Lawyers are frequent targets for humor, the butt of countless stale jokes. With the exception perhaps of “Wedding Crashers“, conflict resolution professionals so far have been spared the ribbing that comedians, cartoonists, and screenwriters so often heap on our brothers and sisters at the bar.
That may be changing. My colleague, ombuds and blogger Tom Kosakowski, alerted his readers that Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, the popular comic strip that lampoons the workplace, has set his sights on an unsuspecting target: the corporate ombuds. In this week’s installment, Dilbert’s boss has hired an ombudsman, a pitch-fork-wielding demon who accepts souls in exchange for conferring favored treatment.
Although lawyers have been linked to devils before (as numerous jokes and at least one Hollywood film can attest), this is a first for the ombuds.
Is this a sign of the impending apocalypse? Hardly. As one anonymous commenter on Tom’s site observed, “Just getting the word ombudsman in cartoons raises awareness of our profession.” Or, as Oscar Wilde once put it, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”