I think the reason these are so funny, is that we can all relate to them. We know that this kind of communication is rampant in our workplaces. So, how do we contribute to this kind of communication? How do we avoid being a “Dilbert Communicator”?
Quotes from real-life Dilbert-type managers in corporate America.
What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter.
Lykes Lines Shipping
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
This project is so important we can’t let things that are more important interfere with it.
Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service
Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.
Plant Manager, Delco Corporation
No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We need to have 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, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.
Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say.
Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation
My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to 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.”
Shipping executive, FTD Florists
We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.
Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division
And the winner:
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.
Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Although a winner was chosen, my personal favorite is the one about teamwork. Which one is yours?
Betty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home.
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