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Catbert: The one called Dilbert is showing signs of happiness at work. Boss: That means we can give him more work and he won't quit. Excellent. Is anyone else exhibiting signs of unauthorized happiness? Catbert: No. Everyone else is in the narrow band of misery you want them to be in. If they were any happier, it would mean you're overpaying them. If they were any less happy, the would take their own lives. If you don't hear any laughing or screaming, it means you're doing something right. Boss: What about moans? Catbert: Moans are ideal. That's the sweet spot.
Boss: The one they call Dilbert suggested we do something that looks good but won't work. CEO: Is this the first trace of management potential you've seen from him? Boss: You think it's a fluke? CEO: Let's keep an eye on it.
Alice: Does it bother you to work on the old legacy system when the rest of us are doing exciting new things? Wally: I leave work at 4 p.m. every day. Wally: How about you? Alice: Squatters keep moving into my house.
Woman: Can you take a look at the prototype? It keeps crashing. Dilbert: I was just leaving for the day. Woman: It will only take ten minutes. Dilbert: I came to work early so I could leave early and beat the traffic. Woman: No problem. It will only take ten minutes. Dilbert: It's never ten minutes! People always say it will be ten minutes, but it's never ten minutes! I give up! Where is it? Woman: Find it in the lab. I need to leave early to beat the traffic.
Dilbert: The company's new politeness policy forbids you from texting while I am trying to talk to you. Alice: I'm not using a texting app. I'm replying to people on social media. Dilbert: You're missing the point. Alice: When did my happiness stop being the point?
Dilbert: I wanted to be productive this week but the big tech companies didn't let me. Boss: That's ridiculous. They can't stop people from doing work. Dilbert: Actually, they can. Their business models depend on interrupting users with ads, and apps, and mindless entertainment. Until recently, humans could resist these distractions. But now the tech companies are using science to make their apps addictive. They learned how to hijack our brains. What started as simple entertainment evolved into military-grade mind control. Did you hear any of that? Boss: Any of what?
Dilbert: I wrote a VR program that turns the workplace into a "Lord Of The Rings" adventure. Gaaaa!!! It's an evil orc! Boss: I guess your program randomly assigns characters to real people. Dilbert: Um, yes, random.
Boss: From now on, you must refer to your cubicle as a "modular workstation." The word "cubicle" is demeaning to the people who work in them. Dilbert: I feel so much better now. Boss: Good. I was hoping it would work quickly.