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Alice, Dilbert and Wally grumble as they enter a leadership seminar. The instructor asks, "What would you call a manager who motivates employees to work fourteen hours a day?" Alice answers, "A filthy sadist." Dilbert answers, "Pointy-haired imbecile." The instructor says, "Umm . . . No . . . That's not what I'm looking for." Wally says, "I think he means what do we call him to his face." Alice, Dilbert and Wally answer in unison, "Leader." The instructor says, "Right! And what do you call someone who can make unpopular decisions again and again?" Someone replies, "A filthy sadist?" Another participant says, "Wait, it might be another trick question." The instructor thinks, "I hate training engineers."
The Boss says, "Alice, I'd like you to meet the newest member of my management team." The Boss continues, "Keith is highly qualified, he has a masters in business administration." Alice and Keith shake hands. Alice says, "Very impressive. They must have taught you a lot about motivating employees." Keith replies, "No, not really." Alice says, "Well . . . You probably learned how to identify and hire good people, right?" Keith replies, "That might have been optional reading." Alice asks, "Did you learn negotiation skills? Strategic thinking? Business writing?" Keith answers "No" to all three questions. Keith explains, "It was mostly finance and accounting. And economics." Alice says, "So, you're a highly qualified leader because . . . You're good at math?" Keith whispers to the Boss, "What should I do here?" The Boss replies, "In these situations I like to use swearing."
The Boss sits at his desk and thinks, "I'm a manager, so I don't do actual work . . ." The Boss thinks, "And all the decisions are made above me." The Boss says to his secretary, "Carole, tell me again what I produce." Carol replies, "Carbon dioxide. Our plants would need that if they weren't plastic."
Dilbert sits at his desk and tells Dogbert, "I invented a new data encryption program called P.H.B. which stands for Pointy-Haired Boss." Dilbert explains, "It converts e-mail into manager babble. Nobody can intercept and decode my private messages without the key." Dogbert asks, "Who would want to read YOUR messages?" Dilbert says, "Somebody MIGHT want to read my messages. It could happen!" Dogbert says, "And maybe you should carry pepper spray in case supermodels try to kiss you."
Alice and Wally sit at a table eating lunch. Alice says, "I've hit the glass ceiling. I'll never be promoted again." Wally replies, "That's because you're not willing to 'play the game.' You have to look and act like the person who can promote you." In order to look like the Boss, Alice shapes her hair into two points, puts on a suit and stuffs a pillow under her shirt. The Boss sees her and thinks, "Ooo la la!" Alice thinks, "This had better work."
Phil and the Boss sit at a table eating lunch. Phil says, "Mom wanted me to be a manager like you. But I chose my own path." Phil continues, "I became Phil, the Ruler of Heck, the Punisher of Minor Sins!" The Boss asks, "How do you make money?" Phil answers, "Corporate sponsorship. 'Procter and Gamble' pays me to stay away from them." The Boss says, "You should sell a line of home-exercise spoons."
The night shift manager brings a dog into Alice's cubicle and says to Alice, "This dog is specially trained to detect wasted resources." As the dog begins sniffing, the night manager continues, "He'll help me find out why your project is behind schedule even after adding me as manager." The dog holds an arrow with his tail and points it at the night manager. The manager says, "We'll begin as soon as he's done playing around."
The Boss appears in the door of Alice's cubicle and says, "Alice, you've been working eighteen hours a day. I realized I must add a person to the effort." The Boss continues, "So I hired a night shift manager. After I go home at five o'clock he'll take over and ask why you're behind schedule." The night shift manager says to Alice, "I like my status reports rendered in 3-D, but don't spend a lot of time on it."
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 Boss pokes his head into Ted's office and asks, "How do you like being a manager, Ted?" Ted replies, "Yesterday my staff pushed me down ten flights of stairs. My soul left my body and now I'm a lifeless evil entity." The Boss says, "Just in time to do performance reviews!" Ted responds, "I couldn't have planned it better."