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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


American Management Today - Idiots?

A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life Dilbert-comic-strip-type managers. These were voted the top ten quotes from the managers we work for in corporate America, circa 2004:

  • "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, andemployees will receive their cards in two weeks." (This was the winningquote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond WA)
  • "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 usedonly for company business." (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)
  • "This project is so important we can't let things that are more importantinterfere 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've been workingon it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you knowwhen it's time to tell them." (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining andManufacturing/3M Corp.)
  • Quote from the Boss: "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 toldmy Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work onthe busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial toFriday. He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTDFlorists)
  • "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going todiscuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long LinesDivision)


Thanks to Wikipedia -

The Peter Principle is a theory originated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter. It states that successful members of a hierarchical organization are eventually promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to a level at which they are not competent. The term is a pun on Sigmund Freud's theory of the pleasure principle.

The theory was set out in a humorous style in the book The Peter Principle, first published in 1969. Peter describes the theme of his book as hierarchiology. The central principle is stated in the book as follows:

In a Hierarchy Every Employee Tends to Rise to His Level of Incompetence.

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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