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Dilbert, Wally, Alice, the Boss and another man sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "We've implemented an 'employee of the month award.'" The Boss explains, "The winner gets to park in a special space right behind the area reserved for managers!" Dilbert says, "That's like saying the very best employee isn't as good as the worst manager." The Boss replies, "No, you're just as good but . . . Uh . . . Less important." Wally says, "Personally, I'm feeling all charged up about this program!" Wally continues, "I'm going to work day and night to increase my chances for better parking!!" Everyone except the Boss laughs. Wally says, "But wait! I ride the train to work!" The Boss thinks, "We're off to a rocky start."
The Boss stands in casual clothes and says, "It's time for my annual inspirational talk." The Boss says, "We must work twice as hard, or the competition will crush us!" Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit in front of the Boss as he continues, "I want you to feel afraid twenty-four hours a day." Dilbert raises his hand and says, "Question: wouldn't hat lower the quality of our lives?" Wally says, "Seems like it might." Wally continues, "I'm too afraid to work here now. I wonder if our competitor's are hiring?" Alice raises her hand and asks, "Question: should we continue to be afraid of our own management's incompetence?" The Boss replies, "Let's compromise. I'll agree to cut the meeting short if you'll all agree to feel worse in some way." The Boss leaves the meeting and thinks, "No I remember why I only inspire them once a year."
The Boss says to Wally and Dilbert, "If you work hard, you can achieve great things!" The Boss says, "And then you die." Wally, Dilbert and Alice weep as The Boss says, "It never pays to mix reality with inspirational speeches."
Asok: Alice, do you have any valuable career advice? Alice: Work so hard that it destroys your health and crowds out any chance of having a personal life. Asok: Wouldn't that make me... unhappy? Alice: You didn't ask for happiness advice.
Dilbert says, "The request we got for a quote is vague, and the deadline for our response is tomorrow." Dilbert says, "If I ask for clarity, we'll miss the the deadline. If I don't, our bid will either be below our cost or too high to win." Dilbert says, "Which path of certain failure do you prefer?" The Boss says, "I like the one that makes you work the hardest."
Wally: What's it like to work hard? I'm curious because the reward for hard work seems to be identical to the reward for pretending to work. It seems as if it would be demotivating to work so hard for no incremental benefit. If I had to pick one word to describe my day, it would be "relaxing." But you took the harder path, and for that, you have my respect. Alice: I don't want the respect of a loser! BAM! Wally: If it makes you feel any better, I don't actually respect hard work.
The Boss says to Dilbert, Wally and another employee, "From now on, all employees are empowered to make their own decisions." The Boss continues, "Empowerment is the concept of the nineties. You'll be happier and more productive." Wally says, "You're fired, Dilbert." Dilbert replies, "No, YOU are!" The woman says, "I'll never work hard again!"
Boss: We need to foster more of a start-up culture to drive innovation. Dilbert: So we get to dress casually, work flex hours, feel that our work is valued, and get equity in the company. Boss: What would be the name of a culture where people work hard but don't get any of those things you just mentioned.
Boss: Your bonuses this year will be based on the usual formula. 50% is based on pure luck. And 50% is based on the performance of people you have never met. This year, the luck factor was good. Our industry experienced huge consumer demand. Unfortunately, people who you have never met did a bad job of marketing and sales are terrible. And for that, you engineers must be punished. No bonuses for you. Luckily for me, my bonus is based on how well I can convince you idiots to work hard while getting no bonuses. I don't like to brag, but I'm fairly sure I'm nailing it.
Robot: Someday robots will do all of the technology work and humans will only do creative jobs. If you engineers work hard, someday the spoils will go to the liberal arts majors who partied while you studied. I hear good things about origami. It's not too late to get into that game.