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Dogbert sits across from the Boss's desk. He hands the Boss a document and says, "Here's my bid to run your telemarketing company. Basically, it's no cost to you." Dogbert continues, "My telemarketers pay themselves. If they get a feeble-minded person on the phone they charge them triple and pocket the difference." The Boss says, "There's no way I can lose." Dogbert says, "Don't answer your home phone for a few weeks."
Dilbert stands in front of the Boss who is seated at his desk. Dilbert says, "I accomplished twice as much as Wally this year, but we got exactly the same tiny raises." Dilbert says, "I'm wondering if this is a clever shift in management philosophy or a simple application of your ignorance?" The boss says, "You're starting to annoy me." Dilbert replies, "And that would affect my pay how?"
Wally stands in front of Dilbert who is seated at his desk. Wally is reading a piece of paper and says to Dilbert, "Your contributions to 'United Charity' are below average for your pay level." Dilbert says, "Actually, I donate ten percent of my income and thousands of hours to local groups not on your approved list." Wally writes on the sheet, ". . . Not a team player." Dilbert says, "I fund an agency that keeps people like you away from society."
Dilbert installs a stove while Dogbert watches. Dilbert says, "I'm installing a paper-burning stove to lower our heating bills." Dilbert says, "I'll fuel it with all the useless documents I get at work." At the office, the Boss sees Dilbert carrying a stack of papers and asks, "I've been noticing how much stuff you take home. You must love your work." Dilbert replies, "It gives me a warm feeling."
The Boss and a woman walk by Dilbert's cubicle holding folders. Leaning back in his chair to look out of the cubicle, Dilbert thinks, "Uh-Oh . . . the managers are going to another closed-door meeting." Dilbert thinks, "It must be about pay cuts or layoffs. I'm doomed. I'd better work on my resume NOW." He pulls nervously at his tie, his hair stands on end and beads of sweat fly from his forehead. The Boss sits around a conference table with three other managers. Reading from a document, he says, "Okay, so far our 'leadership vision' says 'we inspire employees to action.' Does anybody have upgrades?" Another man responds, "Nah."
Dilbert stands beside an overhead projector. He says, "This next transparency is an incomprehensible jumble of complexity and undefined acronyms." Dilbert continues, "You might wonder why I'm going to show it to you since the only possible result is to lower your opinion of my communication skills." Dilbert points at the diagrams and says, "Frankly, it's because I like making complex pictures more than I like you."
Dilbert stands at the front of a conference room. He says, "I've been asked to brief everybody on the company's policy for protecting secret information." Dilbert continues, "All secret information must be locked up at night." Dilbert continues, "Our secrets could be of great value to our competitors." Dilbert continues, "In fact, some companies try to buy the secrets of their competitors." A woman asks, "Just out of curiosity, how much would our competitors pay for our secrets?" Dilbert replies, "Oh, I dunno . . . Maybe several times your annual salary." The people at the table smirk at each other. Dilbert thinks, "I don't think this was some of my best work."
Wally sits at his desk and thinks, "Wally writes the critical code for our nation's new air traffic control system. The crowd is silent." Wally thinks, "Suddenly the gifted programmer employs a rarely seen strategy of 'code reuse.' The crowd goes wild." Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit a table eating lunch. Dilbert asks Wally, "So you used code from the payroll system?" Wally replies, "Here's a tip: don't fly on pay day."
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.'"
The Boss, Alice, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. Wally says, "This week I kicked off the 'Wally Compensation Equilibrium Project.'" Wally continues, "My goal is to lower the quality of my work until it is consistent with my salary." The Boss thinks, "I hate the first month after they see their raises." Wally says, "I'd go on, but I just achieved equilibrium."