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Dilbert stands next to Wally's desk and says, "Wally, you never really answered the question I left on your voicemail." Dilbert asks, "Is this a case of simple incompetence or a preview of something far more sinster?" Wally replies, "It's the sinister one." Wally explains, "I've adopted a defensive strategy. I'm withholding information to make myself appear more valuable." Wally continues, "Now I only return phone calls late at night and leave incomplete answers." Wally continues, "In person, I act overworked and irrational so people stop asking questions." Wally continues, "If cornered, I sigh deeply and recount old war stories that don't relate to the question." Wally concludes, "No co-worker can thwart me!" Dilbert asks, "What if they team up?" Behind Wally's back, Alice reaches over the wall and grabs Wally's CPU. She thinks, "Got it!"
Tags #protects webs prodcuts, #engineer, #pads schedule, #six months, #build prodcut, #play doom, #computer, #add people, #tiny empire, #eighteen months, #sales people, #irrational desire, #beta test, #technology, #engineering
Dogbert holds a pointer and stands next to the caption, "How Nature Protects Weak Products." The caption says, "First, the engineer pads his schedule." Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. The Boss asks, "Six months?" Dilbert replies, "At least." Dilbert thinks, "One month to build the product and five months to play 'Doom' on my computer." The caption says, "Then the manager pads the schedule as a clever negotiating ploy." The Boss tells an executive, "One year . . . Unless you add people to my tiny empire." The caption says, "Then the vice president pads the schedule to avoid looking bad to the president." The VP kisses the president's toes and says, "Eighteen months." The caption says, "Meanwhile, the sales people are making up numbers because nobody tells them anything." A man tells a woman, "Two months . . . And it solves every problem you have!" The caption says, "This causes the customers to develop irrational desire for the product." A woman says into the phone, "Give me the 'beta' test version in one month." The caption says, "Thus nature disguises weak products as 'beta.'" The woman looks at a device and says, "Cardboard? That's stupid." Dilbert replies, "Oh . . . Then it's beta."
Dilbert asks a secretary, "Helen, do you have any staples in the supply cabinet?" Helen replies, "No, I only stock the basics: cheap pens with green ink, big jars of glue and ribbons for obsolete printers." Dilbert asks, "Could you order some staples?" Helen says, "You need to give me the order number." Dilbert says, "Okay. Can I see your supply catalog?" Helen replies, "Wally borrowed it." Dilbert covers his eyes and sobs. The phone rings and Helen says, "I'd better get that; it might be personal." Dilbert stands in the doorway and says, "Wally, do you have the . . ." Wally interrupts, "I need your help with this. Pull up a chair." Alice appears and says, "I need both of you to come talk to a vendor that we'll never use." Dilbert arrives at home and tells Dogbert, "Thanks to teamwork, I almost stapled something today." Dogbert says, "I'm so proud to know you."
The Boss tells Dilbert, "I need to move you one cubicle down." Dilbert asks, "Why?" The Boss replies, "That way my people will still be in a square pattern." The Boss explains, "You're in a random pattern now. The symmetry is bad." Dilbert says, "You want me to waste two days of work to move . . ." Dilbert continues, "I'll have no phone and no network connection for a week . . ." Dilbert continues, "I'll have to order new business cards and update my cubicle address on dozens of records." Dilbert continues, "And you still won't have a SQUARE because there are FIVE of us." A man stands in the door of Dilbert's cubicle holding a box. He tells Dilbert, "I got downsized. Apparently somebody complained that I formed a pentagon." Dilbert replies, "That can happen."
Alice sits at her desk. The Boss enters and says, "According to this phone bill, you've been making personal calls." The Boss continues, "That's like stealing from the company, Alice." Alice clenches her teeth, holds her fist and thinks, "Must . . . Control . . . Fist . . . Of . . . Death . . ." Alice looks at the telephone bill and says, "I only spent eighty cents to tell my family I was working late." Alice says, "Here's a dollar. The extra twenty cents is for the personal thought that I'm about to have on company time." Alice closes her eyes and imagines the Boss tied up with rope. She pictures handing him a stick of dynamite. Alice says, "And here's my bill for $40,000 in unpaid overtime that the company stole from me." The Boss replies, "That's not stealing; that's being competitive." Alice says, "I think I'll be competitive with a few bushels of office supplies later today."
The Boss sits at his desk and says into the telephone, "This voice mail message is for the whole department." The Boss continues, "Every morning from now on you'll get my 'Quality Thought of the Day.'" The Boss continues, "Today's thought is . . . Um . . ." The Boss looks in a desk drawer and continues, "Let's see . . . According to Webster's dictionary . . ." The Boss continues, "Aardvark is a burrowing African mammal that eats ants." The Boss continues, "What if we were more like that?" Dilbert sits at his desk listening to the message. The Boss continues, "I mean like the aardvark, not the ants . . ." Alice looks at her phone. The Boss stands by the printer thinking, "That's weird. Every time I leave my Quality Thought of the Day, the shared printer starts spewing resumes." Dilbert and Wally peek around the corner.
A man sits in his cubicle thinking, "It's time to use my speakerphone to do voice mail." The man thinks, "I can't remember if I use the speakerphone because I'm inconsiderate or because I'm too stupid to know how annoying it is." The man thinks, "I'll leave that question to the philosophers." The man screams, "Hi. Thanks for the information. Talk to you later!!!" The man shouts, "Did I tell you about my cyst?" Dilbert hears the man yelling and sends an e-mail message that says, "Dogbert, send Bob the Dinosaur quickly!" Bob says to the building security officer, "I'm here to deliver a wedgie." The man replies, "Use the service elevator." Dilbert sits at his desk humming while the man next to him screams as Bob gives him a wedgie. Dilbert presses the elevator button and asks Bob, "What's the best part - the look on their faces or the way they yell?" Bob replies, "I'll leave that question to the philosophers."
Dilbert, Alice, Wally and Asok sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "Our pointy-haired boss will be joining us by speakerphone." Alice tells Asok, "This is an important part of your engineering trainig, Asok." Asok asks, "What do I do?" Wally explains, "When Alice presses the mute button, you make witty and sarcastic remarks." The phone rings. The Boss says, "Hello, everyone. I'd like to talk about the new compensation plan." Alice presses a button and points to Asok. Asok says, "Tell us some lies, you ugly, two-faced, hypocritical troll!" Asok continues, "I am Asok the Intern and I spit on your feeble compensation plan!" Asok continues, "I've found stuff on the bottom of my shoe that was smarter than you!!" He laughs. Dilbert and Asok walk out of the conference room. Dilbert says, "Next time, a bit wittier . . . And make sure Alice really presses the mute button."
Dogbert answers the phone and says, "This is Dogbert. How may I abuse you?" The Boss sits at his desk and says into the telephone, "I need to move my cursor to the right but my mouse is at the edge of the mousepad." Dogbert asks, "Have you tried rebooting without saving your files?" The Boss replies, "Yeah, several times." Dogbert asks, "Have you tried moving your desk?" The Boss pushes his desk. The Boss says, "It didn't work." Dogbert says, "You need my $800 mousepad upgrade." The Boss asks Carol, "What account does this get charged to?" Carol replies, "'Idiot Expense,' just like everything else."
The caption says, "Office obstacle course." Dilbert walks down the hall. He sees another man and thinks, "Uh-oh, it's Phil. I never returned his call. Walk faster." Dilbert runs into the elevator as the doors close. He thinks, "Yes!!" Dilbert peers around a corner and thinks, "Uh-oh, it's an unpleasant co-worker who wants to be my friend." Dilbert walks behind Wally and a woman and thinks, "The clever engineer blends with the herd to avoid detection." Dilbert stands by Alice's desk and thinks, "Uh-oh, I owe Alice some information." Alice's phone rings. As Alice answers the phone, Dilbert runs by her desk and thinks, "Yes!!" Dilbert looks behind him and thinks, "There's only one more obstacle between me and blissful productivity." The Boss comes around the corner. Dilbert runs into the Boss and shouts, "My whole day is ruined!!!" The Boss says, "It looks like you need a one-on-one coaching session."