I do a lot of business cartoons here at Andertoons. They’re fun to do, there’s no end of material, and they sell well. But there is a bit of a catch – the people you’re generally selling to are executives and upper management, so you can’t pick on them too much. As a result I do cartoons like this:
It’s not really picking on anyone in particular, but it’s funny and true.
Still I spent too many years in business as a worker drone to not have a little fun at management’s expense. And if I were management and I were touring the cubicles, here’s a few cartoons I might not think were so funny:
Well, at least he’s honest.
This is one of my biggest selling business cartoons, and if you’ve ever spent time having PowerPoints read at you, you know why.
I think employees often feel put upon. This just takes idea a little further.
(Also, I used the name “Lynch” as sort of a shout out to my inky cartoonist pal Mike Lynch.)
If this cartoon resonates with you, you’d better hang it up in your cubicle fast so you can enjoy it before you have to take it home in your cardboard box with your other personal effects.
Secretly I’d love to work for Despair.
I’m pretty sure a manager almost slipped and said pretty much this exact thing to me once.
Another super popular cartoon. If I’m taking about it and don’t have it in front of me I always say “OK, now that we all agree, let’s go back to our desks and discuss amongst ourselves why this won’t work.”
I have no idea why I add those two extra words, but I always do.
That’s nothing to sneeze at these days.
Those poor people are in for it.
One time my kids saw this one and wanted me to explain why it was funny. I said “Hey! Who wants cookies?” That always works.
If you’re management, the best but extremely ironic response to seeing this hanging up would be to just ignore it.
Feel free to browse all of my business cartoons and let me know if you see any others that might make an exec cringe!
2 thoughts on “Business Cartoons You Don’t Want In Your Employees’ Cubicles”
As an employee, I always thought (well, after I was about 25 and had started thinking at all) that putting up this sort of thing in your work space was tipping your hand. As a manager, I pretty much chalked it up so someone dumb enough to tip their hand, which made me wonder what sorts of other stupid things they were doing that I wasn’t aware of.
Not that I’d expect anyone to get fired over this sort of indiscretion, but you certainly wouldn’t put them in a position where their lack of competent gamesmanship was going to become costly — which pretty much rules out promotions or fun assignments.
On the other hand, it’s a lovely thing indeed when one anonymously pops up on the bulletin board in the breakroom or posted on a bathroom wall. Like a little flower growing out of the manure pile.
Mike, if it takes a posted cartoon to tell you that your subordinates are dissatisfied, consider some management courses. Cartoons like these on cube walls are more like mushrooms than flowers: they’re the tiny, visible tips of a vast underground tangle of dissatisfaction. An employee who posts one is expressing a sentiment so pervasive that they believe everyone in the group feels that way. So they’re not ‘tipping their hand’. They are, however, sending up a smoke signal for managers who’ve missed the zeitgeist…
One more point for you to think on. You can be perfectly happy in a job and still hate sitting through mumbly, read-every-line powerpoint presentations or meetings where none of the decisions will be implemented. Cynicism about one aspect of the corporate culture doesn’t mean an employee doesn’t take the job seriously & enjoy performing their duties. In fact – the more dedicated an employee is to achieving their goals – the more frustration with red tape, pointless meetings and bad management that gets in the way of a really well done job!
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