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Ellen says, "I need a budget estimate for my project, but I don't have a scope or a design for it yet." Dilbert says, "Okay, my estimate is $3,583,729." Ellen says, "You don't know anything about my project." Dilbert says, "That makes two of us."
Dilbert: This is not the deal we agreed on. Man: I forgot a few things on the first estimate, but you need them. Dilbert: I only picked you because you had the lowest price. Man: Yes, but not the vendor selection is done and it would be too much trouble for you to start over. It might even damage your career because you delayed the project. You could go to the second-highest bidder, but those guys would do the same thing to you. Dilbert: Gaaa!!! I have no choice! This is blackmail, not commerce! Man: We call it "sales." I'll need all the cash in your wallet, too.
Boss: How fast can you fix the bug? Dilbert: I won't know until I dig in. Boss: Give me a random guess and I promise I won't hold you to it. Dilbert: Okay, three days. Boss: Now write that into your goals and get it done in three days or else. Dilbert: Why do I keep falling for that?!!!
Boss: Your financial forecast turned out to be wrong. Dilbert: Is that a surprise, given that forecasts are mostly just guessing plus math? Boss: The math is supposed to fix the guessing. Dilbert: I think we've isolated the problem to you.
Dilbert: Here's the financial projection you asked me to do. It's basically just guessing plus math. Obviously, it's useless for making decisions because I can get any result I want by tweaking the assumptions. Boss: Don't say any of that stuff when you present it to the board tomorrow.
Dilbert: According to my highly unreliable forecast, we're on the right track. But if even one of my seventeen assumptions is off by one percent, we are doomed. The obvious conclusion is that... Board: We're nailing it!
Boss: I can't give you a raise because your financial forecasts were all wrong. Dilbert: Financial forecasts are always wrong. You told me to make one anyway. Boss: In other words, I nailed it and you failed it. Dilbert: Catchy.
Boss: We won a government contract to measure ocean temperatures. Dilbert: Which part of the ocean? Boss: The whole ocean. Dilbert: We can't put sensors everywhere in the ocean. It's too big. Boss: We can measure a bunch of places and estimate the rest. Dilbert: So...you want me to measure 1% of the ocean's temperature and estimate the other 99%? I don't know how to do that. Boss: Try using math. Dilbert: Wouldn't it be cheaper to measure nothing and just estimate the whole thing? Boss: Every now and then you come up with a great idea.
tina: i'll be in your neighborhood saturday, maybe i'll stop by. dilbert: i'm not falling for that trick. tina: what trick? dilbert: the trick where you give me an estimated time and then push it back seven times until you cancel. i'll be stuck waiting at home until my whole day is wasted. tina: i promise i won't do that. i'll stick to the time. dilbert: what time is that? tina: depends how my day goes. dilbert thinking: and so it begins. tina: i'll text you if i'm running late.