The Pointy-Haired Boss is the boss of Dilbert, Alice, Asok, Loud Howard, Tina and Wally at Path-E-Tech Management, apparently managing their Engineering department. He is extremely stupid and oblivious to his own actions but is somehow smarter than the CEO. He often blames his employees for failure and he doesn't listen to their input. He micro-manages and unknowingly crushes his subordinates' enthusiasm. He has been known to trust Dogbert in tough times, and often uses him as a consultant.
Officially, the Pointy-Haired Boss does not have a name, despite being referenced in the TV series as fake names such as Ike and Eunice. The reason for this is because Scott Adams wanted readers to be able to more effectively compare him to their own workplace managers. In Art, he signed for a delivery, using his own name. The delivery guy asked him if that was his name and he responded with "You got a problem with it?", implying that his real name is horrible.
Some of the things that characterize him are:
- He openly tells people outside his current target market that they are worthless to him.
- He thinks he is always right.
- When warned about the consequences of not doing something, he ignores it. Later, when the warned consequence inevitably occurs, the person warning is blamed.
- He doesn't seem to remember anything beyond about a week's range.
- He rewards employees based on how well they stroke his ego instead of how well they do their job.
- He is more focused on sounding important than being important.
- He always takes sarcasm and metaphors literally.
- He is 5 minutes away during crisis and 5 hours ahead during success.
- He is a person from whom you are expecting the unexpected and the unexpected is expected.
In the series he is known to have the following pastimes of coaching the engineer baseball team, line dancing (where the name Eunice is his identity) and going to the post office to pick up packages for "Bob Johnson" or "Jim Smith", claiming that's his name. In the comic strip, he has been known to be a large fan of "The Barney Show."
Evolution of the Pointy-Haired Boss
The Boss first appeared in 1989, and in the first year, he had jowls and non-pointy hair, giving him a mean and gruff appearance, and a personality to match. Over time, his looks and his personality evolved, toning down his outright meanness into apathy about his subordinates' well being, and his gruffness into gullibility and general cluelessness.
As his personality continued to change, so did his hair, becoming gradually pointier of time. While is started as a gradual change that had no real purpose, one day, Scott Adams noticed it, liked it, and went with it, pushing it towards full-blown demonic horns. After that, pointy hair became the icon for clueless management.
See Management Scams.
Pointy-Haired Boss's Relationships
The Pointy-Haired Boss views his employee Dilbert, like most employees, as someone he can use for menial tasks well below his station. He is deaf to Dilbert's complaint and requests, and treats him with very little respect, if any at all. Occasionally, Dilbert is able to use the PHB's own stupidity against him to get what he wants
Alice is treated little better than Dilbert by the PHB, but is occasionally able to squeeze preferential treatment (due to the fact that she is the only female engineer) out of him. He is also afraid of her and her legendary "Fists of Death"
Out of all the employees, the PHB probably hates Wally the most, openly telling him to his face that he once fired nine bald guys simply because he thought they were Wally. He often tries in vain to get or to trick Wally into working, however this always fails. Occasionally, Wally is able to persuade the PHB to see his side of the argument.
As an intern, the PHB shows Asok no respect whatsoever, viking him as little more than an expendable resource for the company's benefit.
Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light: Brother