Daily Archives: March 26, 2009

Dilbert got me a pink slip

DilbertBy Bernie Dowling and Ian Curr

A DILBERT cartoon started the process which ended with the firing of an Australian public servant with 22 years employment behind him.

As a joke on 18 February, 2003, Ian Curr sent a Dilbert cartoon to his colleagues in the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) where he worked as a senior technical officer making taxation assessments. Mr. Curr had worked in the tax office for 16 years.

Mr. Curr read the Dilbert comic that morning over the breakfast table in the IT section of his morning paper, the Australian published by News Ltd.

The cartoon has a manager telling an underling to draft a letter: “I will tell you what to say, you go and write it, and I’ll sign it.”

Senior management disliked the Dilbert satire and Mr Curr’s dissemination of it by email.

You sent an email to one or more ATO employees containing sarcastic and belittling commentary and a Dilbert cartoon graphic,” they wrote informing Mr Curr he had possibly breached subsection 13 (3) of the Public Service Act 1999. Continue reading