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dilbert: i worked all weekend to get this done for you by the deadline. boss: thanks, but i won't need it for another two weeks. dilbert: then...why did you tell me the deadline was today? boss: i built some cushion into the schedule. dilbert: you mean, you lied to me about the real deadline. in other words, you don't trust me, you are a liar, and i should never believe you again. boss: but you didn't miss the deadline! dilbert: okay, well, at least my input is critical to our success. boss: i might have exaggerated that.
boss: if you finish by the deadline, i'll recommend you for a million dollar bonus. dilbert: you're lying. boss: i'm serious. dilbert: but you're also lying. boss: only one way to find out. dilbert: i'd need to work around the clock for weeks to meet the deadline. boss: that's the spirit! dilbert: if you're lying about the bonus, i'm going to be boiling mad. five weeks later. dilbert: it nearly killed me, but i finished by the deadline. where's my million dollar bonus. boss: i told you i'd recommend it. they said no.
Voice: Meltdown in cubicle 459540! Dilbert: That's Te. He must have reached his T.W.L. Asok: His what? Dilbert: Theoretical workload limit. In layman's terms, his brain is full. It starts when just one of your projects becomes overdue. You end up spending all of your time explaining why you didn't get it done. That makes all of your other projects overdue. When ever task become urgent, your brain can't decide what to do next. Brains make a funny noise when they shut down. Noise: Poink. Asok: Uh-oh. I just missed a deadline. Wally: And so it begins.
The Boss holds a syringe. He says to Dilbert, "Drop your trousers and turn around. I need a DNA sample." Dilbert bends over looking angry. As draws Dilbert's blood, the Boss says, "We're scanning for any fatal genetic problems that could hurt productivity." Dilbert sits at his desk. The Boss enters holding the test results and says, "Uh . . . we decided to move your project deadline up a week." Dilbert's hair stands up straight.
Dilbert sits at his desk and tells the Boss, "At first I thought you committed me to an impossible deadline. But I have a theoretical solution." Dilbert explains, "It involves flying around the earth so fast that I travel back to the past." The Boss asks, "And then you'll have enough time?" Dilbert replies, "No, then I'll give your parents this pamphlet on contraception."
The Boss says, "Alice, I need this ASAP." Alice asks, "ASAP? Does that stand for A Stupid-Acting Person, i.e., someone who ignores tasks until the deadline?" The Boss walks away thinking, "That was embarrassing. I hope the other things I say don't mean anything."
Dilbert sits at his computer. The boss hands him a piece of paper. "I'll need this vital information by one o'clock." Dilbert thinks, "If I do a shoddy job, I can finish this and still make it to lunch!" Dilbert eats lunch with Alice and Wally. Dilbert says, "Today I traded my work ethic for a banana." Wally says, "I ate that banana years ago."
Dilbert sits at his computer as The Boss says, "Good news: The deadline got pushed back a week." Dilbert says to The Boss, "Good news?! I've been working for forty hours straight to finish on time!" The Boss thinks, "I just realized I don't know the difference between good news and bad news."
Wally stands in Alice's cubicle with a coffee cup. Alice works at her computer. Wally says, "There is no reason to be stressed, Alice." Wally says, "Allow me to be your role model." Wally says, "I remain calm despite the pressure of impossible deadlines." ALice says, "That's because you have no pride and no ambition!" ALice says, "I've worked day and night to make this deadline!" ALice says, "And when I suceed, the glory will be mine!" Ted pokes his head around the cubicle wall and says, "Our new VP just canceled the project so the last vp would look bad." Wally says, "They say that when the student is ready, the master will appear."
Vendor: We'll build your software with all the features you want plus a few extras. Dilbert: "Or maybe you'll start late and claim there's no way to do everything by the deadline." "Then you'll say that the unfinished features aren't important and you're losing money on the deal." Vendor: "I can't hear you."