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Dilbert: Out online budget approval system isn't working. There's a process for making changes to the system, but I don't know it. I could take a class to learn the process, but there's also a process for approving classes. I could learn the process for approving classes, but I'd still need approval for a budget variance to take the class. And I can't get that because the online budget approval system is broken. I can't even have this conversation because it will make me charge too much of my engineering time to administrative overhead. So I'll go sit in my cubicle and pretend to be thinking about a billable project. It looks like I'll be exaggerating my accomplishments again this year.
Dogbert says, "the Dogbert outsourcing company has a solution for every budget." Dogbert says, "At the deluxe level you get highly educated Indian who speak perfect English." The boss says, "Sounds pricey." The boss says, "Let me see?at my budget level we can get..." The boss says, "...One illiterate Elbonian with poor attendance and an anger management problem." the boss says, "Stupid economy." the boss says, "I'll take him." Dogbert says, "I should warn you that he handles several accounts... and he doesn't know he has a job." Elbonian says, "Why does everyone keep calling me and complaining?! I hate your guts!"
The boss says, "How much will it cost to develop our next generation product?" Dilbert says, "It will cost whatever you put in the budget." The boss says, "How much should I put in the budget?" Dilbert says, "Ask for the biggest number you think will get approved." Dilbert says, "If we get a lot of money we can build something great." Dilbert says, "If we don't get much money we can build something lame, and compensate for the lack of quality by lying more vigorously than usual." The boss says, "I'll aim low so I don't get yelled at during the executive budget meeting." Dilbert thinks, "I remember the time when this sort of thing would haunt me."
Alice: Our travel budget is shot. The Boss: We'll take money out of the training budget. Dilbert: We need training to support our new product. The Boss: We'll use the software budget for training. Asok: We need to do a mandatory software upgrade. Fine. Move some money from teh travel budget to the software budget. The Boss: Geez, you people do nothing but complain. Meanwhile I'm managing my brains out. Alice: I wondered what happened to them. The boss: Happened to what?
The Boss: You'll be in charge of this project. Dilbert: What's my budget?" The Boss: I'll need to approve all expenses. Dilbert: Who will report to me? The Boss: Your team will report to me and I'll tell them what to do. Dilbert: I'll start on the project plan. The Boss: Um... Skip that part. I already have a plan in my head. Dilbert: Hypothetically, who would take the blame if this project failed? Well, you're in charge...
The Boss: "I need a cost estimate on your project." Dilbert: "I have no idea I haven't even gathered the user requirements." The Boss: "Don't worry I won't hold you to the estimate." Dilbert: "Yes you will. You will put it in the plan, forget we had this conversation, and fire me when I go over budget." The boss: "Give me a number or I'll fire you right now." Dilbert: "Okay, it will cost ten million dollars." The Boss: "That's too high." Dilbert: "If you already know the cost why are you asking me?" The Boss: "So you'll feel like you had input." Dilbert: "Is input supposed to feel this bad?"
The Boss: "Ted, I have to let you go, but there's a good reason." "There's no money to pay your salary because I made a typo in my budget request." "Until then, I was totally planning to reward your hard work."
"I need a $1,600 handheld bar code scanner to finish my lab tests." "Okay. Apply for a capital budget variance, prepare an RFP, get three bids, form a team to evaluate the bids, then prepare a purchase order." "Never mind. I'll just learn how to read bar codes by sight." "Quitter."
"The Weekly Wally Report is bristling with tales of success." "I gave worthless input to marketing because they weren't specific about what they wanted." "I missed Alice's project meeting because she never confirmed the location." "I gave harmful advice to the sales team because they rushed me." "I ignored my email for a week because you said to focus on priorities." "And I didn't submit my budget estimates because Asok never told me what format to ues." "How can you call any of that success??!!" "Well, I'd compare it to my written objectives, but you never gave me any."