Dilbert is my favorite series to vent out my frustration of today’s corporate world and the manner in which it has encroached into our personal life. After a long gap, I got my hands on another Dilbert book “Thriving on Vague Objectives”. The Book
This book is collection of toons specifically dealing with office humor. The general theme of this book is related with projects and the manner in which they are planned. Some of the essences from the book are the Obvious Boss i.e. the boss who likes to state the obvious without adding any value to the team. There are tips from Wally on how to shirk responsibility and survive in today’s world without doing anything.
The book also touches on moral aspects at times where in the focus of the company on profits at the expense of other people are highlighted. Another interesting aspect which the book deals with is the variety of titles given to people which are just for the sake of titles and do not really mean anything in terms of career growth per se.
Dogbert appears at crucial moments to give his fair share of management mantras and coaches both Dilbert and the Pointy Haired boss on the fine art of management. Catbert too appears at moments when employees are too happy to produce a gem that takes the life force out of them. Critic’s Viewpoint
The best thing about “Thriving on Vague Objectives” is that it deals with office humor which has been the strength of the Dilbert series and of Scott Adams. Some of the Dilbert books have wandered outside the office with varying levels of success, but for me the key is Office Humor. The originality of the humor and puns still exist and give you a real laugh as you go through the book.
Some of my favorite sequences in the book are:
1) Dogbert’s seminar on Anger Mgmt.
2) Catbert’s Employee Satisfaction Survey
3) Project post mortem by the Pointy Haired Boss
4) Wally Reflector scheme
5) Performance appraisal strips
The key to this book is the fact that all the favorite characters appear in this book and have been given good sequences. Dogbert, Catbert, Dilbert, Wally, Alice, Carol, Asok and even Ratbert are around to throw some of the so called best management ideas out of the window.
The one aspect that could have been improved in this book is that some of the strips seem a bit repetitive. If these could be pruned out the book would become excellent. Summary
I just loved reading this book and would rate it a high 4 star rating. We need more such stress relievers from Scott Adams in today’s depressed world. About Scott Adams
Scott Adams has done an MBA from UC Berkley. He started using Dilbert strips during presentations and found them to be a success. He then went on to syndicate the Dilbert strips in 1989. Today, Dilbert is syndicated in around 1400 publications world-wide making it one of the most syndicated strips of all time.
He decided to organize his strips into a book and came up with his first book The Dilbert Principle which was a bestseller in both US and UK. Dogbert's Management Handbook is his second book.
Dilbert strips are also a big merchandising success with Dilbert merchadise being one of the most sought after by the poor stressed out employees of today. (Taken from my review published earlier at: