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The Boss: "Our project is six months behind schedule." "Meanwhile, our technology has become obsolete and the users' requirements have changed." "Any suggestions?" Dilbert: "Let's stubbornly plod along and deliver the useless product that was originally requested." Wally: "That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard!" "We should restart every time something changes. That way we'll never be held accountable for results!" Alice: "You losers can work it out alone. I heard there's a job opening on project Caribou." The Boss: "Next on the agenda: our weekly team-building excercise." "
The Boss stands at Dilbert's desk and says, "I got your project approved by our president!" The Boss continues, "But he gave your budget to another project." The Boss continues, "It's pretty much doomed from the get-go." The Boss continues, "But I hyped it up at the executive meeting so somebody else will try to take it over." A woman pushes them aside and says, "Step aside, fools! This project belongs to marketing now!" As the woman walks away, the Boss says, "Oh, please don't take our project." Dilbert and the Boss slap hands. Dilbert says, "Yes!" Dilbert asks, "Do you ever worry that you're finding joy in the wrong places?" The Boss replies, "Nope."
The Boss tells Dilbert, "I'm moving you to a cubicle in the south wing." Dilbert asks, "Why?" The Boss answers, "Umm . . . It's more efficient if my group is all in one place." Dilbert replies, "Not for me. The people on my project team are all in this wing." The Boss says, "It will improve communication in our group." Dilbert replies, "I don't need to communicate with my group. I only need to work with my project team." Dilbert continues, "I'll bet another manager wants that same cubicle in the south wing. I think I'm just a pawn in your little game." The Boss says, "You move tomorrow. By the way, there's a new dress code." Dilbert and Wally wear chess pawn costumes. Dilbert says, "You're in my cubicle." Wally replies, "You can only move to a diagonal cubicle."
The Boss, a man, Alice, Wally, and Dilbert sit around a conference table. The Boss points to the man and says, "I'd like you all to meet our new co-op employee." The Boss says, "We don't pay him. He works for free to gain valuable job experience." The Boss says to the man, "I'm putting you in charge of the PTG project!" The man says, "Wow! What is it?!!" Alice replies, "PTG stands for 'Paper Towel Guy.'" Alice explains, "If somebody spills coffee it's your job to throw your body on it before it reaches one of us." Alice spills a cup on the table and says, "Oops." The man flies through the air, yelling, "Fire in the hole!!!" The man lies on top of the spill. He asks, "How'd I do?" Alice says, Not so good, kid. That was tea."
Dilbert approaches the Boss and says, "We desperately need another person on my project!" The Boss replies, "We're already over headcount. Get a contract employee." Dilbert says, "Okay, but they cost twice as much." Dilbert says, "Plus we need to buy a computer." The Boss says, "Rent one. We're over our capital budget." Dilbert replies, "Renting is expensive. We'll go over our expense budget." The Boss says, "I'll fire Wally. That will free up some cash." Dilbert throws his arms up in frustration and says, "Wally's on my project!" Dilbert shouts, "Forget it! I'll just work sixteen hours a day!!" The Boss thinks, "That worked out perfectly. I think I might be a genius or something." The Boss sits at his desk and thinks, "I wonder if I should have told him the project was cancelled last week."
The Boss introduces a man to Dilbert and Wally. The Boss says, "We just hired Jack away from our competitor. He was their best manager." The Boss continues, "Jack will be in charge of project 'Goosefood.'" The Boss continues, "I'd like you two to brief Jack on the project." Jack, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "Project 'Goosefood' has no budget and no management support." Wally says, "Your job is to build a global information network in two weeks." Dilbert says, "Failure is certain. Soon you will leave the industry in disgrace." Wally adds, ". . . Just like the other 'best managers' we hired from our competitors." Jack says, "Just our of curiosity, how did the project get its name?" Wally replies, "Let's just say that you're the goose food . . ."
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?"