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Tags #project time line, #work portion, #meet with people, #competitive bids, #predictable behavior, #randomly reorganize, #department, #cut funding, #final phase, #death, #bitter and broken, #leaving building, #medical
Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dilbert works on a laptop connected to an overhead projector. Dilbert says, "Here's my project time line." Dilbert points to a diagram and says, "The 'work' portion will take one week." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend three weeks meeting with people whom you send to me because you don't feel like talking to them yourself." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend eight weeks getting competitive bids from companies that I know I won't select." Dilbert continues, ". . . Six weeks to get the wisdom and approval of executives who are too busy to understand the issues." Dilbert says, "During that time you will randomly reorganize the department and cut my funding." Dilbert points to a picture of a man jumping out of a building window. Dilbert continues, "In the final phase I leap to my death, a bitter and broken shell of a man." The Boss asks, "Is there some sort of manager thing I should be doing now?" Dilbert replies, "If I time my leap right you'll just be leaving the building."
The Boss: I put together a time line for your project. I started by reasoning that anything I don't understand is easy to do. Phase one: design a client-server architecture for our world wide operations time: six minutes.
Wally: "In only one week my project team has created a time line and identified the resources we need." "Next week, we plan to revise the time line and re-examine our resource needs." "Good work." "There must be a thousand ways to say I haven't done anything." "Wait.."
The Boss points to a board that says, "Time Line." He says, "The project will take six months..." He continues, "Unless there are unforeseen problems." Dilbert raises his hand and says, "Question." Dilbert says to the Boss, "Your leadership has made me unmotivated." Dilbert asks, "Is that considered foreseen or unforeseen?" Dilbert continues, pointing at Wally, "And Wally is dysfunctional on many levels." Wally agrees, "I really am." Dilbert asks, "Was that foreseen? Or are you saying the schedule is random?" Dilbert turns to Alice and says, "He looks mad." Alice says, "I didn't see that coming."
Dilbert: Once again, none of you responded to my emails this past week. So I put together a project time line that reflects neither consensus nor reality. Wally: Can I have a copy so I can mock it? Dilbert: No, I'm still enjoying the illusion of progress.
The Boss sits at a desk. Dilbert reads a printout and says, "Our original project time line was twelve months . . . But since you pitched in to help . . ." Dilbert continues, "I don't have an exact date, but it's roughly the same time that the sun becomes a cold dark chunk of coal the size of your forehead." The Boss says, "We'll need flashlights." Dilbert says, "And sweaters. It could get nippy."
The boss stands behind Dilbert's cubicle and pionts at the screen. The boss says, "Now move the other thing next to the other thing and label it "ram cache." The boss says, "I'm your boss, so it stands to reason that I'm a better engineer than you." Dilbert says, "I'm telling you I'm working on my timeline chart." The boss says, "No, I'm sure that's a circuit design."
Wally: "May I see the vacation schedule?" Carol: "Why do you want it?" Wally: "No reason." "Well, Ted, I hope you're enjoying your vacation." The Boss: "Wally, do you have the cost estimates?" Wally: "I'm waiting for Ted's input. He's on vacation." The Boss: "How about the revised time-line?" Wally: "I'm waiting for Ted." "Do you need any office supplies? I'm going to the store." Dilbert: "Maybe some pens." TED Wally: "Limited selection but excellent prices." Dilbert: "Thanks." Wally: "So, I understand you have a vacation next week."
Man says, "Wally, can you take a look at this?" Wally says, "I'd be delighted. What's your project charge code?" Man says, "It will only take a minute." Wally says, "Are you suggesting that I lie about my time?" Man says, "It's only one minute." Wally says, "By that line of reasong, it's okay to steal as long as you don't take too much." Wally says, "Incidentally, I have to charge you for the time it just took to label you a thief." Man says, "FORGET I'LL ASK SOMEONE ELSE!" Wally thinks, "Let's call that overhead."
Dilbert: Here's the final design for Project 'Zebra'. I worked day and night for weeks to finish it on time. The Boss: I canceled that project a month ago, I meat to tell you. Dilbert: In some countries it would be legal to kill you with this binder, The Boss: Thats why I don't travel.