The Dilbert Principle in practice

My favorite cartoon when I had a staff of my own

the dilbert principleI never worked in the States (I am Dutch), but my Dad worked at a Holland-based American factory, so during my high school era all my holiday jobs were in the office of that factory. They had adjusted to the Dutch way and had what we call an office garden. Not meaning it was green, but that the department was an open space and had no cubicles at all. Those weeks are my only office experience as an employee, because after my education I first became a teacher and after that a solo entrepreneur.

At some point I had the intention of growing my company and hired a fellow graphic designer. And another one. Even a third one. It goes without saying that at some point I needed administrative support and that was the moment a colleague entrepreneur deemed it necessary to give me “The Dilbert Principle” accompanied by the remark, “I wish you a lot of personnel.” (This is a Jewish and Arab proverb that actually does not bode well).

My fellow workers and I had a lot of fun reading and discussing the Dilbert comics.

My father got ill and I neglected my business for quite some time, resulting in being a solo entrepreneur without a staff once again after a couple of years and Dilbert faded into the background.

Until my friend told me a story: She wants to be a qualified geriatric nurse and has to work 400 hours as a trainee in a geriatric home. She will get her degree as soon as she has done this internship, but nobody will hire her because she has no degree.

All I could think was: Ahh, the Dilbert Principle is still alive!

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