Winning the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest

The brilliantly funny Bob Mankoff served as cartoon editor for the New Yorker for 20 years, ending in April 2017. Among his other duties he ran the New Yorker Cartoon Caption Contest.

In November 2018, Mankoff launched a similar contest at his new venture, Cartoon Collections. Many New Yorker contest devotees/Mankoff fans immediately started entering the new contest as well. Read more Winning the Cartoon Collections Caption Contest


This is a summary of how the characters appear in my imagination. Your experience may vary …

DanDan: About 40 | Asian american | Harvard MBA | Background in accounting | Convinced he knows everything about everything | Devoted father to his children from all three of his failed, abusive marriages | Reads Kant and Nietzsche, consistently misinterprets both | Stress does not affect him, he just causes it for others

LizLiz: Fifty-something | African american | High school graduate | Longtime by-the-book supervisor | Competent, kind, no-nonsense | Started as a secretary, rose to supervisor by working hard, producing results, and minding her own business | Leaves work stress at work | Dotes on her grandchildren

TommyTommy: Late twenties | Caucasian | Served six years in the Navy after high school – accustomed to following orders | Earned a B.S. in M.I.S. by taking night classes while in the Navy, and later at the local state college | Enjoys bicycling and hiking with his long-time boyfriend, which helps with Dan-induced stress

LisaLisa: Early twenties | Latina | Recent college graduate with degree in programming | Smart | Sassy | Reads science fiction, listens to jazz | Relieves stress by using sarcasm and sleeping around

Cardinal Synergy logoThe company: Cardinal Synergy was formed in 1995 by Stanford alums Brandon and Claudia, who have since moved on to public service careers. Bucking the tech boom trend, the company deliberately stayed small, and built a reputation for superb rapid software development. Even Dan’s micromismanagement has yet to destroy that reputation.

Micromismanagement Definition

Micromanagement is a management style whereby a manager exerts excessive control over the work of subordinates. Micromanagement is closely related to workplace bullying. Micromanagement may arise from underlying mental-health conditions such as obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and narcissism.

Mismanagement is any management that is malicious, careless, inefficient and/or otherwise incompetent. Mismanagement interferes with optimal achievement of business objectives.

Micromismanagement is the combination of the two pathologies. A micromismanager both obsessively controls subordinates, and dictates an incompetent manner in which the work must be done. Example: Dan.

Post your bad boss stories and jokes

Dan: A bad bossThis site is a tribute to Dan, a composite character encompassing all the bad traits of all my former bosses. Example: A former boss would consistently delay his approval of project documents for weeks at a time, all the while browbeating the project manager for being behind schedule. To be fair, I have also had several great bosses, and I have one now, but cartoons about competency and kindness would be a lot less fun.

Please post your bad boss stories and humor in the comments below …

Bad bosses in media

  • Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell in The Office
    Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell in The Office

Top ten signs you’re a micromismanager

  1. For some reason people keep spray painting “Micromismanager” on your car.
  2. You believe IQ is proportional to desk size.
  3. You believe you are never, ever wrong.
  4. You believe you are surrounded by idiots.
  5. To change a light bulb, you hold the bulb and expect the world to revolve around you.
  6. When that doesn’t work you decide not to change the bulb. You prefer to leave your employees in the dark.
  7. Your employees tell you you’re mismanaging.
  8. Your employees tell you you’re micromanaging.
  9. Everyone hates you.
  10. Your name is Dan.