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Wally: You look stressed. Asok: I am. How do you drink so much coffee and stay so calm? Wally: It's easy. I wear a "Thundershirt" under my work clothes. It was designed to make dogs feel safe during thunderstorms. When I saw the commercial for it on TV, I wondered what else it could do, so I bought one. I haven't had a bad day at work since then. Narrator: One week later. Asok: Feeling good! Best day of work ever! Dilbert: Did you convince a co-worker to wear pet clothes? Wally: That's how I reduce my stress.
Boss: We need to cut our budget. Go to all of our vendors and tell them to reduce their prices. Dilbert: Why would they do that for us? Boss: Tell them we'll buy from someone else unless they do. Dilbert: That's what we told them to get the prices we have now. I'm an engineer, not a professional negotiator. Your plan has failure designed into it. Your poor leadership already has me on the edge of madness. This could push me over the edge. Boss: And I need it done by Tuesday.
Boss: I'm giving you another software project to work on at the same time as your main project. Dilbert: That will ruin my flow. It will take too long to reset my brain when I switch between projects. Boss: Have you tried working longer hours without extra pay? Dilbert: Yes I have!
Boss: Did you finish the software yet? Dilbert: No, I'm still paying off the technical debt from the last programmer you rushed. Boss: I don't know what that means. Dilbert: Well, that explains a lot.
Dilbert: I hacked into your fitness band and analyzed your decision-making under different conditions. When you are hungry, tired, or stressed, you make terrible decisions. Boss: How often is that? Dilbert: Only when you're awake.
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.
Dilbert: I have too much work, and it's stressing me out. Boss: I've been reading about this sort of situation. Try writing don all the things that make you feel grateful. Dilbert: That would be more work! Boss: For your anger issues, try keeping a journal of all the times you lose your temper. Dilbert: That would be more work! Has anyone ever taken your advice? Boss: Do you know the guy in Marketing with the eye patch? Dilbert: He followed your advice? Boss: Half of it.
Boss: Schedule your training during your lunch hours so it doesn't impact your projects. Dilbert: But... my lunch hour is the only freedom I experience in a typical day. The rest of my time is either scheduled to the minute or driven by whatever crisis is happening. Please don't take my lunch hour and reduce me to nothing but a prisoner in a digital chain gang. I'm barely clinging to my illusion of free will as it is. This could push me over the edge. If you take away my one hour of freedom in the day, I might as well be a robot. Boss: Relax. This is temporary. Dilbert: For how long? Boss: Until I can replace you with a robot.
Boss: So don't let that happen again. Dilbert: It wasn't my fault and you know it. Boss: It's easier if we don't try to link performance and outcomes. Dilbert: I'll try. It was hard at first, but now I'm totally stress-free. Wally: I just got a 30% raise.