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Dogbert the CEO Dogbert says, "I'm nearing retirement, so fire the research and development group." Dogbert says, "The cost cutting will goose my stock options so I can cash out before the death spiral." The boss says, "Please don't make the noise." Dogbert says, "Too late! Cha-Ching!"
Man says, "Your order will only cost about $20,000." Dilbert says, "No it won't." Dilbert says, "We both know you're intentionally underestimating the true cost to get the sale, you lying sack of spit." Man says, "You're not supposed to say that out loud." Dilbert says, "Is it okay if I imagine a bear attacking you?"
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."
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."
Woman says, "I need a minor change to our website." Wally says, "Give me your business case for the change and I'll prioritize it for the queue." Woman says, "I don't have time to write a business case for one little change." Wally says, "I can't justify changing my priorities without one." Woman says, "GAAAA!!! Why can't we do the simplest things in this stupid company???!" Wally says, "Try one of these corporate post-traumatic stress pills to dull your memory of these events." Woman says, "What? Where am I? Who are you?" Wally says, "You were just leaving." Wally says, "They're placebos, but I find that they solve 20% of my problems."
"I'm thinking about buying a more fuel efficient car." "Why?" "It's my patriotic duty to reduce this country's dependency on foreign sources of oil." "Why?" "Because then the countries that hate us will have less money to fund terrorists." "Actually, developing countries would buy the oil you saved, thus adequately funding those same terrorists." "At least I wouldn't be funding them myself." "Oil is a fungible commodity. The capitalist system virtually guarantees that you'll end up buying the lowest cost oil from sources unknown to you." "Well, maybe, but I want my car to make a statement." "And the statement would be 'Hey, everyone, I don't understand what fungible means!'"
"Blah, blah, blah, blah." "Uh-oh." "It's 2 o'clock and my brain has shut down for the afternoon." "Blah, blah, blah, blah..." "I have no idea what he's talking about." "This calls for some generic leadership." "Do a cost-benefit analysis, get buy-in from all the key stakeholders, and track the critical metrics." "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a conference call." push "How did anyone manage before there were fake conference calls?"
I'll ask the vendor for ballpark prices to see if the idea is feasible. "You can't talk with vendors until our change control board approves the project." "But that would require a cost-benefit analysis." "And I can't do that without ballpark prices from the vendor." "Just take your best guess." "So...I should make up a number so I can get approval to make a phone call and ask what the number should have been?" "Right. But first you need to get my approval to do the cost-benefit analysis." "Will you approve it?" "I'd have to see the numbers."
"You exceeded all of your goals this year." "But I can't give you much of a raise because you didn't have the appearance of success." "Um...what?" "I have to justify to management all large raises, and they don't know that you exist." "Who do they think accomplished all of my goals?" "I'll make it up to you next year." push "Who was that?" "Some vendor."
A vendor addresses a meeting, "If you buy our system it will pay for itself in three years." Dilbert turns to the vendor and asks, "Approximately how much does it cost?" The vendor responds, "It's hard to say. It depends on many factors." Dilbert says, "Fine. Just tell me how much money it will save annually." The vendor replies, "You'll save $10,000 per year." Dilbert says, "Well then, if it pays for itself in three years, it must cost about $30,000" Dilbert continues, "That was a little trick I call "math." Dilbert continues, "Oops. Now I'm not emotionally invested." Asok pats Dilbert on the back and says, "Your vendor tauntage is quite excellent today."