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The Boss says to Asok the Intern, "So you see, if you got a raise, our earnings growth wouldn't be so smooth." The Boss asks, "And smooth earnings are good for who?" Asok ventures a guess, "Stock market analysts?" The Boss corrects him, "Specifically, the lazy ones." Asok says, "I'm fine. Now that I understand."
Dilbert stands before a manager, possibly the Boss. He says, "I appreciate your new "open book management" philosophy." Dilbert continues, "For example, I've learned that we're repurchasing stock while I'm working unpaid overtime." Dilbert says, "Yet I remain highly motivated because I understand that income and equity are distinct concepts." The manager says, "Who said ignorance is bliss? Ha!"
Dogbert walks by empty cubicles. He thinks, "I've downsized this company and plundered its equity by excercising my massive stock options." A chauffer holds the door as Dogbert gets into his limosine and thinks, "Yet my victory seems hollow. Something is missing." Dogbert sits on the couch with Dilbert. Dilbert says, "Maybe you're missing a sense of meaningful contribution to society." Dogbert relies, "Maybe... but I'm thinking book deal and trophy wife."
In The Boss's office, The Boss tells Alice, "I can't give you a raise because you're above the salary midpoint. But at least your stock options are doing great!" Alice says, "I don't have any stock options." The Boss says, "Oh. I'm probably thinking of me." The Boss says, "Next, it says I should coach you on your interpersonal skills."
Wally is standing in front of the Boss' desk. There are four darts in Wally's back. The Boss tells him, "No one likes being hunted down and shot with flu darts, Wally." He continues, "But remember: companies are managed for the benefit of stockholders, not employees." Wally responds, "I own stock. It's in my 401(K) account." The Boss counters, "I'm not supposed to tell you, but none of that is real."
Caption: Dogbert the C.E.O. Dogbert sits at head of table surrounded by workers. Dogbert says, "I've decided to manipulate our stock price for personal gain." Dogbert continues, "I'll spin off a few divisions, buy back some of our stock and announce massive budget cuts." Worker asks Dogbert, "Um...do you even know what products we make?" Dogbert replies, "How would that be relevant?"
Caption: Dogbert the C.E.O. Dogbert sits at desk. An investment banker stands across from him. Banker says, "I'm an investment banker. I can help you loot this place and escape." Banker sits next to Dogbert and reviews some material with him. Banker says, "You'll maerge with my other client company. Your golden parachute kicks in. Then you exercise your stock options on the uptick." Alice and Dilbert review merger announcement. Alice says, "You rarely see a merger announcement with the phrase, 'So long suckers.'" Dilbert softly says, "Ouch."
Dilbert sits at his desk. The Boss peers around the corner and says, "Congratulations!" The Boss continues, "You've been named 'floor warden.'" The Boss explains, "In the event of a fire we'll rely on your leadership to get us out safely." Dilbert says, "Let me see if I understand this . . ." Dilbert continues, "YOU're the leader when it involves uninformed decisions in return for huge stock options." Dilbert continues, "But I'M the leader when it comes to rishing death in a highrise inferno while you scramble over the ashen backs of fallen co-workers." Dilbert asks, "What makes you think your life is worth more than mine?" The Boss replies, "I've got stock options and you're a floor warden." Dilbert says, "Don't expect any CPR."
The Boss sits at his desk and says, "Dilbert, I've decided to downsize you." The Boss continues, "It's nothing personal, just an economic necessity." Dilbert tugs nervously at his necktie. The Boss says, "I calculated how much your salary was dragging down the value of my stock options." The Boss continues, "Without you, I can afford to go to the movies one additional time per year." The Boss continues, "And let's face it: recreation is important when one has a stressful job." Dilbert waves his arms and says sarcastically, "Hey, why don't you downsize Wally instead. You'll save enough in office supplies to buy popcorn too. Sheesh!" The Boss thinks, "Mmm . . ." Wally asks Dilbert, "How'd it go?" Dilbert says, "You know that team-building exercise we did last week? It didn't take."
Wally sits at his desk thinking, "Whoa . . . I found a huge bug in our new software product." Wally thinks, "I could alert the development team and work many hours of overtime to fix it . . ." Wally thinks, "Or I could surf over to my online brokerage service and buy stock in our competition." Dilbert asks, "Are you going to lunch?" Wally replies, "No, I have to do an analysis." Dilbert walks away thinking, "When Wally works through lunch . . . It's time to buy stock in our competition." Dilbert tells Alice, "Wally's working through lunch!" Alice says, "Quick! To the online brokerage service!" The Boss reads the newspaper and thinks, "Our competition is up ten points on no news. We're up two, maybe from the industry halo effect." The Boss tells Alice and Wally, ". . . Or maybe our new compensation plan is motivating smarter behavior." Wally says, "I think you nailed it."