To: Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC)
From: Scott Adams
Date: July 1999
- True Possum Story
- Tales From Corporate America
- True Tales Of Induhviduals
- Dogbert Answers My Mail
As you know, after Dogbert conquers the planet, we will become his New Ruling Class. Those who are not in the DNRC (the Induhviduals) will be our domestic servants. But we should not forget our humble beginnings. To that end, I bring you...
A True Possum Story
When you own a house, there is no shortage of unpleasant and disgusting tasks that must be performed on a regular basis. Eventually, Induhviduals will handle those chores. For now, Pam and I divide the labor for disgusting tasks this way: Pam alerts me that a disgusting task must be performed, then I perform it. This system has worked well for spider assassinations, clogged shower drains, toxic spills, and all manner of cat box issues. Recently Pam alerted me that a possum was at the bottom of the swimming pool. My job was to get it out.
This was my most challenging job yet.
As a vegetarian, I can only handle seeing dead animals up to a certain size before I get a serious case of the heebie jeebies. I'm not too bothered looking at dead bugs and mice, under the theory that "they are little." But this possum was way above my heebie jeebie threshold. Worse yet, possums are notorious for pretending to be dead. I wasn't about to be fooled by the oldest trick in the animal kingdom.
I looked carefully to see if the possum was breathing through a thin reed of some sort. I saw nothing. Nor did I see any air tanks or diving apparatus. The only possibility was that he was holding his breath. I checked the Internet to see how long a possum can hold its breath. Apparently much research needs to be done in that area.
As luck would have it, today was the day the pool cleaning service was scheduled to clean the pool. If I pretended I didn't know there was a possum down there, the pool guy would have to fish it out. That way HE would be the one embarrassed by the possum's trickery. The only problem with that approach is that if the possum was really dead, the pool guy would have to leave it somewhere. He certainly wasn't going to take it with him in the truck. ("Here, little buddy, you ride shotgun.") If I were the pool guy, I'd be mad that I had to take a possum out of a pool. For revenge, I'd try to think up a funny place to put it, like in the hammock.
So I decided to take care of the job myself. I took the pool-cleaning apparatus that has a shallow net on the end of a long pole. That is the preferred tool for possum removal. Not only can it reach the bottom of the pool, but because it's long, it has the leverage you need to fling the possum over the fence and into the neighbor's pool.
This method worked well. The only problem is that every other
day the possum is back in my pool. I expect some tension at the next
neighborhood block party.
Managing Your Boss
This report from a DNRC member is a good example of how to manage your boss:
My boss wanted a "Clean Desk" policy, so he sent a memo saying that
any paper left on desks would be removed at night and we would have to
fill out a form to get it back. So we left all our garbage paper on our
desks every night. In a week, the boss had an office full of garbage and
we never heard about the policy again.
Sports That Are Better Than Soccer
My philosophy is that when something works well, you should do more of it. For example, you've probably heard of a popular annual event in Spain called The Running of the Bulls. This sport involves letting loose many angry bulls in a narrow street while Induhviduals run for their lives. Meanwhile, DNRC members with video cameras observe from a safe distance, hoping to capture gruesome footage that can be sold to the media.
The Running of the Bulls is fine for Induhviduals who like to run. But what of the more sedentary Induhviduals? Shouldn't they too have the opportunity to be attacked by angry animals?
I suggest an event that I tentatively call Pummeled by Monkeys.
Induhviduals would be locked in a mobile home with dozens of angry monkeys.
I haven't worked out the details, but I think you can see how entertaining
that would be. Pummeled by Monkeys would have to be marketed as an
"extreme sport" so no one got upset about the death toll.
True Tales From Corporate Life
A DNRC member passed along this story from the Daily Telegraph in Great Britain:
"Managers on a training course were so keen to please their company that they agreed to run barefoot across a bed of hot embers in a test of mind over matter. Three of them sustained burnt feet and had to have time off work. Now the firm is to review its motivational techniques....Only one of the 63 managers on the motivation day training session refused the run..."
[Editorial note: It's easy to spot the one DNRC member in any
crowd. And it goes without saying that the training course is run
by DNRC pranksters who enjoy watching junior executives roast themselves.]
My Mail Bag
My readers are always quick to suggest ways I can improve my work, as in this message:
Dear Mr. Adams,
It has always been acceptable to express expletives in comic strips with symbols such as @#$!#. But I have never seen anyone do what you did last week when you used something like #$@%ing in your strip. By adding the "ing" you left nothing to the imagination. You might as well have used the word that the reader was forced to decipher. You used poor judgment. Please don't do it again, @$$hole.
I received an emotional letter of complaint after a strip in which Dilbert used the expression "jeepers cripes." The writer chastised me for using the Lord's name in vain.
I can only pray that the almighty Gosh will not darn me to heck for
offending his son, Jeepers.
Dogbert Answers My Mail
In this section, Dogbert answers my mail. These are based on real
e-mail to me. The names have been changed to make them sound funnier.
Dear Mr. Adams,
I am nine years old. Can you tell me how to draw Dilbert?
With your right hand, take a pencil and press it against a blank piece of paper. Now do this:
Up, up, left, curve, back, circle, circle, up, up, left, bump, bump, bump, bump, bump, down, curvy thing, down, stop.
If your drawing doesn't look exactly like Dilbert, you're left-handed.
Dear Mr. Adams,
I'm sure you get this all the time, but do you have any Dilbert comics that you can e-mail to me?
We used to have some Dilbert comics, but we e-mailed them to other people. You should have asked sooner.
Dilbert TV Show
The season premiere of Dilbert is October 5th on UPN. We're moving
to Tuesday nights at 8 p.m./7 Central (local airtimes may vary).
Next season's shows look much better than our rookie year. Now the animators
are in a groove, we have an idea of what works and what doesn't, and we're
writing to the strengths of the actors.
Pranks On Induhviduals
I loved this report from a young DNRC operative:
I am 14 years old. My best friend from school is a nice guy but a total "information hog." I was paired with him on a project about Native Americans.
My friend, being an information hog, never gave me the information that I needed to finish my project. I decided to teach him a lesson. I created a fake web page that had lots of information on the tribe we were assigned to study. The information was completely made up, but not to the point where you'd know, unless you were our teacher, who is an expert on Native Americans.
I told my friend that I found a web site where you can get all the info
you could ever want. He was all over it. A week later, my friend
got up in front of the class and gave his wonderful report. I was looking
back at the teacher as she shook her head and made notes with a red pen.
My friend's grade was "Not Up To Full Potential." He still doesn't
know what the problem was.
True Tales Of Induhviduals
Those Induhviduals continue to amaze and amuse. Here now, some reports from DNRC operatives in the field:
I was taking an "Assertiveness Training Seminar" sponsored by the American Management Association. The first day, 1.5 hours into the training session, an Induhvidual announced, "What? This is assertiveness training?" After we asked which class he was supposed to be in, he replied -- get this -- "Self Awareness." I think he was lucky to be in the right building.
While riding with an Induhvidual, I noticed that she did not look behind her while pulling out of a parking space. So I asked her about it. She said that she could not see behind her. I explained that she could turn her body around or possibly look in the rear view mirror. She rolled her eyes and told me that they only did that in the movies.
God help us all.
I was working on an IC layout when my boss nudged me away from my keyboard and said "I'll show you how to do it." Followed by "What do I type to start."
The cafeteria at work has announced its latest plans. They have
displayed big signs saying "Customers: Our Most Important Ingredient."
Stay clear of the meatballs!!
I was at a store and overheard two cashiers behind the counter chatting as one of them was ringing up my purchase.
Cashier 1: "When's the Super Bowl?"
Cashier 2: "I think it's on Thanksgiving."
Cashier 1: (laughs) "It's not on Thanksgiving,
it's in a couple of weeks."
Cashier 1: "Well, isn't there a big holiday right
At which point I said, "Yes. Thanksgiving."
Ironically, the store where this took place was Oregon Public Broadcasting's "Store of Knowledge."
I work in a video store. One day a man called up and asked me, "What videos do you have?" This seemed a bit strange, but I thought I would give it a try. I replied, "We have lots. What kind did you have in mind?" He simply said, "Well, I don't really know. Could you just tell me what you have?"
I can't believe the phone call I just got. An Induhvidual named Tiffany from AIDS Walk was trying to reach someone named "Al." All she knew is that "Al" worked at my company. Apparently, her organization had sent "Al" a fax in August about the upcoming fundraiser, and Tiffany wanted to see if "Al" was organizing a group for the walk. She even spelled the name for me: "All."
We found the fax. And sure enough ...it was addressed to "All."
I am an insurance claims analyst. After much negotiation with
a particular Induhvidual, she finally agreed to settle her insurance claim
for fifteen hundred dollars. I mailed a release to her and was surprised
to receive a very irate telephone call from her about two days later.
She accused me of trying to cheat her. I asked, "Doesn't the release
form say fifteen hundred dollars?" She answered, "No, it says
'one thousand, five hundred dollars.'"
[Note: I left this one in the original wording because I liked his closing line so much.]
I live in Brazil. I work on computers. The new manager has discovered that he needs a modem on his computer, so he calls me.
The talk was like this:
Manager: I need a modem. What do you recommend?
Me: I recommend the 56000 modem.
Manager: NO! That is so much expensive! What else?
Me: Well, maybe the 33600 or 14400.
Manager: Still expensive! What's the cheapest?
Me: Humpf! Exists the modem of 2400,
hard to find!
Manager: Ok, Ok, I'll buy this! (To secretary) Make me a check of $2,400.00!
Can you believe it?! My wish was to jump to his neck and kill him!
Recently we underwent a reorganization and my boss wanted a new catchy name for our group. Without any input from us, he decided to call our group "Product Information Systems" or PIS for short. A particularly witty co-worker asked to make up some posters with our new name to let everyone know of the name change. Our boss agreed. My co-worker made up posters and put them all over the office that said "PIS. We're #1" in big yellow letters. My boss changed our name back.
A student complained that he could not format his paper properly. It turns out that he had typed his paper in Excel, entering one word in each cell.
At my last job, the accounting group decided to have a lunchtime barbecue. The engineering group was watching from inside the building while the accountants set up their grill and tables. The accounting supervisor came out with a two-gallon can of acetone, borrowed from the manufacturing group, and soaked the charcoal. The engineers pounded on the windows and waved frantically to try and discourage the lighting of the match. The accountants waved back, happy to be noticed.
After the fireball, they found the grill about ten feet away and the dazed supervisor about five feet away. The accountants went hungry that day.
Overheard, the following exchange between the judge and a prospective juror at the Montgomery Court of the Common Pleas in Norristown.
Judge: Is there any reason why any of you can't serve on the panel?
Citizen: Uh..I'm real busy with month-end closing and they absolutely NEED me at work. No one else can do my job, so I can't spend two days in a trial.
Judge: Well, what would happen if you got sick tonight and couldn't go to work for a couple of days?
Citizen: Oh, no problem, they'd just cover for me.
Judge: Sit DOWN!
Scottsdale was recently holding elections for city
council. My favorite sign was one that said "Hannah Goldstein - Solutions, Not Slogans."
Ms. Goldstein won the election.
While I was a student at Cambridge University, England, there were several large bomb attacks on the city of London. On hearing that the IRA had claimed responsibility for the latest attack, an Induhvidual was heard to say "I don't understand why they claim responsibility. If I was a terrorist and had planted a bomb I wouldn't want anyone to know it was me." I told her she should work in PR.
I work at a small software company. We ordered six personal computers,
for delivery to our building. One disappeared while it was still
in our shipping department. We asked around and no one knew what
happened to it. So we checked the shipping records to make sure all
six were delivered. Sure enough, all six were delivered. But
in the same records, recorded a day later, a mystery package, weighing
exactly the same weight as one of the computers, was shipped to the home
of one of the people in the shipping department. Duh!
Wise-Ass DNRC Comments
Here are some wise-ass comments from oh-so-witty DNRC members and a
few attempts from Induhviduals:
Last week we had a meeting, introducing the project team to our new team leader. The pointy-haired boss was in attendance. The new team leader noticed that he and the boss were similarly dressed and asked, "What movie does this remind you of?" Almost immediately, one of our team members said, "Dumb and Dumber." After the laughter died down, the boss asked, "Which one am I?" This question got less laughter and no response.
Coincidentally, the person that replied to the question turned in his notice yesterday.
I work in a television station as a news photographer. Recently a young reporter was having trouble writing copy for a story and I helped her with what I thought was a well-turned phrase. My suggested phrase included a word that she didn't know, and she said she didn't like using a word if she didn't know its definition.
I quipped, "The words you don't know could fill the dictionary."
She thought she was defending herself when she responded, "Yeah, but it would have to be a big one."
While counseling a colleague for all the alcohol on his expense report, he countered with "I took the extra insurance at the car rental booth."
A few days ago, I ordered a large vanilla milkshake from the drive-thru
of a fast-food restaurant. The Induhvidual taking my order asked,
"Would you like anything to drink with that?" Thinking that this
was a good opportunity to poke fun, I said, "Yeah, a large vanilla milkshake."
When I pulled up to the window, I was given two large vanilla milkshakes.
When people on the Harvard Campus try to call a particular airline, but forget to dial 9 for an outside line, they get my phone number instead. This happens frequently.
My response is, "Are you calling from Harvard University?"
The caller always answers in amazement: "Why, yes! Yes I am! I am calling from Harvard!"
I say, "Then you should be smart enough to dial 9 for an outside line."
I used have a boss who was both incompetent and a jerk. One morning during a staff meeting he told us about his frustration of not being able to remember phone numbers. He went on by saying he had read in a magazine that the brain is like a computer's hard drive--once it becomes full of information, it can't hold any more. He reasoned that since he could no longer remember anyone's phone number, his brain must have reached its capacity.
Not being able to stand this anymore, I warned my fellow employees in
the room not to tell him anything or he might lose bladder control.
This caused everyone (except my boss) to erupt in hysterical laughter.
Fortunately, my boss didn't get the joke!
New Dilbert Stuff
For everyone who has requested Dilbert novelty products, we've made it easy for you. The Cubicle Door, Phone Flash Cards and The Boss Voodoo Doll are all available now at the Dilbert Store. For those of you that missed the Dilbert Silly Slammers, stay online - they'll be back soon! Shop at http://www.umstore.com/dilbert for fun products.
Coming in September, you can get a Dilbert credit card, the only "no-fee/ reverse-fee" card issued online. There's no annual fee, and you can get credit on your bill when you pay online.
***Special DNRC-only offers!***
>From now through Friday, 8/6/99, two special offers are available exclusively for DNRC members:
- Stay in Touch with Dilbert
With any $35 purchase in the Dilbert store, get a free 50-minute MCI prepaid calling card featuring a Dilbert design. These are collector's items, since they were produced in very limited numbers and these designs are no longer manufactured.
- Get the new Dilbert book FREE
With any $50 purchase in the Dilbert store, get a free copy of "Dilbert
Gives You the Business," the new Andrews McMeel book coming out in September.
Finally Scott has pulled together the most popular strips organized conveniently
by "work angst" scenario and "job title." Since you'll be reserving your
copy in advance of the bookstore on-sale date, you'll be one of the first
to own this comprehensive new Dilbert reference.
There is a limit of one DNRC offer per order, regardless of the order amount. (Regular store freebies will be added if the order amount qualifies for them.) These DNRC offers will not be announced in the Dilbert Store. To get them, you need to follow this DNRC-only link:
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