“Big Bad Business” is Such An Easy Target

by Michael Haberman on June 2, 2009 · 0 comments

It is easy to vilify employers for the way they treat employees. Everyone does it. The press. Unions. Comedians. Comic strips, such as Dilbert. Just the other day the headline blares out “Teacher Battling Leukemia Gets Fired.” The reaction is “outrageous, how can they be so heartless! They even called her in the hospital!” Of course when you read the story you find that this is a general reduction in force, with many others being let go as well. And she knew about it and was expecting it. She had hoped it would not happen, but she was not surprised when it did. And they did call her in the hospital because that is where she happened to be. How else where they supposed to inform her? We would like to think they could have made a special case for her, but how do you distinguish her special need from someone elses? You can’t. So businesses and other organizations have to make their decisions based upon what is best for the greater good.

I know lots of companies that do alot of good for their employees. Some that even go overboard in trying to help people. So it rankles me when employers are made out to be the “devil in disguise.” There are far more examples of good works than of the bad things that are done.

A closing statement about Dilbert, a favorite of mine. I enjoy the strip and I chuckle but occasionally I get pissed at Dilbert. If the company he works for, and his boss, are so bad why doesn’t he quit and find another job! He does help people dwell on their “victim mentality” and may even enable them to continue to be miserable. To my way of thinking Dilbert’s dilemma is of his own making. (But that doesn’t make the strip any less funny.)

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Wally Bock June 2, 2009 at 2:49 pm

I had the pleasure of meeting Scott Adams when he still worked for Pacific Bell. In the beginning his strip ideas came from his own experiences. That was soon replaced by the things people sent him. What you see in the strip is, effectively, the awful experiences of office workers from all over.


Michael D. Haberman, SPHR June 2, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Yes, I knew that about Dilbert. Scott Adams actually has a great job now! And actually Dilbert did leave the company at one point only to return to his misery.


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