April 1996 Comic Strips
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The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "In an effort to boost sales, laptop computers have been given to every member of the sales force." Wally says, "That could be a problem, given the recent cuts to the training budget." The caption says, "Meanwhile, in the field." A salesperson holds up a laptop and says to a client, "And if you order today, I'll throw in this rectangular plastic thing."
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Dilbert sits at his desk and Dogbert sits on the desk behind him. Dilbert says, "I wish I had an Ivy League degree so I could be promoted to vice president." Dogbert responds, "You don't need one." Dilbert says, "It's impossible to be a vice president without one." Dogbert says, "I'll bet $100 I can turn a rat into a vice president." Dogbert and Ratbert stand in front of a mirror. Dogbert says, "That was good, but try saying it as though your soul just abandoned your body." Ratbert says, "We've reorganized to focus on our core competency."
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Dogbert says to Ratbert, "Remember everything I taught you, Ratbert. If you can pass yourself off as a corporate vice president, I'll win my bet." Ratbert stands on a desk and says to Wally as he walks by, "Yo, Headcount! If you have any issues, put together an action plan. Our people are the best. Don't spend money." Wally asks Alice, "Do you think he's really a vice president?" Alice answers, "Maybe. But I'm not ready to rule out 'annoying rodent' yet." In the background Ratbert says, "Quality."
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Ratbert sits across from a man's desk. The man says, "Mister Ratbert, I don't think I can hire a rat to be our vice president of marketing. You need experience in the technology industry." Ratbert responds, "I spent a week in a dumpster at Procter and Gamble." The man says, "Close enough! Welcome to the team!" Ratbert says, "I'll bring some cronies with me. They're flies."
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Ratbert, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. Ratbert says, "I had years of valuable experience as a rodent before I became vice president of marketing." Ratbert continues, "My marketing plan is simple. Each of you will cling to the leg of a technology columnist until we get some good press." Dilbert approaches a technology columnist and says, "It looks like you're full." The man has people clinging to both legs. He responds, "You can cling to the cat until a space opens."
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Ratbert stands on Dilbert's desk and says, "I quit my job as vice president of marketing . . ." Ratbert continues, "I was losing my scruples . . . becoming unscrupulous. Yes, I learned a valuable lesson about scruples." Dilbert asks, "And that lesson would be?" Ratbert answers, "It's fun to say 'scruples.'"
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The Boss says to Dilbert, "Go home, Dilbert. Relax! You're working too hard!" Dilbert sits at his desk and says, "You told me to finish this by tomorrow. You said it's urgent." The Boss waves his arms and says, "Relax! Go home! Shoo!" The caption says, "Suddenly Dilbert is sucked into the 'Boss Zone' where time and logic do not apply." Dilbert's head disappears into a hole in time. Dilbert floats by the Boss's head and asks, "How can I relax AND do urgent work at the same time?" The Boss replies, "Work smarter, not harder." Dilbert grabs his head and screams. The caption says, "Mercifully, the angel of cynicism appears." Dogbert flies up to Dilbert and says, "Slap something together in the morning. He won't look at it anyway." The caption says, "The inspirational moral . . ." Dilbert puts his coat on and leaves the office. He sings, "Freedom's just another word for not caring about the quality of your work!"
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The Boss, Alice, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "The executive review board meeting is canceled. I hope you didn't work too hard preparing for it." Alice clenches her teeth and thinks, "Must . . . control fist . . . of . . . death . . ." Wally says, "Unlike Alice, I saw it coming and did no work whatsoever." Alice punches Wally and his head collapses into his shirt. She asks, "Did you see THAT coming, Nostradamus?" Dilbert asks, "What does this do to headcount?"
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Dilbert stands in front of a soda vending machine. He pushes a button and says angrily, "Stupid machine, you've taken my coins and with them my sunny disposition." The Boss walks up behind Dilbert who shouts, "There's nothing left to give!!! You've taken it all!!!" Wally, Alice and the Boss stand behind Dilbert watching him talk to the machine. Dilbert says, "Okay, you got my dignity and my career, too . . . But I am drawing the line HERE, Buster!"
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Catbert says to Dilbert, "This report says you went nuts at a vending machine because it took your money." Dilbert sits with his arms crossed over his chest. Catbert continues, "The company used to offer counseling in these cases. But we found it was more economical to apply the death penalty." Dilbert looks shocked. Dilbert asks, "What?! How is that possible?" Catbert replies, "I'm not sure yet. You're too big for the microwave oven . . ."