No, it wasn't “The Donald” muttering those infamous words in this instance—David Steward got the boot from his bosses at the Catfish Bend Casinos in Burlington, Iowa, where most recently he was a security supervisor.
We'd say they didn't have a sense of humor, but then that's basically what an administrative judge noted in ruling the casino shouldn't have axed Mr. Steward. It all stemmed from his posting of a Dilbert comic strip on a company bulletin board. According to a report in the Des Moines Register, Mr. Steward had worked at the casinos for seven years. In late October, shortly after company officials announced the casino would be closing and 170 workers could be laid off, Mr. Steward posted the comic strip.
In it, Dilbert and another character have the following conversation:
“Why does it seem as if most of the decisions in my workplace are made by drunken lemurs?”
“Decisions are made by people who have time, not people who have talent.”
“Why are talented people so busy?”
“They're fixing the problems made by people who have time.”
After reviewing surveillance tapes, casino managers determined Mr. Steward was responsible for the dastardly deed, the Register reported. A human resources director testified at Mr. Steward's unemployment benefits hearing that management found the cartoon to be “very offensive” and as a result fired Mr. Steward. In defense of his action, the former employee said he posted the comic strip partly because of the impending layoffs but also because he found it humorous and thought it “would cheer some people up.”
A judge ruled Mr. Steward's action represented “a good-faith error in judgment,” not intentional misbehavior, the news story said.
Scott Adams is creator of the Dilbert strip, notorious for satirizing managerial incompetence. He told the Register that most Dilbert comics “don't come right out and call management a bunch of drunken lemurs, so I can see how this one might have been a tad over the line.” He also said Mr. Steward's dismissal might be the first confirmed case of a worker being let go for posting a Dilbert strip in a workplace.
In case you're wondering, our trusty dictionary defines “lemur” as “any of several arboreal primates chiefly of the family Lemuridae, of Madagascar and adjacent islands, having large eyes, soft fur and a long tail.”
OK, since confession is said to be good for the soul, we'll come clean: While we will admit to posting a Dilbert in our Marketplace cubicle, the characters therein do not, we repeat, do not in any way resemble real persons, living or deceased. Anyone who thinks otherwise is a….
Separated at birth?
Maybe it's just the way they comb their locks, but we see a definite brotherly resemblance between Mazda Motor Corp. design chief Laurens van den Acker and titanic Hollywood heartthrob Leonardo DiCaprio. Neither, however, is Joey Lawrence.
Who you calling a gas bag?
The fickle finger of blame for global warming has been pointed at a number of candidates, but a couple of years ago Bob Lutz, the garrulous vice chairman of General Motors Corp., took aim at our bovine friends.
“Will somebody please talk to the cows,” he thundered at an event sponsored by Automotive News, a sister publication of Tire Business, as he tried to divert some blame from cars to cattle.
Well, new research may help clear the air for Mr. Lutz. It has been proved that livestock flatulence does indeed produce methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than the carbon dioxide that spews from motor vehicles. When world leaders recently gathered in Bali, Indonesia, for a major global warming conference, climate-conscious people were taking a fresh look at Australian research into animal digestion.
They learned scientists have concluded that bacterium found in kangaroos keeps them from producing methane. If the bug can be made to work in cattle and sheep, they too would stop emitting methane and would get more nutrition from their food.
We'd all breathe a bit easier—especially Mr. Lutz.
This 'n' that
Fool's paradise—Albert Einstein observed: “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”
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Down a quart—As the joke goes, a person (of a certain hair color that shall not be mentioned here) felt a lot better after returning from a visit to the local repair shop, explaining: “I was worried that my mechanic might try to rip me off. I was relieved when he told me all I needed was turn signal fluid.”
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DOA—The company's name is Brand Autopsy Marketing Practice, and it's run by John Moore, a former marketing exec at Starbucks Coffee Co. and Whole Foods Market IP L.P.
If you need your brand sliced, diced and synopsized, he's probably your guy.
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Deflated—It said “Flat tire?” superimposed over the forehead of a worried-looking young man.
At first glance, you'd expect the ad was for some local tire dealership hawking its services. But below the guy's face, the small “house ad” in the Akron Beacon Journal continued: “Not to worry! You have home delivery.”
Sheesh…that's really stretching a point.
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Cross-eyed logic—Good ol' “anonymous” said it: “If you have one eye on yesterday and one eye on tomorrow, you're going to be cockeyed today.”
Sorry, no gas bag allowed
Yep, it's quite the coup for Bridgestone/Firestone (BFS), landing that halftime gig and multi-year sponsorship deal at the upcoming Super Bowl.
But oh dear, what to do about that pesky Goodyear blimp doing flyovers on BFS's big day?
While interviewing John “Johnny G” Gamauf, president of consumer tire replacement sales for Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire L.L.C., and company spokesman Dan MacDonald, TB Senior Reporter Vera Linsalata asked the question on everyone's mind. (After all, as a certain tabloid rag states, “Inquiring minds want to know.”)
Here's their take on the possibility of that lighter-than-air occurrence:
Johnny G: Bridgestone Corp. holds the Bridgestone Invitational PGA tournament in Akron and doesn't allow the Goodyear blimp to fly over “that puppy for any kind of media event, so I can guarantee ya, baby, that when we put this deal together, there ain't going to be no Goodyear blimp flying over Glendale, Ariz., (for the Super Bowl) especially because I have a home there.”
Dan (laughing): “There's an FAA rule that the Goodyear blimp is not allowed to go anywhere within 100 miles of John's house in Arizona.”
Johnny G: “And my house is seven miles from the stadium. The blimp—could be Snoopy, Met Life—we actually requested that Goodyear would not be at the Bridgestone Invitational or the Super Bowl.”
We also hear that BFS officials are taking all precautions necessary to ensure that Johnny G has no “wardrobe malfunction” during the big game.