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The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-Workers.by Scott Adams
Synopses & Reviews
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:
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 the discomforts thatmake regular employees more productive are exactly the kinds of things that make senior executives less productive. No one knows why.
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 ofthe 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 Unhappy Result
Downsizing Stock goes up
Reduced benefits Stock goes up
Unpaid overtime Stock goes up
Doubling the workload Stock 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
c Something about supply and demand
c Boredom 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.
‘I cried because I did not have an office with a door, until I met a man who had no cubicle. Dilbert
A message from Scott Adams:
I think the next wave of office design will focus on eliminating the only remaining obstacle to office productivity: your happiness. Happiness isnt a physical thing, like walls and doors. But its closely related. Managers know that if they can eliminate all traces of happiness, the employees wont be so picky about their physical surroundings. Once youre hopelessly unhappy, you wont 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 wasnt 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 realised that no one knows I furnished my house with street signs and park benches. So I interpreted the ‘give something 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 humour 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, thats why.
Office Prank #44: Sounds That Drive Co-workers Crazy. You can produce sounds in the office that will drive your co-workers insane. That can be very entertaining. Every co-worker is different, so you might have to experiment to find the sounds that are most annoying to your cubicle neighbour. Its worth the effort.
Office Prank #44: Sounds That Drive Co-workers Crazy
If you work for a company that is sucking the life force out of your body, you have to options for getting your life back while continuing to collect your pay. Full of tips for discovering workplace joy at the expense of co-workers, stockholders, and civilization in general, Scott Adams' new book is a blueprint for rediscovering your soul at the office.
About 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.
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