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The Boss calls after Dilbert, "Dilbert, I want you to write a letter to our new customer." Dilbert follows The Boss down the hall. The Boss continues, "I'll tell you what to say, then you'll go write it and I'll sign it." The Boss sits at his desk and continues, "This way I won't waste my valuable executive time." He pauses and then continues, "It's efficient." Dilbert responds, "Yes, that's one possible outcome." He pauses and then continues, "Here's another." Dilbert continues, "You'll keep forgetting to mention important things that should be in the letter." Dilbert continues, "I'll be trapped in an endless loop of writing, tracking you down, getting criticized and starting over." Dilbert continues, "Or you could simply write the letter yourself and save us both a huge hassle." The Boss responds, "In paragraph one, say something like 'Hi.'"
Wally says to The Boss, "I'd like to work flex time." Wally says, "I'll work for five hours before anyone else gets to the office..." Wally says to The Boss, "Then I'll take a break for ten hours..." Wally says, "Then I'll work five more hours after the witnesses... er... co-workers go home." Wally says, "You'll know I'm working hard because my cubicle will be filthy." Wally says, "But I have to be perfectly honest: There's a down side to this plan." Wally says to The Boss, "I would miss your staff meetings that I cherish so much." Wally says to Dilbert, "I'm having trouble keeping my clever schemes separate from my sarcasm."
Wally: Can I create my own job? I hear people do that. They figure out what they are good at and then they create a job around it. I'm more of a strategic thinker than a worker bee. My job could be to attend meetings and say strategic things. And, of course, I would have no time to respond to email because I'd be busy being strategic. Boss: It feels as if you want a job that doesn't involve work. Wally: Would you trust a strategic thinker who can't solve his own problems?
Boss: My new thing is taking long walks instead of having meetings. Wow. It is hard to walk, read, think, talk, and drink coffee at the same time. Dilbert: He fell off a bridge. Carol: That's why I schedule walking meetings for him.
Boss: The client says you billed them for all the time you spent thinking about their project. Dilbert: I'm an engineer. Thinking is what I do. Should I think less? Boss: Maybe you could meet with someone while you think. Dilbert: How's that working right now?
Dilbert: You asked for a breakdown of what I did this month. I wasted 25 percent of my time in useless meetings. I spent 33 percent of my time listening to co-workers complain about other co-workers. I used 11 percent to resend files I already sent. 14 percent went to dealing with a rumor you started by accident. 16 percent went toward working on the wrong things because you communicate poorly. Boss: What did you do with the 1 percent that was left? Dilbert: You just experienced it.
Why isn't anyone else here yet? Did you tell them you changed the meeting time? I asked you to tell everyone. That isn't my job. Then why didn't you tell me you weren't going to do it?!! It isn't my job to tell you what isn't my job. Now this meeting is a waste of my time. Does your job description tell you to attend meetings that are worthless? I didn't know there were other kinds.
Boss: I need you to attend a meeting in my place. I agreed to the meeting before I realized it would be a total waste of time. Dilbert: This could not be worse. Boss: I might have volunteered to write up the meeting notes.
Wally: We've achieved optimal meeting density. We have so many meetings that I can avoid all of them by saying I have another meeting at the same time. Man: While you're here, can you review my slide deck? Wally: I'd love to, but I have fifty slide decks ahead of you.