Dating a dilbert Nudeteenager

And there's no confidence that good work alone will reap rewards: when asked what gets someone promoted, people were equally divided between how good a job one does and how politically connected one is.

What the survey does not show is the suppressed rage of workers who tolerate abuses and absurdities in a marketplace leaned-and-meaned to Wall Street's specifications.

A NEWSWEEK Poll conducted this summer indicated an impressive majority--87 percent--considered their workplace a "pleasant environment."So why is everyone reading "Dilbert" and saying, "Hey, that's my job"?

Scott Adams has a theory: "if you're in an absurd situation and you're not changing it, then you define it as being OK," he says.

The title character is a nerdy loser toiling in a constricting cubicle. His dog, the potato-shaped Dogbert, is a cheerful yet ruthless consultant, whose not-terribly secret goal is to rule the world and enslave all humans.

Catbert is a human-resources director who before distributing pink slips toys with employees as if the), were balls of yarn.

You devour the strip daily in one of the 1,100 newspapers that run it, you purchase the "Dilbert" books that have assaulted the best-seller charts ("The Dilbert Principle" has topped The New York Times list), and your mouseclicks may well contribute to the 1.5 million hits that The Dilbert Zone Web site accumulates daily.

Here is a sampling of phenomena where the comic strip is uncomfortably close to real life: A former cubicle dweller himself, Scott Adams has made Dilbert's dinky domain a prime symbol of workplace humiliation.a mouthless engineer with a perpetually bent necktie: the bedrock truth of the American least in the white-collar corporate caverns where clerks, engineers, marketers and salespeople dwell, is not to be found in the heaving stacks of business books in the local Barnes & Noble, nor in the neatly bound reports of the Mc Kinsevs and other management-consulting firms.As Adams put it, "The most ineffective workers are systematically moved to the place where they can do the least damage: management." Of course, this creates maximum damage, as their idiocy permeates corporate fife."lt seems as if we've turned nature's rules upside down," Adams writes.

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