A magazine recently ran a “Dilbert quotes” contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real life Dilbert-type managers. Here are some of the submissions:
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1. 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. (This was the winning quote from Charles Hurst at Sun Microsystems).
2. Speaking the Same Language: As director of communications I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company’s training programs and materials. In the body of the memo one of the sentences mentioned the “pedagogical approach” used by one of the training manuals. The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR director’s office, and told that the executive vice-president wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn’t stand for “perverts” working in her company. Finally he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired – and the word “pedagogical” circled in red. The HR manager was fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his dictionary, and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it. Two days later a memo to the entire staff came out-directing us that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday newspaper could be used in company memos. A month later I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper.
3. What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter.
4. How long is this Beta guy going to keep testing our stuff?
5. E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business.
6. Turnover is good for the company, as it proves that we are doing a good job in training people.
7. This project is so important, we can’t let things that are more important interfere with it.
8. 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 months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I’ll let you know when it’s time to tell them.
9. My Boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her was damaged and she couldn’t edit it. The disk I gave her was write-protected.
10. Quote from a recent interview: “You are a top flight candidate and I see that you have a lot of education. However, you understand, that intelligence is not really required for this job.”
11. Quote from the Boss: “Teamwork is a lot of people doing what ‘I’ say.”
12. My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday, which meant I would miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, “That would be better for me.”
13. “We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.”
14. A group of us got together concerning the lack of merit increases this year (even though management got theirs). We made up a bumper sticker and stuck it on the Boss’s new Lexus. It reads, “How’s my managing? Call 1-800-NO-CLUE!”
15. We recently received a memo from senior management saying: “This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the subject mentioned above.”
16. 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!”
17. I worked for a Boss who sent a memo to his assistant to investigate the possibility of canceling the fire insurance and buying a used firetruck for the employees to man.
18. Stick With Me: Our consulting group received a new manager. She recently had received control over another business line as well, which gave her a sense of power and grandeur. In the very first meeting with her she told the group “Stick with me! I am building an empire at this company, and I am going to need little people like you to be Kings and Queens!”
19. I am not making this up. This gem is the closing paragraph of a nationally circulated memo from a large communications company: “(Company name) is endeavorily determined to promote constant attention on current procedures of transacting business focusing emphasis on innovative ways to better, if not supersede, the expectations of quality!”