Dilbert Newsletter 24.0

To:     Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC)
From:   Scott Adams
Date:   April 1999

  - Tales From Corporate America
  - Dogbert Answers My Mail
  - Web Page Relaunch
  - True Tales Of Induhviduals
  - TV Show update


In-duh-vidual:  A person who does not receive the Dilbert Newsletter.
When Dogbert conquers the planet, those of you who get this newsletter
will join Dogbert as part of his New Ruling Class.  The Induhviduals
will be our domestic servants.

DNRC Status

Our plans for total global domination are coming along nicely.  As you
probably know, Dogbert is behind the recent run-up in Internet stocks.
Many of the clever and inexplicably sexy DNRC members bought stock early
in the mania.  Hordes of Induhviduals have since bid up the stocks to
ridiculous levels.  Wait for Dogbert to give the secret "sell" signal,
then bail out fast.  This is the first of many taxes the DNRC will levy
on Induhviduals.

Managing Your Boss

This story from a DNRC operative is proof that the secret to good office
productivity is poor communications:

At my last company, a number of us (all engineers) became frustrated
that our boss would page us for no reason other than to ask a simple
question about his web browser.  It started out with just a beep every
now and then, but it soon escalated to weekend and night calls because
he was curious about something.  We came up with a very simple, but very
effective, solution.

We started to have conversations in the office about the horrible paging
service the company subscribed to.  We would tell true (and by "true" I
mean false) stories about pages not coming through - and about the
extraordinary and heroic measures we had to take when we finally got
emergency messages.

This worked beautifully; eventually, my boss even joined in
complaining about the paging service as though he had experienced
similar problems with his own pager.

Dilbert Zone Web Site Relaunch

We've redesigned the Dilbert Zone web site to make it friendlier and
more attractive.  We also added some stealth capabilities in case your
boss is nearby.

Check it out and let us know if the new design works for you.


Aside from the Dilbert comics themselves, the most-clicked features on
the Dilbert Zone are these:

- List Of The Day
- Catbert's Anti-Career Zone
- Send today's strip to a friend in color

True Tales From Corporate America

Here are some of my favorite stories from the cubicles:

My company naturally had to have a vision statement: "Create effective
partnerships with our customers that enable them to achieve business
excellence."  That's not a bad one even though it could apply to anyone
from IBM to organized crime.

But they were not content to print this on a card.  NO!  They had to be
inspiring!  So they went and bought hundreds of pieces of amber colored
glass shaped like flat, rounded, river rocks and printed the vision
statement on the glass.  We can actually see through our "vision rock."
Get it?

Now here's the funny part.  The e-mail announcing the imminent arrival
of our vision rocks included this statement:

         "Please make sure you take only one"

Send help, please!


I have a small plastic bag with dice in it stuck to my cubicle wall.
Below it are instructions on how to use the "Project Time Estimator."

The project director came into my cube a few days ago to ask how long a
particular task would take. I got the trusty dice out, threw them and
read off the number of hours. She said "You can't do that!" whereupon I
pointed out to her that I had been doing this for the last two software
releases and it worked as well as any other method.

She wrote down the number of hours and quietly walked away.

Needless to say, Wally is my hero.


While in the office of my very well known U.S. company, one of the
bosses was talking about the size and power of the company.  To get this
point across he said, "We're a multi-global company."  He was promptly
asked, "Do you mean Earth and Uranus?"

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 for no particular reason.

Dear Mr. Adams,

Is it possible to gain a "super power" such as telekinesis through the
process of thinking very hard?


Dear Tim,

I don't recommend trying to develop telekinesis as your first super
power.  Thinking hard can lead to social problems, such as chess.  Start
with something easy, like x-ray vision.  You can develop your x-ray
vision through the process of staring very hard at a woman until she
calls the authorities.  But don't worry if the police come for you;  you
can always fly to freedom via the process of jumping very hard.




Dear Mr. Adams,

I am ten years old.  My parents won't let me watch the Dilbert TV show
because they think it will damage my brain.  What can I do?


Dear Allison,

You have a bigger problem than you think.  Your parents must have
watched the Dilbert show in order to form their opinions about it.  That
means THEIR brains are already damaged.

If you suspect your parents of being nuts, look for any of these
telltale signs:

- They give you bed times that are always exactly on the
  hour, or exactly half-past the hour, never in between.

- They start getting fatter.

- They complain about taxes.




Dear Mr. Adams,

I could not let my seven year-old read your 2/7 cartoon because I felt
it was not appropriate to be seen by a child.  One of the characters'
rear ends was hanging out!  My child would not have understood why! So,
I am asking you please, in the future, consider children who are
learning to read and enjoy comics with their parents.  I hope we will
not have to censor comics.  Thank you.


Dear Ethel,

I agree.  No child should be forced to look at hineys.  That is why I
recommend that you remove the mirrors from your house, so your child
does not accidentally see his own hiney.  That would not be appropriate
for someone so young.  If that doesn't prove practical, instruct your
child to do what I do:  grow fur to cover his hiney.  I've never seen



The Praying Mantis Syndrome

I get many complaints.  Usually they take the form of editorial
commentary like, "YOU SUCK.  RETIRE NOW!  GARFIELD RULES!"  I appreciate
the constructive feedback.  It helps me grow as an artist.  But lately I
have been getting a new type of complaint that I haven1t seen before.  I
call these new complaints the "praying mantis syndrome."

Here's how it works:  If I drew a cartoon in which, for example, Dilbert
accidentally stepped on a praying mantis, I would get letters from
people who are sickened by my treatment of religion.  They would argue
passionately that people who pray should not be regarded as bugs to be
stepped on.  They will say I am creating a situation of religious
intolerance that will lead to genocide.

You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm not.  Many productive hours are lost
to the praying mantis syndrome.  As a public service, I have written a
short, generic complaint letter that can be used in all future praying
mantis syndrome complaints.  Just fill in the appropriate blanks.

Dear [cartoonist's name],

I saw your cartoon dated XX/XX/XX and was shocked and appalled that you
would insult the [group not mentioned in the comic].  You wouldn't think
it was funny if [a bad thing] happened to a(n) [pick one:  woman,
African-American, Jew].  Believe me, I am not being "politically
correct" when I write this.  This time you have gone too far!


[name of nut]

Dilbert TV Show

The Dilbert TV show on UPN, airing Mondays at 8 p.m.(7C), has been
renewed for 22 episodes next season. Upcoming new shows this season
include "Charity," airing May 10th, "Holiday," airing May 17th, and "The
Infomercial," airing May 24th.

True Tales Of Induhviduals

Those Induhviduals continue to amaze and amuse.  Here now, some more
reports from DNRC operatives in the field:


When the waiter came to take our order, I asked, "What is the
soup du jour?"   The waiter turned to me and responded very slowly and
clearly, "It's the Soup...OF---THE---DAY."


My sister gave me a 13" TV for my birthday.  She had gotten it for free
when she bought a used console TV for the living room.  The original
owners said they didn't use the 13" TV much because it would shut off
after a while.

After checking out the on-screen menu features, I found there was a
sleep timer set for 90 minutes!

[Editor's tip:  Next time you're visiting the home of Induhviduals, send
them to the kitchen to get you a beer.  (It usually takes two of them to
handle the task.)  While they're gone, set the sleep timer function on
their TV to 30 minutes.  Visit them again in a week and mention you're
in the market for a low-cost television set.]


I was at a stop light, behind a car with a bumper sticker that said
"Honk if you love Jesus."  I honked. The driver leaned out his window,
flipped me the bird, and yelled "Can't you see the light is still red,
you moron?"


I work for a bank.  I applied for a home loan from my employer and have
been waiting for approval for over five weeks.  I found out today that
it has taken this long because my loan officer was unable to get
verification of my employment.


A large steel column next to my cubicle got whacked during the office
renovation and, as a result, a sharp spur stuck out from the side. The
site supervisor came over with a worker, pointed to the pole, and said,
"That's really sharp and could hurt someone.  I want it filed down."
The worker reached out, touched it, and said "Ouch!" just as the
supervisor yelled "Don't touch it!"  When the worker looked at the blood
welling up, the supervisor said, "Wow, that *is* sharp!" and reached out
and touched it.  "Ouch!" he said, stuck his finger in his mouth, and
walked away with the worker.

Five minutes later, the worker came back with an underling.  "That's
what needs to be filed down," he said.  "It's really sharp."  The
underling reached out and touched it.  "Ow!" he yelped & yanked his
finger away.

Fortunately he filed it down right there & then before anyone else could
verify how sharp it was.

[Editor's note:  The worst job in that company is the person who has to
update the sign that says, "No accidents in ___ days."]


A courier came into our office with a bemused look on his face.  He had
been looking for building address number 70, and in his words, "The
street numbers jumped from 69 (next door) to 71 (our building)."  I
suggested, in my most sincere voice, that he might try across the road.


A friend of mine was helping shingle a roof when the air-nailer he was
using went off, driving a nail through the webbing between his thumb and
pointer finger.  Upon arriving at the emergency room, the receiving
nurse took one look at my friend's hand and asked the following
question: "Why didn't you just stop pounding?"

[Editor's note:  While I admit this appears to be an Induhvidual
sighting, I suspect the nurse has had Induhvidual patients who don't
notice they are nailing their own hands until they have trouble leaving
for a smoke break.]


After moving in to our new office space, I was given the job of
completing an Occupational Health & Safety report about the building.  I
discovered that the building had been built with no fire exit!

If a fire starts at the entrance, the only way out would be  to smash
through the manager's office window.  So I put these comments down and
submitted my report to the manager before it got sent to head office.

In all seriousness he added the following comment to the head office
about smashing the window, "Please confirm that this is an acceptable
option by returning your approval."

[Editor's note:  I say it's time to have a fire drill and test the
window option yourself.]


One day at lunch at my high school, one of my friends selected a piece
of pizza and went to pay for it. Apparently, however, it costs more to
get a piece of pizza than it does to get a "meal," which would be a
piece of pizza AND a vegetable.

The cafeteria lady insisted that he had to get a vegetable if he wanted
to pay less. My friend pointed out that there were no vegetables left in
the line at this point, so he couldn't get any. The cafeteria lady
proceeded to make him wait while she went to find some corn, despite his
insistence that he wouldn't eat the corn anyway. After waiting about ten
minutes, he got the corn, paid for his lunch, ate the pizza and threw
the corn away.

[Editor's note:  Young folks will be happy to know that people like the
cafeteria lady have another name in the post-school world.  They're
called "your boss."]


We had a power outage during a thunderstorm. As we peered from our dark
cubicles to the outside world, my director commented that it looked like
power was out for miles, since the office buildings as far as we could
see were also dark.

Our temp admin said, and I quote: "But then why are the cars running?"


During a bout of tornadic weather, a local TV newsperson
standing by a roadside at 5:20 p.m. made the statement that the sky was
growing very dark, indicating that this was a sign of tornadoes
approaching.  Since it was January, it was also a sign that the sun was
going down.


Today I received a series of e-mails outlining the fact that the jackets
we received as a safety award were themselves safety hazards and were
not to be worn inside the plant.

[Editor:  If I ever die in a freak factory accident, I want to be found
wearing a safety award jacket.  People would always remember me for


I was in my company's gift shop when I overheard one of the employees
ask her manager if she could take a break.

"I just want to go smoke a cigarette and get some fresh air."

It is worthy to note that she followed her comment with a nice,
moist-sounding cough.

I wonder if she'll ever complain that whenever she smokes outside, the
air just doesn't seem that fresh.


I recently had a garage sale in which I was selling an old beater of a
motorcycle that wasn't running, for $50.  An Induhvidual negotiated me
down to $30 and I made the sale.  After getting the title notarized, I
was making out the bill of sale when the Individual asks, "Can I get
your phone number too, in case I have any problems with it?"


I am turning in my own mother: She used to think that the letters of the
yogurt chain, TCBY, stood for Thank God It's Yogurt.


At work, a representative for an office supply store was telling us
about their line of glare screens for computer monitors.  We were
planning to buy them for all the computers.  About ten minutes into the
presentation, one of our Induhviduals raised his hand and said, "I
thought we were going to be getting ANTI-glare screens."

I guess he was worried we would get the product that increases the glare
on your screen.


Dilbert Product Information

New at 7-11 stores, the perfect antidote for co-workers with bad breath:
Manage-Mints (tm), Improve-Mints (tm), Accomplish-Mints (tm), and
Perform-Mints (tm). Each collectible tin contains mints in the shapes of
Dilbert, Dogbert, Catbert and The Boss. From RAGOLD, the company that
brings you Velamints (r). For more information, call Ragold at

***Special DNRC-only offer!!!***

Complete your DNRC uniform! From now through May 18th, DNRC members can
get a free DNRC cap with any $35 purchase from The Dilbert Store, or a
free DNRC polo shirt *and* a free cap with a $50 Dilbert Store purchase.
This offer will not be announced in the Dilbert Store. To get it, you
need to follow this DNRC-only link:


For a complete list of available Dilbert products, send e-mail to:

Dilbert_Products@listserv.unitedmedia.com in this format:

Subject Line:  Products
Message:       Products

You won't be put on any additional mailing lists if you do that.  You'll
receive an e-mail listing the licensee for each
Dilbert product, with phone numbers to call if you need
more information.

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Scott Adams

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