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Friday, May 7, 2021

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The Lighter Side

The Lighter Side of Engineering: Dilbertisms

A while back, a magazine ran a Dilbert quotes contest asking for real internal-company quotes that, we think, shed some light on what is meant by the workplace maxim we've all come to know as an absolute truth: "Dilbert is a documentary."

These were some of the replies:

  • "What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter." (Shipping firm)

  • "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. 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, multinational manufacturing conglomerate corporation)

  • "One day my boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, 'If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!'" (New business manager, greeting-card manufacturer)

  • "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)

  • "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks." (Computer technology corporation)

Here are some Dilbertisms from Dilbert-creator Scott Adams himself:

  • "Engineers like to solve problems. If there are no problems handily available, they will create their own problems."

  • "An optimist is simply a pessimist with no job experience."

  • "Accept that some days you are the pigeon and some days the statue."

  • "Technical people respond to questions in three ways: It is technically impossible (meaning: I don't feel like doing it); it depends (meaning: abandon all hope of a useful answer); the data bits are flexed through a collectimizer which strips the flow-gate arrays into virtual message elements (meaning: I don't know)."

  • "Change is good. You go first."