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The caption says, "Dilbert is forced to work in the accounting department." Dilbert has turned into a troll. Bradley the Troll says, "First you must understand how numbers change reality . . ." Bradley continues, "Some people think numbers merely REFLECT reality . . . But we believe that numbers CREATE reality." Bradley shows Dilbert a room where an overseer cracks a whip at several other trolls. Bradley says, "This our budget-erasing room . . ." The supervisor yells, "Erase faster!!"
A man stands in front of Dogbert's desk and says, "We don't need any of your 'intuition' mumbo jumbo. We need quantitative data!" The man continues, "The only way to make decisions is to pull numbers out of the air, call them 'assumptions,' and calculate the net present value." The man continues, "Of course, you have to use the right discount rate, otherwise it's meaningless." Dogbert says, "Go away."
"From now on, twenty percent of your pay will depend on the company meeting its sales targets." "In effect, we'll cut your pay and tell you it's your own darn fault." "Will the sales target be based on a complex formula and involve numbers that can't be accurately measured?" "You broke the code!"
The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "We're having an ISO 9000 audit this week." The Boss continues, "Take a look at your documented job descriptions and make sure that it's what you're doing if the auditor asks." Looking at his job description, Dilbert says, "According to this I'm some sort of engineer." Wally, looking at his, says, "As if we'd have time for that . . ."
Dilbert enters the office kitchen where a man is putting a sign on the coffee maker that says, "Coffee maker." Dilbert asks, "Why are you putting a sign on the coffee maker?" The man says, "It's an ISO 9000 requirement. Everything must be clearly labeled. There can be no exceptions." Dilbert says, "That's stupid." The man walks away saying, "Believe me, I don't like it any more than you do." The man's shirt has a label on the back that says, "Stupid label guy."
Dogbert stands on a desk and says to Wally, "It's funny - before your company bought that critical system from me, YOU had all the power . . ." Dogbert yells, "But now, only I can provide essential upgrades!! I call the shots, you simple fool!!" Dogbert says, "Send in the next employee." Outside the cubicle Dilbert and another employee are standing in line holding numbers. The man says, "At least we don't have any multi-vendor compatibility issues."
The Boss, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "We did an industry survey to see how your salaries compared to the average." The Boss continues, "We didn't get the numbers we hoped for, so we broadened the definition of 'our industry.'" Wally says, "I'm so happy to be in the industry of 'high technology, textile workers, teen-agers, and dead people.'" Dilbert says, "I feel overpaid."
Dilbert hands a piece of paper to Carol. Dilbert says, "Here's my time sheet, in exquisite detail." Carol wads the time sheet up. Carol says, "It's easier to input the numbers if I make them up as I go."
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."
The caption says, "The Budget Trap." The Boss says, "I need a quick estimate for how much your next project will cost, Wally." Wally replies, "How should I know? You haven't even told me what my next project is." The Boss says, "That's okay. I only need a rough estimate for planning purposes." Wally says, "I see where this is going. You're going to turn my wild guess into a budget. Later I'll be blamed when it's wrong." The Boss replies, "No, no. I won't hold you to these numbers." Wally says, "Well . . . Okay, let's say two million dollars." The Boss says as he walks away, "Ooh . . . Can't afford that. I'll put you down for twenty thousand dollars." The caption says, "One year later . . ." The Boss sits at his desk and says to Wally, "You're way over budget. Can you show me the cause?" Wally replies, "It depends. Can mirrors reflect your image?"