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The Boss: "I need a cost estimate on your project." Dilbert: "I have no idea I haven't even gathered the user requirements." The Boss: "Don't worry I won't hold you to the estimate." Dilbert: "Yes you will. You will put it in the plan, forget we had this conversation, and fire me when I go over budget." The boss: "Give me a number or I'll fire you right now." Dilbert: "Okay, it will cost ten million dollars." The Boss: "That's too high." Dilbert: "If you already know the cost why are you asking me?" The Boss: "So you'll feel like you had input." Dilbert: "Is input supposed to feel this bad?"
The Boss: My management philosophy is 'measure' twice, cut once. Dilbert: That only makes sense in a narrow, and generally archaic, set of conditions. In software development, the item being cut, metaphorically speaking, is often plentiful and inexpensive. In many cases, the cost of measuring incorrectly is low compared to the time wasted doing two measurements before every action. Your philosophy is better suited for rock carving than web design. Do you have any wise sayings that involve churning your own butter, or putting saddles on dinosaurs?" The Boss: Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Dilbert: I have direct deposit."
Wally, do yuo have the capital cost estimates I asked for last week? Wally: No, I always ask you to clarify what you need. You say you'll get back to me but you never do. The Boss: Maybe I could clarify it now. Wally: That would ruin my system.
Dogbert's Rumor Control Ted says, "I need to squash a workplace rumor that I'm an idiot." Dogbert says, "I charge $10 for each false rumor and $1,000 for any rumor I decide is true." Ted says, "Sounds fair." Dogbert says, "Really? That just cost you $1,000."
Asok says, "Wally, what do you plan to do after you retire?" Wally says, "Retirement is for losers, Asok." Wally says, "Winners keep their jobs but stop caring about the quality of their work." Wally says, "I have no stress, free coffee, and I get paid, too." Wally says, "Watch how this works." Ted says, "Wally, can you give me some cost estimates for my project?" Wally says, "I'm too busy. Ask Dilbert." Asok says, "Doesn't this make you a worthless leech on society?" Wally says, "I'm pretty sure the winner in that example is the leech."
Wally says, "Health problems and absenteeism are a huge cost to this business." The Boss says, "So?" Wally says, "So give me a raise, or I'll eat unhealthy food and avoid all forms of exercise." The Boss says, "You already do those things." Wally says, "How could you possibly know that?"
A man says, "Alice, when will I get your cost estimates?" Alice says, "When will your one eyebrow turn into two?" The man says, "Is that the ghost of the guy who used to have your job? He makes you look bad because he was always helpful." Alice says, "If you're so helpful, tell me how to kill you." The ghost says, "Dang... try garlic and a shop-vac."
The Boss says, "Once again, Wally, you have accomplished nothing this quarter." Wally says, "What about that billion dollar cost-saving idea I had?" The Boss says, "Your idea would only save one dollar per year." Wally says, "Exactly. In a billion years that a billion dollars." The Boss says, "The company won't be in business that long." Wally says, "Why not? Do you know something I don't know?" Wally says, "So, what kind of raise are we looking at here?" Dilbert says, "He gave you a billion dollar raise?" Wally says, "It's not as good as it sounds."
Job tension is running high Asok says, "I?I?forgot to total the cost estimates." Asok says, "Gaaaa!!!! You're going to fire me! I'm the next casualty of the frail economy!!!" The boss says, "Maybe we could finish this by e-mail." Asok says, "Must improve street-mime skills!!!"
The boss says, "How much will it cost to develop our next generation product?" Dilbert says, "It will cost whatever you put in the budget." The boss says, "How much should I put in the budget?" Dilbert says, "Ask for the biggest number you think will get approved." Dilbert says, "If we get a lot of money we can build something great." Dilbert says, "If we don't get much money we can build something lame, and compensate for the lack of quality by lying more vigorously than usual." The boss says, "I'll aim low so I don't get yelled at during the executive budget meeting." Dilbert thinks, "I remember the time when this sort of thing would haunt me."