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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    16,237

    The Tables Turn for Dilbert's Creator

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/bu...=1&oref=slogin

    or
    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/11/bu...int&oref=login

    (You might have to register. It's free though.)
    November 11, 2007

    The Tables Turn for Dilbert’s Creator
    By BRAD STONE
    THIS is yet another story about a clueless but obtrusive boss — the kind of meddlesome manager you might laugh at in the panels of “Dilbert,” the daily comic strip.
    The boss in question operates an upscale restaurant serving California cuisine about an hour’s drive east of San Francisco. The restaurant, Stacey’s at Waterford, is in trouble — two decades of rapid population growth in the region has prompted an influx of national competitors like P. F. Chang’s China Bistro and the Cheesecake Factory.
    While the chains have 30-minute waits for tables on weeknights, Stacey’s at Waterford has more jewel-tone microfiber chairs than diners, and is slowly but steadily losing money. To make matters worse, this befuddled manager has never run a restaurant before or even supervised another person’s work in more than 20 years. His greatest qualification for the job, one might say, is 17 years spent satirizing cubicle culture.
    In other words, Scott Adams, the “Dilbert” creator and the progenitor of the multimillion-dollar Dilbert empire, is now a pointy-haired boss himself.
    Mr. Adams had repeatedly vowed never to let it come to this, refusing for years even to hire a personal assistant to help with Dilbert-related projects. “I did a really good job not being a boss for a long time, and I was happy with that,” he said.
    But never say never. A decade ago, flush with Dilbert riches, he and the restaurant veteran Stacey Belkin opened a restaurant called Stacey’s Cafe in downtown Pleasanton, Calif., a bedroom community of San Francisco. Five years later, they opened Stacey’s at Waterford in an unremarkable strip mall nearby, in Dublin, Calif.
    Until this summer, Mr. Adams’s involvement consisted of signing checks, writing clever jokes for the menus and leaving big tips for the wait staff after his regular visits. Then a personal battle between Ms. Belkin and a former chef intensified just as the big feed chains began staking their claim on the booming exurbs — thrusting Dilbert’s creator into the middle of a managerial nightmare.
    Stacey’s Cafe is smaller, in a better location and is regularly packed. But Stacey’s at Waterford, never profitable to begin with, was suddenly seeing a 10 percent decline in revenue. Ms. Belkin, who was running both restaurants, was overextended.
    Mr. Adams, meanwhile, was dispatching his comic-strip responsibilities in just a few hours each morning. So, in July, he agreed to take over day-to-day operations of Stacey’s at Waterford, thus becoming what he has consistently ridiculed: a boss.
    “I am highly experienced at making funny comics about managers,” he wrote at the time on his popular blog, dilbertblog.typepad.com. “How hard could it be to transition from mocking idiots to being one?”
    Those in his 35-member staff at Stacey’s at Waterford can gladly answer that one. In interviews authorized by their generously self-deprecating boss, employees describe him as trusting and appreciative, full of off-the-wall ideas about how to turn around the business, and dramatically clueless about the harsh realities of the restaurant industry.
    “I’ve been in this business 23 years, and I’ve seen a lot of things. He truly has no idea what he’s doing,” said Nathan Gillespie, the new, wise-cracking head chef, after discussing a recent dust-up with Mr. Adams over the grilled salmon filet. (Mr. Gillespie had experimented with what he called small changes to the dish; friends noticed them and told Mr. Adams, who admonished the chef that new dishes need to go through a formal review.)
    (more at link)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Maybe he needs to call in Gordon Ramsey to fix his place?

    I'll admit, I never got into the cartoon.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    NORTHERN CA~Bay Area
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    1,426
    I've eaten a few times over the years at Stacey's Cafe. The restaurant is located in Pleasanton's downtown. The Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs are fairly new restaurants and are located at the Stoneridge Mall. Stacey's of Waterford is on Tassajara Road in Dublin, and is at the furthest point east of the other three restaurants.

    I remember when Scott Adams quit his job (he was with a large company in San Ramon at the time) to write comic strips full time. I guess he had been writing the Dilbert comic strip while working at his full time job, and his boss didn't want him to write about him or this said "the company". Scott basically said to shove it, and he went on to write his Dilbert comic strips.

    I believe he lives in Blackhawk, which is a very wealthy community, and is right next door to Danville.

    That's just some info that you probably didn't even want to read about but you did anyway!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    16,237
    Thanks, Share-In.

    I've always loved his comic strip. So many of them represent the place I used to work for!

    I think it's interesting the tables (literally) are turned. Maybe he can write a comic strip using his new perspective!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    USA
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    1,838
    Quote Originally Posted by BhamMama View Post
    I'll admit, I never got into the cartoon.
    Omigosh... I'm sitting in Dilbertville as I type!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    24,083

    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by Share-in View Post
    I've eaten a few times over the years at Stacey's Cafe. The restaurant is located in Pleasanton's downtown. The Cheesecake Factory and PF Changs are fairly new restaurants and are located at the Stoneridge Mall. Stacey's of Waterford is on Tassajara Road in Dublin, and is at the furthest point east of the other three restaurants.

    I remember when Scott Adams quit his job (he was with a large company in San Ramon at the time) to write comic strips full time. I guess he had been writing the Dilbert comic strip while working at his full time job, and his boss didn't want him to write about him or this said "the company". Scott basically said to shove it, and he went on to write his Dilbert comic strips.

    I believe he lives in Blackhawk, which is a very wealthy community, and is right next door to Danville.

    That's just some info that you probably didn't even want to read about but you did anyway!!!
    I haven't tried Stacey's. I guess I'll have to now... The Cheesecake Factory and P.F. Chang's are both very good. I tried them out last winter and spring.

    P.S. "The Company" was Pacific Bell. We know someone who knew him. Hubby says the cubicle mentality still holds true. We love his strip. Hubby can definitely relate.
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    2,397
    I absolutely love P.F. Changs. Does that make me bad?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    16,237
    Quote Originally Posted by ISPTRAX View Post
    Omigosh... I'm sitting in Dilbertville as I type!
    My sympathies!

    I swear Scott Adams had been in our office and to our meetings when I started reading his strip many years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    24,083

    Cool Restaurateur new role for Adams

    By Susan Young STAFF WRITER
    Article Launched: 11/27/2007 03:02:55 AM PST






    Sarah the office cat takes care of paperwork as she plays with sticky notes in the Dublin studio...



    These days, "Dilbert" creator Scott Adams uses a computer each day when he carefully crafts his comic strip from his Dublin office -- a well-appointed townhouse complete with a pool table that doesn't look as if it gets much of a workout.
    In fact, Adams leads a fairly simple life for a multimillionaire. Now 50, he's still never traveled farther than Canada and admits his primary hobby continues to be his profession: being a cartoonist.
    Still, life has changed dramatically for Adams in the past few years. In July 2006 he married Shelly, whom he met at a local gym where she was a trainer. He's now a "bonus dad" to Justin, 7, and Savannah, 10. He's working through a debilitating disease that has taken away his ability to draw on anything but a computer and complicates his speech. But the most recent change came in July, when his restaurant partner Stacey Belkin became overwhelmed with running two restaurants and left. Since then, Adams became the one thing he has built his career on skewering: a boss.
    <snip>

    Adams says he'll continue to manage the restaurant simply because it's something he enjoys -- and gives him more fodder for his comic strip.
    "I just used something that happened in the two strips I did today," confides Adams.
    Despite his health problems, Adams still goes to his townhouse/office almost every day before 6 a.m. to draw his comic strips and work on his blog.
    Two years ago, while rushing to complete a project before going on a rare vacation, Adams began experiencing symptoms of spasmodic dysphonia, a vocal disorder that can also affect other parts of the body with tremors. He lost his voice for more than a year, and the brain disorder also impaired his ability to draw.
    Adams says it is a strange disease that you can sort of fool. While his hand shakes when he attempts to put pen to paper, it's completely fine when he uses the computer stylus. In the same way, he can recite nursery rhymes or sing without a hitch in his voice. But when he talks, especially in one-on-one conversations, his voice constricts, and he chokes on his words. He's had Botox shot directly into his neck, but the effect hasn't lasted long.
    "I can speak really well on the phone, and haven't had any problems talking to big groups, although there's always that fear that I will get up onstage and be unable to speak," Adams says.
    Adams recently held a signing of his most recent book, "Stick to Drawing Comics, Monkey Brain!" at Stacey's at Waterford, offering up a cross-promotion of book and restaurant.
    "I've been at the restaurant with the poster about the booksigning and people will walk right up to it and see the poster, look at me, and says, 'Hey, that's that Dilbert guy.' And then walk right past me," Adams says. "They make no connection between the person they were looking at on the poster and the guy right in front of them.
    "He rightly assumed he'd get a small turnout for the signing.
    "All authors know this. You get the lightest turnout the closer you are to home. I've done booksignings in other cities, and the lines are wrapped around the building," Adams says. "But here I guess they figure they don't have to go to the booksigning when they'll probably run into me at Safeway anyway." Or, Adams hopes, at his restaurant.
    more at link:http://www.contracostatimes.com/ci_7...nclick_check=1
    This is the year to locate Mark Dribin http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...ht=Mark+Dribin NamUs MP#876 and Ilene Misheloff http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...lene+Misheloff NamUs MP#6410 and bring them home to their families!

    Parents watch your children. Free-range parenting leads to more child victims.

    Cruelty to humans begins with cruelty to animals.

    I believe in closure, not forgiveness. I'm also unapologetically judgemental.

    JeSuisJuif
    JeSuisCharlie


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    16,237
    Thanks for the article, LinasK! I'd stand in line for his signature! His comics have always cracked me up.




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