I love the internet

Google Reader brought me Scott Adams’s blog post today about an Iowa man named David Steward who was fired for posting a Dilbert comic, which compared management with drunken lemurs, in his workplace.

As a longtime fan of Dilbert, this made me think of my own run-ins with management over my fondness for Dilbert. Ten years ago, I was working for my personal worst-boss-ever, who did a fine impersonation of a drunken lemur, now that I think about it, even though I realize the comparison is unflattering to lemurs. I had a few Dilbert strips posted in my cube back then, located such that you had to be well inside the cube to see them. Thus they were invisible to the fearsome woman who presided over all of us, and they were invisible to my supervisor as well, until the day he entered far enough in so he could peer over my shoulder at the letter I was writing. As he left, he spotted the Dilberts and started in on a modest harangue about how unprofessional they were. He concluded by further condemning them as irrelevant to our workplace. That was too much, and when he next paused for one of his signature dramatic nostril flares, I said the one on top is clearly relevant to this workplace. So he read it, and it was this one:

Profits are down. Morale is low. What is the root problem? It's got to be those anti-management cartoons the employees hang on their cubicle walls! And they aren't even funny. This one has our mission statement.

Thankfully, he was not smart enough to grasp the humor, but I had to bite my tongue very hard to remain composed.

So here is where I explain why I love the internet. I have a lot of my favorite Dilbert strips on my computer, but this one ran before I saw Dilbert on the net and while it was fun to think about it, I wanted to see it again. I googled Dilbert “mission statement” but that got me nowhere. Then I tried Dilbert “this is our mission statement” and that too was useless. But then I tried Dilbert “this one has our mission statement” and that did the trick. I found a site that has a 729K text file with transcriptions of Dilbert dialog, keyed to the date. Now I knew I needed the strip from March 28, 1997. A few more google searches after that, and I wound up at a site that has archives of years’ worth of Dilberts. Amazing. Since I am not sure about how United Media feels about this, I am not going to name or link them, but if you can google, it too can be yours.

So from headline to reminiscence to rummage to gratification all in less than ten minutes – I do love the internet.


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