Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC) - Dilbert #4
Date: Tue, 31 Jan 95 12:04:52 PST
From: Peter Langston <psl>
Subject: Dogbert's New Ruling Class (DNRC) - Dilbert #4
Excerpted-from: Dilbert Newsletter 4.0
Forwarded-by: bostic@CS.Berkeley.EDU (Keith Bostic)
Forwarded-by: Herb Peyerl <email@example.com>
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Adams)
DNRC Status Report
BUHWAHAHAHA!!! <---- maniacal laugh
We're making excellent progress toward our goal of becoming the New
Ruling Class when Dogbert conquers the world and makes everybody else
our servants. The DNRC has over 14,000 members already.
When we get about 50,000 members we can start bullying politicians
into passing laws that benefit us at the cost of others.
For example, I support a law that would tax readers of Family Circus
and give the money to DNRC members.
I think we could argue that it stimulates the economy since we would
be inclined to go out and blow any extra money we got, whereas Family
Circus readers would just squirrel it away in a mattress in the attic
until rats ate it.
"What's that Devil Guy Holding?"
In a recent series, Dilbert was being tempted to the "dark side" to
become a manager instead of an engineer. A devilish character
appeared behind Dilbert's couch holding an object that readers
couldn't identify. I was bombarded with mail from people asking what
the object was.
It was a big spoon. Here's the... uh... scoop.
The character isn't Satan; he's "Phil from Heck" -- a character that
appears occasionally to handle the situations that aren't serious
enough for Hell.
Phil was created the first year of the strip. Originally he was
conceived as Satan, but my editor thought that might cause problems
with readers. So instead of the Lord of Darkness I ended up rewriting
the character to be Phil from Heck, the Prince of Insufficient Light.
It seemed right that he should have a big spoon instead of a scary
Now if you haven't tried to draw a giant spoon lately, let me tell you
it's pretty hard, especially for me, since many of my characters
already look like giant utensils.
Dilbert Screen Saver Award Nomination
The Dilbert Screen Saver from Delrina has been nominated for a
Software Publisher's Award in the Business Utilities category.
We're up against a bunch of relatively useless products that do things
like restoring lost files. (Bo-o-o-ring!!) Actually, I don't know
what most of the other products do but I hate them just the same.
If your company is a member of the Software Publishers Association
(SPA) you have a vote. Please hunt down the person at your company
who votes and promise them a guest pass to the DNRC (good through
July) if they will vote for the Dilbert Screen Saver.
Or, if it's not too much to ask, you could stage a hunger strike.
(I'd do it for you.)
Catbert will return for a guest appearance as the Human Resources
director at Dilbert's company. He's perfect for the job -- he looks
harmless and cute and he doesn't care if you live or die.
Annoying Index Results
In my last newsletter I asked people to vote for their top three
annoying business practices. Nearly 1,500 people voted.
The results will surprise nobody in the DNRC: the winning irritant was
"Idiots promoted to management" followed closely by "Being forced to
work with idiots".
- Idiots promoted to management 924
- Being forced to work with idiots 638
- Empowerment 428
- Micromanagement 390
- Status Reporting 353
- Performance Reviews 330
- Reengineering 285
- Quality 270
- Overtime without pay 262
- Lack of training 142
- Ordering Supplies 112
- Hoteling 60
Total votes 4,194
The Associated Press picked up the story and it got reprinted in major
newspapers all over the country. CNN reported it several times on
Prime Time News.
Dozens of reporters and radio shows called me to ask for my opinion on
how to deal with the idiot infestation problem. I fed them a bunch of
crap about the importance of training. But I'll tell you my real
I think the only solution to the idiot problem is to have specially
trained German Shepherd dogs who identify idiots and separate them
from the rest of the people in meetings.
For example, when the idiot comes to the meeting 15 minutes late and
insists on revisiting the first agenda item the dog will burst into
the room and sink its teeth into the idiot's donut-fattened thigh and
drag him into the hallway. This may seem cruel, but the dogs will get
used to it.
But suppose you have no budget for trained dogs. What then? The
answer is to assign all of the idiots to a new project that requires
lots of meetings and has no vital business purpose.
You could call it something like "The Quality Competitiveness Task
Force" to conceal your treachery. Wait nine months (a respectable
time) then eliminate the project and its staff without having to
address the question of their individual shortcomings.
Dogbert Answers My Irritating Mail
In this section, Dogbert answers frequently asked questions which I am
too polite to answer myself.
Dear Mister Adams:
I sent a suggestion that you should do a comic on the subject of
"work". If you use my idea, can you send me the original art?
Unlike some lazy cartoonists who draw one original cartoon per day and
then reproduce it, Mister Adams draws an original cartoon directly
onto every single copy of every newspaper. You can simply clip your
original Dilbert art out of the newspaper.
Dear Mister Adams:
I'm an accountant who likes to draw cartoons. I've developed a
cartoon called "Larry the Dust Mite". My friends think it's funny.
Could you drop whatever you're doing and answer all of my questions
about cartooning so that I can become a syndicated cartoonist and bump
you out of newspapers? I'd really appreciate it. Oh, by the way, I
love your comic strip Gilbert.
It makes good sense to abandon accounting and try to become a
syndicated cartoonist, despite what you've heard about the odds being
10,000 to 1 against you.
The trick is to get yourself "discovered" by an editor from an
important cartoon syndicate. To do this, you must set yourself apart
from the thousands of would-be cartoonists who simply mail photocopies
of their work to syndicate editors. You must do something different,
I recommend plastic surgery to make yourself look like a Klingon from
Star Trek. (Makeup won't fool anybody. You need the surgery.) Then
travel to the headquarters of a major comic syndicate, dress yourself
in putrid street-person clothes, douse yourself with gin and lay on
the sidewalk just outside their lobby. When anybody walks by who
could be an editor, leap up and yell "SPARE CHANGE?!!"
Then you'll all have a good laugh, talking about the Klingon surgery
and how you talked the street-person out of his clothes and all that.
Your sense of humor will be evident. You will form a lifelong bond
with the editor and you will be on your way to fame and fortune.
(P.S. Try King Features first)
(P.P.S. Lazy persons can try subscribing to Cartoonist Profiles at
P.O. Box 325, Fairfield, CT 06430 at $25 per year. It has good tips
for beginning cartoonists.)
Dear Mister Adams:
My friend Raquel wrote an e-mail to you and got a personal response.
But when I wrote I got what appears to be an impersonal form letter.
What's the story?
Thank you for your letter. Your comments are always appreciated.
Have a nice day.
Problems Getting on the Dilbert List
Many people reported problems getting on the Dilbert mailing list.
Some couldn't sign up automatically. Others didn't receive Newsletter
V3.0 and wondered if they had been excommunicated.
The lesson: Being on the Dilbert list is neither a right nor a
privilege; apparently it's luck. I don't know what the heck is going
on. I referred the problems to my customer service organization but
they just continued to lay in sun spots on my rug and lick their fur.
Two Dilbert readers have been elevated to sainthood in the DNRC for
service above and beyond the call of nature.
John McDonald earns the title of "Saint John of Cod" for pestering the
Cape Cod Times to reinstate Dilbert after inexplicably dropping it.
Many others also complained, but they didn't write to tell me about
David Hershberger earns the title of "Saint David of Grass Valley" for
organizing a grass roots signature campaign to successfully get
Dilbert into the Grass Valley Times (it was front page news in Grass
Valley -- and David was interviewed by the New York Times about it.)
Sainthood in the DNRC comes with some special privileges:
1. The right to wear a really big hat
2. The right to relieve yourself in the parking lot of
3. The right to call any non-Saint "Big Guy", as in
"How's it goin' Big Guy?"
I got thousands of requests for titles in the DNRC. All have been
accepted and sealed in my vault. The most commonly requested title
was "Minister of Redundancy Minister" (about 200 people requested some
variant of that -- no kidding). But you can't have too many of those,
so you're all in.
New Dilbert Book in the Works
Dilbert book number five is due later this spring (April or May I
"Bring Me the Head of Willy the Mailboy" -- a compilation covering
10/5/90 through 5/18/91. From Andrews & McMeel.
Sending Ideas for Dilbert
Most of my ideas for the strip come from e-mail. (Thanks to all of
you who took the time.)
Remember, the best suggestions are theme ideas, not dialog or "gags".
I'll do the humor part. I'm most inspired by true stories of idiotic
management and clueless business practices.
Send them to me, not a reply to the newsletter address. I'm at
***************** General Dilbert Facts *******************
The cartoon strip Dilbert began in 1989. It now appears in 400 papers
in 10 countries. The author (that would be me) receives up to 100
e-mail messages per day.
Despite what you've heard, I don't work at your company (unless your
company is Pacific Bell, where I work in the ISDN lab).
I read all of my e-mail personally. But obviously I've automated many
responses. If you get a canned response it just means my fingers are
I love you, really.
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© 1995 Peter Langston