Dilberts, in real life… — 22 Comments

  1. Sadly, none of those are surprising (although they are funny).

    Doesn’t anyone take a moment to read/review/think before hitting “Send?”

  2. An old list, But I believe every one. My guess is anyone who’s worked with a bloated bureaucracy of any kind will believe it too. Missives like this are a daily occurrence in my school system. There is no penalty for administrators who do stupid things…. so they don’t give any effort to hiding their real abilities.

  3. I think that I’ve heard half of those myself, uttered by USGOV managers.

    The bureaucracy is a far bigger enemy than any potential external threat. IMHO

  4. Dilbert isn’t a cartoon, it’s a DOCUMENTARY.

    We’ve superseded the Peter Principle and gone directly to the Dilbert Principle – leave the competent where they’re at, promote the incompetent directly into middle and upper management.

  5. to add to the list…

    Chris and i used to work together, before we started dating. some time after i started working we moved off-site, so all on-site repairs required someone to head to the site.

    one of the machines lost a power supply and Chris headed out to fix it. big bossman stopped him and asked where he was going. after hearing the explanation, big bossman pulled a Pointy-Haired Boss line: “i don’t think you need to head down there. replace that power supply remotely.”

    …yes. replace hardware remotely. because we have a transporter in the basement?

  6. Ha! All of them could come right out of one office in any military Service. They’re so true though.

  7. ‘No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We’ve been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I’ll let you know when it’s time to tell them.’ (R&D supervisor,
    Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/ 3M Corp)

    I’ve been hit with that one more than once.

  8. When working federal civil service, in a U.S. Navy hospital’s supply/logistics office, I was a paper shuffler; I saw ways to improve efficiency of my job & approached my supervisor about incorporating my ideas – she told me no, when I asked why, I was informed that I “didn’t need to know” ………………… HER superior, when contacted as a reference for my application to another job, said I was ‘too intelligent’ for the position that I then held ……………….. soooooo, if I’m so smart, why did I ‘not need to know’?

    Semper Fi’

  9. Most of those hit the nail on the head. An oldie but a goodie!

    Overheard on a deployment: “If you didn’t drop it, don’t pick it up, unless it looks interesting.” The LT was trying to tell the guys to pick up anything of intelligence value, but forgot that things that go boom look interesting to young geeks.

  10. Did some contract programming at Schlumberger, the IT manager there actually told me, “My goal is to lock the systems down so tight, no one will be able to do anything…” I asked, but isn’t that the point of having programmers? Funny thing was, everything she tried to do, was easily circumvented…