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Alice: Why do I keep taking on more work while you do noting? Wally: That's because you optimize for productivity, while I optimize for my happiness. Alice: That makes you a freeloader. Wally: I prefer the label "happy winner."
Boss: How's your employee engagement coming along? Dilbert: I'll make you a deal... I'll pretend I'm happy to be here if you pretend you believe it. Boss: I need more than that. I also want you to pretend you're loyal to the company. Dilbert: I can do that, if you pretend you're interested in my career development. Boss: Can we do all of that without talking? Dilbert: That's the best way. Boss: My job was a lot harder before I figured out all the shortcuts.
Dilbert: I need some mentoring. Boss: This is awkward. On one hand, helping you would make me appear wise and generous. On the other hand, it would make you a more credible threat to take my job. I see you as more of an adversary than a subordinate. That's why I withhold vital information that you need to do your job. I've already said too much. Wally: Did you learn anything? Dilbert: Yes, unfortunately.
Alice: Why didn't you tell me about this sooner? Dilbert: That's a fool's game because Zeno's Paradox says there will always be a time sooner than the one I pick. Alice's Paradox says that no matter how many criticisms you explain away, there are always plenty more.
The Self-Serving Consultant. Dogbert: I recommend firing this guy so you have more money for me. I also recommend withholding his final check until he makes all of my PowerPoint slides for me. Man: This is messed up. Dogbert: Add some recommendations so I sound smart.
Dogbert: I built a particle accelerator in the basement. Dilbert: Sounds expensive. Dogbert: Not if you use cardboard. My plan is to say I discovered one new particle per week. When scientists fail to confirm my discoveries, I will say they need better accelerators.
Dilbert: I don't know how you are stress-free when we have so much work to do. Wally: It's all about understanding percentages. No matter how hard you work, you will never finish even two percent of what needs to be done. The financial rewards of doing two percent of your work are identical to doing none. It's also a good idea to volunteer for several projects so everyone thinks you're working on the other ones. Your problem is that you're doing actual work for no good reason. Dilbert: My problem is that I'm doing your work plus my work! Wally: It's only two percent more work, you whiner.
Asok: I want a job I can enjoy. Dilbert: You want to work for free? Asok: No, I just want to get paid for doing things I want to do. Dilbert: Perhaps you misunderstand the true nature of "work." The reason your employer pays you is because work is unpleasant by its very nature. If the job were fun, the company would charge you a fee for letting you do it. Boss: Asok, I need you to climb into the dumpster and find out what's making it smell so bad. Asok: At least I'm doing something useful. Boss: No, it's more of a curiosity situation.
Boss: Our plan is to use design psychology to make our apps more addictive. Ideally, we want to strip people of their free will and turn them into mindless upgrading zombies. Dilbert: I'd feel better if we called that "marketing." Boss: I need you to be more mindless, too.