Archive for the ‘Dilbert’ Category

Dilbert (7/6/10)

July 6, 2010

A few weeks ago, I sat down to write my first novel. I started with an idea, developed an outline, typed up a few paragraphs, and then stopped dead in my tracks. I was stuck. Then it hit me: it’s been years since I’ve read a novel. It’s not that I don’t read, but rather that my reading is confined to newspapers, magazines, and blogs (and collections of comic strips, of course). The last time I picked up a book was on my honeymoon in March. The last time before that? I honestly can’t remember. So the next time I’m tempted to browse the web, maybe I’ll take a peek at my bookshelf instead and page through one of the unread tomes that sits there, collecting dust.

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Dilbert (6/22/10)

June 22, 2010

I think of myself as “a man who likes to cook,” primarily because I’m “a man who likes to eat.” When I was in my late teens I found myself in a precarious situation. My grandmother left town for a few months to help care for my newborn cousins, my mother spent her hours studying for a degree, and my father learned to subsist on Ramen noodle soup. The situation only lasted a month or two, but that was long enough for me to learn the basics of cooking and realize that I liked preparing meals for myself. Today, I’ve graduated to complex rice recipes and ambitious seasoning (and, of course, barbecue). I try to make a new dish at least once a week, which pleases my wife and, more importantly, fills our bellies with good food.

Dilbert (5/27/10)

May 27, 2010

I’m sure career counselors are full of helpful hints when it comes to explaining missing recommendations, but I’m equally sure their suggestions are useless when it comes to real-life job interviews. Try telling your prospective boss that your old boss “hated you” and see how far it gets you. Not very far, I’m guessing. Then again, if you tell your prospective employer that your previous employer taunted you by calling you a loser while you stood in his office with a box full of your personal belongings, your missing reference might become a non-issue. Then again, in this job market…

Dilbert (4/11/10)

April 11, 2010

This week, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission began a series of public hearings,  giving Congress the opportunity to question some of the most powerful people in American finance regarding their roles in the economic collapse of 2008. And what did these heads of large banks and government institutions have to say for themselves? Mistakes were made. Most of them by other people. I’m not confident these hearings will lead to meaningful changes in how Wall Street does business, primarily because bankers (and lawmakers, for that matter) seem to have become experts in “using the law to keep justice away.” It’s enough to make me feel sick.

Dilbert (1/20/10)

January 20, 2010

E-mail is not exactly cutting-edge technology, but the etiquette surrounding e-mail exchanges has been surprisingly slow to develop. Things can get particularly dicey in a business setting. While a quick note to the boss may not qualify as “business communication,” it does need to conform to basic standards of grammar and usage. And while there’s no need to include a formal header, that doesn’t mean emoticons, multiple exclamation points, or animated gifs are acceptable. And the “triple threat” of bold, underlining, and italics? That’s not even an option.

Dilbert (11/17/09)

November 17, 2009

While it’s hard for me to imagine a world without Google News, I also find browsing its relentless supply of headlines and summaries to be a draining experience. That’s why I subscribe to two daily newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times. The first paper makes for ideal lunchtime reading, while the second paper is ideal for the morning train ride. Sure, I browse the headlines, but I also read entire articles, which doesn’t happen when I’m reading bits and blurbs from newspapers across the world. Do my reading habits make me old-fashioned? Maybe they do. After all, I do own a fair number of vinyl records.

Dilbert (11/11/09)

November 11, 2009

11-11-09 (Dilbert)

I’m not much for generational warfare, so it seems to me that a lot of the negativity directed at baby boomers is misplaced. And I say this even after sitting through endless prescription drug commercials showing people in their fifties and sixties cavorting around beaches and pretending to be twenty-one, as if there is some kind of horrible shame in aging. Boomers represent the biggest single slice of the U.S. population, but they do not exercise absolute authority and therefore can’t be held responsible for every societal ill. Has the baby boom generation made mistakes? Sure they have, but no more so than the generations that authorized Jim Crow or tore up treaties with Native American tribes. Every era has its successes and failures and even though boomers have screwed up royally at times, they have also notched some major accomplishments.