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Dilbert says, "Ratbert, my company is hiring for our quality assurance group. You'd be perfect." Ratbert asks, "What would I have to do?" Dilbert replies, "You would find flaws in our new product, thus making yourself an object of intense hatred and ridicule." Ratbert says, "But then you'd fix those flaws . . . And your respect for me would grow into a special bond of friendship, right?!" Dilbert replies, "No, then we ship."
The Boss peers into Dilbert's cubicle and asks, "Could you do a demo of the new product for our VP next week?" Dilbert says, "Well . . . That would delay the ship date, lower morale and create an unending demand for more unproductive demos . . ." Dilbert continues, "Logically, since your objective is to show that we're doing valuable work . . ." The Boss interrupts, "And we'll need a banner that says 'Quality.'"
Wally stands in front of the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "Wally, I've decided to move your project due date up a month." Wally responds angrily, "Every time it looks like I'll reach an objective, you move it! What does this prove about my performance?" The Boss answers, "It proves I'm better at setting objectives than you are at achieving them."
The Boss, Alice and Dilbert stand next to the coffee machine. The Boss says, "I need everybody to help in the shipping department today." The Boss continues, "Every product that ships before the end of the month gets counted as revenue for the fiscal year. Unfortunately, we don't have inventory." Dilbert, Alice and Wally each have an open box in front of them. The Boss continues, "So we'll ship whatever is lying around, book it as revenue and sort it out later." Wally reaches into his mouth and says, "This one's getting gum."
The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "We need to ship the V-1 product tomorrow. I promised our CEO he can announce it at the shareholder meeting." Wally says, "That's two months early!!" Dilbert says, "We haven't added any features yet!!" Dilbert says, "What would we ship? Our lab prototype is the only V-1 in existence!" Wally cries, "No . . . You wouldn't!" The Boss picks up the device and says, "I've scheduled press tours so you can do demos all next week." Wally asks, "On what?!" As the Boss walks away carrying the prototype, Dilbert says, "We'll need twenty thousand dollars to build another prototype!" The Boss says, "That reminds me; I froze the budget for the rest of the year." The Boss continues, "If there's anything you'd like me to do, don't hesitate to ask." Wally says, "Yeah, I'd like you to do something . . ." The Boss looks angry. Wally says, "Ooh . . . I think I should have hesitated to ask that."
Dilbert, Wally, Alice and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "The project status is 'yellow light.'" Dilbert continues, "In user tests we found that the product locks up every twelve seconds. The interface is incomprehensible and the manual is pure fiction." Dilbert continues, "I think it's clear what we need to do . . ." The Boss asks, "Ship it and hope somebody writes a 'Dummies' book about it?"
Dilbert stands in front of the Boss's desk and says, "I worked all night but I finished the presentation package you wanted." The Boss looks at a transparency and says, "Put the presentation date on each page." Dilbert says, "Those are color transparencies. It would take hours and cost hundreds of dollars to reprint them." Dilbert continues, "There's no reason to date them. In fact, it would limit future use and clutter the page." Dilbert continues, "But since you're incapable of admitting error . . ." Dilbert bows and continues, "I eagerly await your bizarre, other-worldly explanation for putting the date on each page." The Boss says, "Some people might not have calendars and we have to make sure it's not a holiday." There is an explosion. A cloud of smoke hovers where Dilbert's head should be. Dilbert says, "Ouch. My brain exploded." The Boss says, "The first presentation is February 30th . . ."
The Boss sits at a desk. Dilbert reads a printout and says, "Our original project time line was twelve months . . . But since you pitched in to help . . ." Dilbert continues, "I don't have an exact date, but it's roughly the same time that the sun becomes a cold dark chunk of coal the size of your forehead." The Boss says, "We'll need flashlights." Dilbert says, "And sweaters. It could get nippy."
The Boss says to Tina who is seated at her computer, "Tina, you'll have to have all the documentation written by next week so we can ship it when the software is done." Tina says angrily, "How can I write instructions for something that doesn't exist yet?" The Boss answers, "You'll have to make logical guesses." Tina types on her computer, "If you press any key your computer will lock up. If you call our tech support we'll blame 'Microsoft.'"
The caption reads, "The problem . . ." Dilbert enters looking frazzled and says to the Boss, "We're so under-staffed that the project is six weeks behind schedule." The caption reads, "The analysis . . ." The Boss looks pensive and thinks, "I can't add people . . . I can't change the due date . . . I can't ignore it." The caption reads, "The result . . ." Dilbert says to Wally and Alice, "He wants daily status reports until the situation improves." All three look overworked and disheveled.