Wally was inspired by a coworker of creator Scott Adams at Pacific Bell. In Seven Years of Highly Defective People and What Would Wally Do, Adams explained that his co-worker at Pacific Bell wanted to leave the company, but also wanted to leave with generous severance packages being offered by the company during a period of downsizing. Since the packages were only offered to the lowest ten percent performers, the co-worker was given an incentive to become a low performing worker. Adams was inspired by this co-worker's serious dedication toward this goal, and the concept of a completely shameless employee with no sense of loyalty became Wally. Another version has Wally being inspired by another co-worker, who committed an error huge enough to wreck all chances of ever advancing in the company, but not huge enough to get him fired. He then put all his intelligence to doing as little work as possible, and managed to stay with the company for years.