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Outburst 20: An Interview with Scott Adams: About the World of Dilbert

Scott Adams is the author of numerous books, which most recently include The Dilbert Principle, The Dilbert Future, and his latest and greatest endeavor, The Way of the Weasel. The Way of the Weasel obviously reflects on the latest scams and bogus idiocies coming from the likes of Enron and other much maligned and esoteric organizations.

Adams is currently the Ebenezer Scrooge Professor of Business at Berkeley California and also writes comic strips for a lot of newspapers around the country and in inner Siberia, where he is regarded as a God. In this interview, he attempts to address (and clarify!) the issues that are plaguing America, and ultimately the World. He reflects on the influence Dilbert, Wally and Asok have had on business and middle management and attempts to repudiate the much-maligned law of gravity. He eschews facetiousness and relies instead on inner logic as well as the enablement and co-dependency of his readers. Using the Internet, he has converted millions of people to his own personal philosophy and his own mission statement. He has enabled workers around the world to rethink the Communist Manifesto and cope with their Annual Performance Reviews, as well as their bosses and co-workers, who do not always work. Scathingly attired, this raconteur has been reminiscing about the cancellation of Baywatch as well as pondering the demise of the Dave Clark Five. He has deliberately kept the interview short for several reasons:

1. Most people are short and not tall.
2. Attention deficit disorder is sweeping the nation.

Michael Shaughnessy (MS): What are you currently writing or working on?

Scott Adams(SA): Pimping my latest book, Dilbert and the Way of the Weasel. And napping.

MS: I guess everyone asks where you get your ideas from, so I won’t. Instead, what are the sociological and psychological ramifications andrepercussions of your work?

SA:Most of my readers become deranged sociopaths. It might be a coincidence.

MS: The World of Dilbert is bizarre, strange, odd, idiosyncratic and messed up. To what do you attribute this state of affairs?

SA: I had a head injury when I was young.

MS: Why does Dilbert not receive any Nigerian scam letters in his mail?

SA: That’s actually all he does receive.

MS: If you were to write your own yearly performance evaluation for 2002, what would it say?

SA: His sex appeal is surpassed only by his modesty.

MS: What is YOUR own personal mission statement, Mr. Adams? And how do you reconcile it with reality?

SA: “Eat, sleep, pet cats, make cartoons.” It’s pretty close to my life.

MS: We all know violence and sex sells in the movies and Hollywood and TV. Why is there so little of it in your books and cartoons?

SA: Oh, it’s there. You just have to read between the lines.

MS: My Dilbert M & M dispenser has run out of candy? What should I do?

SA: Rob a 7-Eleven.

MS: This is a formal complaint. Sven, who got his degree from Yale, has not appeared in your strips lately. How do you account for this grievous, egregious oversight?

SA: He got a job on Doonesbury. The pay was better.

MS: We all know that David Letterman puts his mother to work out in the field. Dilbert’s mother appears periodically. What the hell does your motherdo in her spare time, and why don’t you put her to work?

SA: I think I will. Lazy hag.

MS: You have not attacked, nor mocked nor ridiculed space aliens? Are you discriminating against them and us?

SA: I am only discriminating against you. I love space aliens, and by that I mean only physically.

MS: Asok is everyman, everyone, overworked, overwhelmed and “gets no respect “. Why do we all relate to him so well?

SA: Because everyone wears a sok. Sometimes two.

MS: How is your personal and love life? Are you expressing your inner joy for life as well as your inner child?

SA: I just got the heeby jeebies thinking about my love life and my inner child at the same time.

MS: I think you should send Dilbert back for his MBA. Exactly how much education do you have and what have you done with it?

SA: BA in Economics, MBA from Berkeley. It’s all wasted on this interview.

MS: What hobbies do you have and do they satisfy your carnal and lustful needs?

SA: I collect doughnuts. That’s all I’m saying.

MS: You remind me of those filthy rich Cartwrights on Bonanza. Do you give your money away to charity? If so, which ones?

SA: I do give lots of it away, but only to charities that will wrestle me for it.

MS: Will Wally and Peeved Eve ever get together and consummate their relationship?

SA: Wally doesn’t have the energy to consummate.

MS: I have chronic mahjobis crappus. Is there any remedy?

SA: Quittus.

MS: What is currently going on in the Sartorial Alchemy Lab ?

SA: It’s all about the pants.

MS: What does the future hold for Dilbert and Wally and all the rest of the gang at the job?

SA: Loneliness, despair, and frustration.

MS: What question have I neglected to ask?

SA: How drunk do you have to be in order to see imaginary numbers?

Author: Michael F. Shaughnessy is currently Professor at Eastern New Mexico University and teaches in the Special Education Department. He is the author of more than 500 articles, book chapters, book reviews and has presented at conferences in England, Australia, Finland, Korea and other far flung places. In his spare time, he writes for the Journal of Mundane Behavior and serves on the Editorial Boards of several other less prestigious journals.

Published inOutbursts
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