If there is someone in America who has profited more from corporate downsizing than Scott Adams, he might still read “Dilbert” for tips. Adams has stretched his comic strip into an empire that includes mousepads, desk calendars, and—for those who take work home with them—plush toys. The penciled profit center speaks to a modern truth: Business fads may come and go, but satires of business fads are perennial.
What does Adams do when he’s not playing buzzword bingo or plotting the machinations of evil Catbert from human resources? The man who has helped elevate management theory from a bad joke to a good one finds time in his schedule for a little bit of everything.
BOOKS Here’s what he had to say about The Bible Code, by Michael Drosnin (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1997): “Here’s an author who has either perpetrated one of the great hoaxes of all time, or he has told us of the most amazing discovery of humanity—that there’s a hidden code in the Bible that could only have been put there by an advanced intelligence. Either way, you gotta love it.”
MUSIC “I’ve been listening to a lot of Kate Bush and Jewel lately (The Whole Story/Atlantic; Pieces of You/EMI). With earphones, it’s like having twins whispering in each ear. I like that. And when I’m done with them I can put them in a drawer next to the bed and get some sleep.”
FILM “I haven’t liked many movies this year. One exception is Jodie Foster’s Contact (Warner Brothers, 1997). It’s great, especially the final scene where you find out the alien transportation device is really a trash compactor.”
WEB “I spend a lot of time on the Web, but mostly doing boring things like paying bills. I call these activities ‘online errands.’ Every time I find a new errand I can do on the Web, I have one less reason to wear clothes during the workday—I work at home, I hasten to add.”