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Work/Life: Did You Hear About The Guy Who Got Fired Over a Dilbert Cartoon?

 

 

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  • As the creator of a comic strip character myself, I have, insome very early blog postings, poked a little fun at Scott Adams, creator ofDilbert.  Well, those days areover.  As some of you may know,Adams has been bravely running a series of strips in response to one of his ownjokes being responsible for getting some poor guy fired.
  • David Steward, an employee of the Catfish Casino in DesMoines, Iowa for the past seven years, posted a Dilbert cartoon in the officepoking fun at management.  Thepunch line that got him fired was “why does it seem as if most of the decisionsin my workplace are made by a bunch of drunken lemurs?”  In a testimony over Steward’s claim fordamages, his human resources director claimed that Steward was ostensiblycalling his management team drunken lemurs, and that such an insult isconsidered misconduct.  Steward told ABC News that, basically, folks “need to have a sense ofhumor.” 
  • Amen to that.  Man, if I had a nickel for every time a client called me adrunken lemur, I could retire. Come to think of it, if I had a nickel for every time a client called mea toxic manatee, I could also retire. If I had, say, a dollar for every time a head of personnel called me aninflamed coatimundi, I would at the very least be able to take a couple ofyears off. 
  • I’m not usually a fan of the phrase “lighten up.”  I’ve often found it is said by peoplewho are afraid of being confronted with a serious thought.  However, in this case, the phraseapplies.  My goodness, thePresident of the United States, in any administration, is lampooned on a dailybasis by Leno, Letterman, Saturday Night Live and the rest.  If the leader of the free world has tosuck it up when people express a little satire, then management at anestablishment in Iowa can suck it up, too.   Besides, they have painted themselves into an ethicalcorner: really, they have to go after Scott Adams now, as he is making fun ofthem on a larger scale than their employee ever could have.  But, that would only fan the no-senseof humor flames.  Adams, for hispart, does advise the rest of us to stick with Garfield at work, saying no oneever got fired over loving lasagna.
  • In the meantime, perhaps someone out therecould tell me why my daughter thinks our house is run by a couple of cluelessocelots?