Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers

Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers

by Scott Adams

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Cartoonist Scott Adams returns with a comical treatise on dealing with corporate America's egomaniacal bosses, stupid coworkers, life-sucking drudgery, and the growing scourge of cubicle flatulence. Learn to use your creativity to succeed in the workplace—Dilbert style. See more details below


Cartoonist Scott Adams returns with a comical treatise on dealing with corporate America's egomaniacal bosses, stupid coworkers, life-sucking drudgery, and the growing scourge of cubicle flatulence. Learn to use your creativity to succeed in the workplace—Dilbert style.

Editorial Reviews

It's cute and clever.
Business Week
Daneet Steffens
Adams is no slouch, but his repetitive groove. . .is starting to wear a little thin.
Entertainment Weekly
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Dilbert devotees should enjoy Adams's compendium of advice on office life, subterfuge and pranks. Take his grid that identifies boss types along the axes of capable/incompetent and harmless/evil: with a boss who is both capable and harmless, be sure to delegate upward. Other handy tips: don't return phone calls (if you do, you'll seem accessible and underworked); present overly complicated diagrams with made-up letters (explain when asked: "Some ideas are too big for the alphabet"). Loyal readers have contributed some Adams's suggested office pranks, as well as choice bits like the coinage of the term "multishirking," or doing two nonwork activities at once. Sure, some bits are too silly to be funny (start a phone-sex biz from your cubicle?), and others could use some Dave Barry-style zing. But this book shines with Adams's real advice on creating humor and his hilarious tale of appearing as an expert consultant (aka Mebert) who convinced his clients to put their mission statement to music. As usual, this fourth Dilbert book--timed to arrive with the UPN animated series this fall--is punctuated throughout by hilarious and apropos Dilbert strips. Author tour. (Oct.)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 8.12(h) x 0.99(d)

Meet the Author

Scott Adams is the creator of Dilbert, the comic strip that now appears in 1,550 newspapers worldwide. His first two hardcover business books, The Dilbert Principle and Dogbert's Top Secret Management Handbook, have sold more than two million copies and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for a combined total of sixty weeks.

Brief Biography

Danville, California
Date of Birth:
June 8, 1957
Place of Birth:
Catskill, New York
B.A., Hartwick College, 1979; M.B.A., University of California, Berkeley, 1986

Read an Excerpt

I cried because I did not have an office with a door, until I met a man who had no cubicle.

Maybe you've heard of something called the "open plan" office design. It's getting a lot of attention lately. Under the open plan, employees have no offices or cubicles, just desks in a large open area. Storage areas are virtually eliminated. This is not a good trend.
After your boss has taken away your door, your walls, and your storage areas, there aren't many options left for the next revolution in office design. One of the following things is likely to go next:
The floor
The ceiling
Your happiness

I think the floor will stay, but only because your company would have to dig a huge hole all the way to the other side of the earth to get rid of it. As you can imagine, a huge hole through the earth would represent a serious threat to office productivity. Depending on your global location, the other side of the world might have hordes of refugees who would run through the hole, take one look at your office, scream in horror, and run back home. It's hard enough to concentrate while your co-workers are yammering, but if you add hordes of screaming refugees coming out of a hole, things would only get worse. And don't get me started about the problems with molten lava, or the fact that if you puncture the earth, all the gravity would escape.
Your company won't remove your ceiling. You need the ceiling to keep the people who are on higher floors from falling on your head. The only exception is the people on the top floor of your building, i.e., the ones who ordered your cubicle to be taken away. They'll keep their ceilings too, because all of thediscomforts that make regular employees more productive are exactly the kinds of things that make senior executives less productive. No one knows why.
I think the next wave of office design will focus on eliminating the only remaining obstacle to office productivity: your happiness. Happiness isn't a physical thing, like walls and doors. But it's closely related. Managers know that if they can eliminate all traces of happiness, the employees won't be so picky about their physical surroundings. Once you're hopelessly unhappy, you won't bother to complain if your boss rolls you up in a tight ball and crams you into a cardboard box.
As soon as I noticed this disturbing threat to workplace happiness, I did some investigative work and discovered it wasn't confined to the issue of office design. Companies were making a direct frontal assault on employee happiness in every possible way! I knew there was only one thing that could stop the horror.
It was time for another Dilbert book.
It might sound corny, but I felt an obligation to society. People told me it was time for me to "give something back to the community." This scared me until I realized that no one knows I furnished my house with street signs and park benches. So I interpreted the "give back to the community" message as a plea for me to write this book and then charge the community to read it.
In the first part of this book I will tell you how to find happiness at the expense of your co-workers, managers, customers, and--best of all--those lazy stockholders. The second part of the book teaches you my top-secret methods for mining humor out of ordinary situations, thus making it easier to mock the people around you. The third part of the book is made entirely of invisible pages. If the book seems heavier than it looks, that's why.
c Happiness Creates Money
In recent years, large companies revived an economic theory that had been out of fashion for hundreds of years. It goes something like this:
Economic Theory of the Nineties
Anything that makes employees unhappy makes the stock price go up.
Economics is a murky field, so when you find something that's easy to understand, you tend to latch on to it. You couldn't fault managers for reaching the conclusion that employee happiness and stock prices are inversely related. The evidence was impossible to ignore.

Things That Make
Employees UnhappyResult
DownsizingStock goes up
Reduced benefitsStock goes up
Unpaid overtimeStock goes up
Doubling the workloadStock goes up
The old saying about capitalism was, "A rising tide lifts all boats." If you own a boat, that's an inspirational thought. But if you work in a cubicle, rising water means one of your brilliant co-workers tried to flush the company newsletter down the toilet. Obviously, one theory does not fit all people. The economic theory that is good for stockholders is not necessarily the exact same one that is good for employees. You need your own economic theory--one that puts value on the things that matter most to you: happiness and money.
I'm highly qualified to create this new theory of economics for employees because I'm more than just a comic strip writer. I was an actual economics major in college. I didn't master every little nuance about economics, but I did get a good grasp of the major concepts, which I will summarize here so you don't need to become educated:
Everything I Learned from Economics Classes
cSomething about supply and demand
cBoredom can't kill you, but you might wish it could
Those economic insights won't solve all of your problems right away, but it's a strong foundation upon which we can build.

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