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The Boss, Alice, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Alice, our records show that you haven't taken a vacation all year." The Boss continues, "Company policy requires you to use your vacation days." Alice says, "How?? You told me to work seven days a week to prepare the project for your boss's year-end review." Alice asks, "Do you want me to meet the artificial project target or the artificial vacation target?" Alice stands up and screams, "Hello!!! These are mutually exclusive goals!!! Hello!!!" Alice says, "Ooh . . . Sorry, I usually just think that last part in silent frustration." The Boss says, "Moving right along . . . Kudos to Wally for using all of his vacation days ahead of schedule." Alice looks furious. Wally says, "Get over it, Alice. We can't all be superstars."
Wally follows the Boss and says, "We need to have a little talk . . ." Wally continues, "You told me to finish my project in a week but it's taken two months." Wally continues, "This doesn't look good for your ability to estimate resource requirements." The Boss sits at his desk. Wally continues, "Frankly, it's not much of an endorsement of your leadership either. I was uninspired the whole time." Wally continues, "And don't even get me started about your incompetence at budgeting. I spent WAY more than you predicted!" Wally pretends to strangle himself as he says, "Your incessant demands for status reports were like a rope that strangled my productivity!" Wally continues, "Bottom line, your performance did NOT meet my expectations." Wally's clothes are disheveled and his glasses are bent, Dilbert says, "So, Wally, do you still think the best defense is a good offense?" Wally replies, "It seemed like such a good idea."
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 caption says, "The Budget Trap." The Boss says, "I need a quick estimate for how much your next project will cost, Wally." Wally replies, "How should I know? You haven't even told me what my next project is." The Boss says, "That's okay. I only need a rough estimate for planning purposes." Wally says, "I see where this is going. You're going to turn my wild guess into a budget. Later I'll be blamed when it's wrong." The Boss replies, "No, no. I won't hold you to these numbers." Wally says, "Well . . . Okay, let's say two million dollars." The Boss says as he walks away, "Ooh . . . Can't afford that. I'll put you down for twenty thousand dollars." The caption says, "One year later . . ." The Boss sits at his desk and says to Wally, "You're way over budget. Can you show me the cause?" Wally replies, "It depends. Can mirrors reflect your image?"
The Boss, Catbert, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Mr. Catbert, our evil director of human resources, will describe our new cubicle plan." Catbert says, "Last year we reduced the size of cubicles in the densification project." Catbert continues, "We didn't save much money, but we did lower morale." Catbert continues, "This year we'll build on that success . . ." Catbert holds a square box and says, "With the patented 'Head Cubicle.'" Catbert lifts the Head Cubicle and says, "Hold still, Wally." Catbert says, "And the head cubicle can be recycled after you're downsized!" The cubicle covers Wally's head. Dilbert, Alice and Wally wear the cubicles on their heads. Alice says, "We really need to draw the line at some point." Dilbert adds, "While we still have our dignity."
The Boss, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. Wally hands the Boss a piece of paper and says, "My project is right on plan." Wally continues, "It began last week as a bad idea from somebody in senior management." Wally continues, "Thanks to my leadership, it is already an object of widespread mockery and derision." Wally continues, "As I speak, our lawyers are purging every last trace of value it might have had." Wally continues, "With luck, the project will be a gigantic failure in a month." Wally continues, "People will forget my failure and remember that I'm experienced. Promotions will follow. Yes!!" Wally concludes, "In six months I'll be dating an executive secretary named Yvonne." Dilbert says, "Good plan." The Boss asks, "Wally, have you ever read our mission statement?" Wally replies, "Yeah, but I don't subscribe to a literal interpretation."
Dilbert enters the Boss's office. He says, "Here's my project plan as you requested." Dilbert explains, "Our team is already working day and night on other projects." Dilbert continues, "I assumed we'd give up eating, sleeping and bathing to fit this in." Dilbert continues, "By the second week we'll be starving, delirious and stinking." Dilbert continues, "We'll be like wild, unpredictable animals." Dilbert continues, "Specifically, we'd be like wild chipmunks. None of us are very aggressive." Dilbert points to the proposal and says, "This clip art represents us in week three as a pile of dead chipmunks." Wally asks Dilbert, "Now he wants it in two weeks?" Dilbert says, "Never mix sarcasm with good clip-art."
Tags #project sparkle, #desk policy, #company wide effoert, #tiny question, #curious, #top executives, #competitive threat, #panic, #lone voice of reason, #paper towles, #laminated card, #mission statement
At a meeting, The Boss says, "Announcing Project 'Sparkle', the clean desk policy." The Boss says, "This is a company wide effort to keep our work spaces clean." Alice says, "Tiny question. I'm curious about one thing." Alice says, "I'm picturing our top executives in the 'War Room.'" Alice waves her arms wildly and says, "They talk about the competitive threat and our lack of resources. Suddenly, panic sets in!!" Alice is wide eyed and finishes, "A lone voice of reason penetrates the confusion. Two words: Paper towels." Alice asks, "Is that pretty much how it went?" The Boss says, "Moving along. Each of you get a laminated card with our mission statement." Wally puts his arm out to restrain Alice and says, "Let me do this one." Dilbert just watches it go by. The only reason he's here is because his name is on the strip.
The Boss sits at his desk and hands a piece of paper to Alice. The Boss says, "Get my approval at each phase. Finish in one month." Alice looks at the paper and says, "Let's see.. You're on vacation next week. Then you're traveling, then there's an executive retreat..." Alice continues while the Boss appears to listen, "It takes three weeks to get on your calendar... and the project has six phases..." Alice says, "What we have here is guaranteed failure." Alice says, "You've left nothing to chance on this one." Alice says, "I mean, normally there's a bit of uncertainty, but you've..oh." Alice says, "You've slipped into the "Boss Zone" where you can't see or hear employee input." The Boss is a zombie and Alice waves her hand in front of his eyes to no effect. The Boss says to Carol, his secretary, "It's weird. I lost ten minutes, and when I woke up, my doughnuts were gone." A doughnut is stuck on each of The Boss's tufts of hair.
The Boss stands at Alice's desk. The Boss says, "When you show this to our VP. Put in some revenue figures." Alice says, "There's no revenue. All we're doing is upgrading our network." The Boss says, "I might have told him the project has revenues." Alice grits her teeth. The Boss says, "Lets not confuse him by changing the story now." Alice covers her eyes. Alice screams, "Yi-yi-yi." Alice says, "O-o-o-okay. How much revenue do you want? A million dollars?" The Boss says, "I might have told him it was more." Alice screams, "Just tell me what lie to use!!!" The Boss says, "Can't you calculate it on the spreadsheet?" Alice's fists clench, Alice's eyes bulge. Alice thinks, "Must control....fist..of...death..."