lack the knowledge to perform these tasks in your job description." And the employee replies, "Not really. As a matter of fact, I'm a recognized expert in my own field." And then the manager says, "But you admit there are things you should know that you do not know." And the employee says, "Yes, I know what's going on here!" And the manager says, "I see you have a communication problem, too. Have you considered counseling? The company has a program." This is an obvious exaggeration, but it reminds one of the way people should and should not be treated. And that's what I think Dilbert is there for.
Carol: Do you find that Dilbert is more true than some fiction? That it really, truly depicts sometimes the very environment that you walk into.
Mauricio: Oh yeah, because Dilbert is like a symbol. And then you'll have many characteristics that you won't find together in real life, but every one of them will be found sometime somewhere, so Dilbert is like a pattern that you can use to identify the situations you're in and remember not to act like the pointed-hair boss.
Carol: Right. Do you think that managers today are really that stupid? Do you think that managers really lack the knowledge that… Are there really managers that are as bad as the pointy-haired boss in Dilbert?
Mauricio: Well, sometimes you'll find somebody who will step beyond the boundaries, you know, and fall into one of those patterns. And then you remember the pointed-hair boss. But Dilbert is useful, because if you are that manager, and if you step over the line, you may remember the Dilbert story and say, "My God. I'm the pointed-hair boss now. I don't want to let that happen!"
Carol: And do you think that happens? Do you think that bosses recognize themselves?
Mauricio: Well, some will, some will not. And I think that's the road to improvement. If you recognize when you're the pointed-hair boss, you'll be able to change it. Some will, and some won't, but they will later, maybe.
Carol: It's interesting, when you look at the cast of characters. There's the Ratbert, and there's Dogbert, and there's Dilbert, and the pointy-haired boss, and the secretary with the triangular hair. And it seems like… And the other one, I can't remember his name, the one with glasses and the mouse-looking head, or mole-looking head. What's…
Mauricio: Oh, you've escaped my mind. I know who you are talking about.
Carol: It seems to be very interesting, the whole pattern out of which Scott Adams emerged. And for him to have gained that kind of notoriety, the fact that his cartoons are in everyone's office. Every time you walk through an office, and sometimes I think it even goes beyond pure IT. It's interesting to me that everyone can recall exactly the same cartoons a lot of times. I can remember the ones on casual day, when the secretary would actually walk in with very little on, or Dilbert actually, I think completely removed his shirt at one point. And so, you know, has casual day gone too far?
Mauricio: Yeah, well you know, Scott Adams worked for 17 years in a cubicle, in an IT organization. So he had time to learn the way these things happen, and to learn how to turn all these experiences into the cartoons. I think that's why Dilbert's so successful, because it comes from experience, from actual experience.
Carol: Right. And I think it's very interesting. I think that… Would you say that the people who