I saw Adams speak at UC Berkeley years ago, and he packed the Anderson Auditorium with more people than I’ve ever seen there before. Scott Adams is a great speaker, and he had some entertaining stories, such as how he got to be an engineer at Pacific Bell. It turned out Pacific Bell had a budget for a certain number of engineers, but they would lose that budget if they didn’t have all the spots filled. So, to avoid losing the budgeted funds, they promoted Adams to ‘Engineer’ even though he was not trained or schooled as an engineer.
Adams also told the story of how he became a big time cartoonist. He sent samples of his work to many publishers, but didn’t hear from anyone who wanted to sign him until a year later, when United Media, a company he wasn’t familiar with by memory, called him and said they had finally reviewed his submission and wanted to offer him a contract. He said he actually asked them to list some of the other comics they published to familiarize him with who this company was. The response was: we syndicate Peanuts and Garfield. Adams first contract was with the largest and best know cartoon syndication company in the United States.
How to Get a Real Education, published April 9, 2011 in The Wall Street Journal, is worth reading, and I recommend it very much. One of the stories he tells is how he persuaded college administrators to allow him and his friends to take over running the dorm where he lived. They were successful, so he got a free room to live in and got paid. When I read this account, it made me think of my plan to put elementary, middle school and high school students to work staffing the school lunch programs at their schools, which I wrote about here on April 9, 2011.