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A coworker comes into Wally's cubicle. The coworker says, "Wally, may I ask you for advice?" Wally responds, "Huh?" The coworker says, "My name is Ted. I'm planning to take the voluntary layoff package." The coworker continues, "Then I plan to use my retirement money to start a business that makes kites out of waffles!" The coworker continues, "In five years I hope to be the world's largest maker of edible kites." The coworker asks, "So, what do you think? I value your opinion." Wally responds, "Ted, who told you that I'd be a good person to ask for an opinion on your idea?" Ted replies, "Alice said it reminded her of the quality of your... ideas." He pauses and then says, "Oh." Wally and Ted are standing hostilely in Alice's cubicle. Alice exclaims, "Alice shoots for the double!!! She scores!!!"
THE CALL CENTER: A worker sits in front of a computer wearing a telephone headset. A woman supervisor says to him, "Carl, reduce your average call time or you're history." Dilbert holds a portable telephone in his hand and presses buttons to dial a number to the sound of "Beep beep beep beep." Carl answers the phone angrily, saying, "What?!" Dilbert says into his telephone, "I have a question about your product." Carl yells into the telephone, "Faster! Faster! Faster!" Dilbert says into his telephone, "Um... It's about the interface." Dilbert hears Carl say, "Great. Thanks." There is the sound "click." Carl's supervisor says to him, "Your average call time is way down. You get a bonus." Carl holds his bonus check and thinks to himself, "Maybe it's a mistake to do this job while I study for the priesthood."
The Boss says, "I'm happy to announce that we're being acquired by a foreign company." The Boss continues, "Don't worry that they'll dominate us. This will be a merger of equals." He points to a sign that reads, "Merger of Equals." The Boss continues, "Except that they make money and we don't." The Boss continues, "And their CEO will lead the combined company." Dilbert, Wally, and Alice sit at the conference table. The Boss' voice continues, "And every one of them is a giant." The Boss continues, "And they've developed their latent psychic abilities so they can cause pain from a distance." The Boss grabs his head in pain and exclaims, "Gaaa!! I'm sorry I said too much! You are my master!!" Dilbert turns to Wally and asks, "Are you worried?" Wally replies, "Nah. If they read my mind, they'll all go blind."
CEO: The media is saying I'm overpaid compared to other CEOs. That's crazy. Do a benchmark study of executive pay, including the Sultan of Brunei, Larry Ellison, and God. Make sure my pay ends up somewhere in the middle so it doesn't look suspicious.
Agent: The government would like to use your browser history as a firewall against Elbonian hackers. One look at what you're up to will make them blind and crazy. I know because it worked on me. Elbonian: That's probably a fluke. You try. A Week Later in Elbonia
Wally: You should let me work at home a few days per week because studies show that telecommuters put in more hours. Boss: How do they study that sort of thing? Wally: They survey people who work at home. Boss: What if those people are lying weasels? Wally: I wasn't counting on this level of awareness.
Tags #big business, #business ethics, #obliviousness, #core competencies, #automating things, #worshipping stars quo, #steve jobs, #reanimated body, #making lapses, #fiduciary responsibility, #hearing what we want
Dilbert: I did a study of our core competencies. It seems we're very good at automating things that we shouldn't be doing in the first place. But that's not all we're good at. We're also good at worshipping the status quo as if it were Steve Jobs' reanimated body. And no one is as good at masking lapses in fiduciary responsibility. Lastly, we're good at hearing what we want to hear. Boss: So... we're good at automating things?
Dilbert: A start-up offered to pay me half of what I make now, plus equity in a company that has no value. Boss: I will double that if you stay! Dilbert: I decided to stay, but it was hard to feel good about it.
Boss: Our marketing people tell me your double-handed coffee mug could be a huge seller. Brainstorm with the other engineers and see if it needs more features. Wally: Do you have any other ideas for ruining the product, or should I focus on that one?
Wally: Our boss asked me to totally ruin my double-handled coffee mug invention by adding features. I am asking each of you to suppress your engineering impulses just this one time and let this perfect product stay perfect. Dilbert: It would be perfect if it had wi-fi and a projection keyboard. Alice: Maybe add some health sensors and GPS.