Tables Turn for Dilbert’s Creator

The New York Times:

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.

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.

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Photo by Thor Swift.

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