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Wally: Here's a list of the twelve elements of great managing. If you do everything on that list, it will make me feel what experts call "engaged." If you fail to do your job properly, I will feel all disengaged and do poor work. This would be a convenient time to give me some praise and recognition. You might also want to encourage my development and tell me my job is important. Remember to care about me as a person and tell me my opinions count. If you do all of that, plus seven more things on the list, you might get some productivity out of me. Boss: Leave my office and drop dead. Wally: Will that help me learn and grow?
Dilbert: I need to get this technology certification. Boss: Whoa! No way. If I pay for your training, you'll use your certification to get a better job. At the moment, you're in what we managers call the goldilocks zone. You're not hot enough to get a better job, and you're not yet incompetent at the one you have. When your skills expire, in the next year or two, I'll replace you with someone younger. Dilbert: You're a monster! I'll pay for my own training and leave you to marinate in your own stench! CEO: How did you keep your training expenses so low? Boss: I marinated in my own stench.
Boss: We've been asked to cut our budget by 30%. Dilbert: That doesn't make sense. We met all of our objectives last year. Boss: A different part of our company had a huge loss. Dilbert: Shouldn't you cut their budget, not ours? Boss: Their budget isn't big enough to make a difference to the bottom line. Dilbert: So our strategy is to punish success, and reward failure? Boss: Just do your job and leave the strategy to management. Dilbert: Hypothetically, if I do my job poorly, would that be good or bad for me?
Boss: Dilbert, listen carefully. I need you to... vendor... hardware... immediately. Dilbert: What? We have a bad connection. Boss: Field... the... grep... pony... budget. Dilbert: What? What? Boss: I have another call. Just ask Alice. Alice: How would I know what he wants? Leave me alone. Dilbert: I wonder how winners feel. Wally: I don't know. They never let me touch them.
Dilbert: I heard you flew to Vegas and played pai gow all weekend. Wally: Go away. Dilbert: That's a difficult game to learn after having a few adult beverages. Wally: Drop dead. Dilbert: How'd you do? Wally: Leave me alone!
Boss: I can't give you a raise because the Elbonian debt crisis has created economic uncertainty. Luckily for us, our board of directors granted our CEO more stock options so he won't leave during uncertain times. Dilbert: What happens when the uncertainty ends? Boss: Then he'll exercise stock options.
Boss: You've been selected for our executive development program. That means we can make you relocate to any godforsaken dirt stain we want. As soon as you make friends or find romance, we'll move you to someplace new and worse. It won't be the sort of work you'll enjoy, and the stress might kill you. If you turn down this opportunity, the company will forever label you as a loser. If you accept the offer, the company will train you to find pleasure in the discomfort of your underlings. I'm doing it right now! Dilbert: I HATE MY LIFE!!! Boss: Yes, yes, say more.
Russell: Gotta go. Carpool. Boss: Okay. See you tomorrow. Wally: I have to go too. Boss: Whoa! Sit back down. Wally: Why does the carpooler get to leave early? Boss: Carpoolers are like heroes that are saving the entire planet. You're more like a thief who is trying to steal time from the company. Wally: What if I hitch a ride home in the carpooler's trunk? That would make me a hero too. Boss: That sort of makes sense. Russell: I only pretend to have a carpool, but you're welcome to ride in my trunk. Wally: Deal!
Boss: Someone sent me another anonymous email with a link to an article about the world's worst bosses. I get one of those emails every time I leave your cubicle. Did you think I wouldn't notice the correlation? Wally: Correlation does not imply causation.