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The Boss sits at his desk and tells Dilbert, "You didn't give me your five-year budget forecast." Dilbert replies, "You didn't ask for one." The Boss says, "It was discussed at the project review meeting." Dilbert replies, "You didn't invite me to that meeting." The Boss asks, "Did you accomplish ANYTHING this week?" Dilbert answers, "I trained the bats who live in my cubicle to juggle mushrooms."
Alice tells Dilbert, "Today I'll find out how big my bonus will be." Alice continues, "After all the work I did on that project, I'm thinking four digits, maybe five." Later, Dilbert asks, "How many digits?" Alice replies, "I used one on each hand."
Wally, Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. Wally points to a diagram and says, "This metric shows an excellent trend in the number of days since the beginning of my project." Wally continues, "That growth rate compares favorably with the best companies in our time zone." As they walk away, Wally tells Dilbert, "I'm working smarter, not harder." Dilbert says, "It's a whole new paradigm."
Catbert sits at his desk and says, "There are two ways to get an extra engineer for your project." Catbert continues, "You can transfer some unqualified loser from within the company . . ." Dilbert asks, "Or?" Catbert says, "Not so fast. I like to savor the moment before I crush your misplaced optimism."
The Boss, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. Wally hands the Boss a piece of paper and says, "My project is right on plan." Wally continues, "It began last week as a bad idea from somebody in senior management." Wally continues, "Thanks to my leadership, it is already an object of widespread mockery and derision." Wally continues, "As I speak, our lawyers are purging every last trace of value it might have had." Wally continues, "With luck, the project will be a gigantic failure in a month." Wally continues, "People will forget my failure and remember that I'm experienced. Promotions will follow. Yes!!" Wally concludes, "In six months I'll be dating an executive secretary named Yvonne." Dilbert says, "Good plan." The Boss asks, "Wally, have you ever read our mission statement?" Wally replies, "Yeah, but I don't subscribe to a literal interpretation."
Alice says to Catbert, "I need to hire a programmer for my project team." Catbert says, "Our policy is to first seek candidates from within the company. If none is qualified, you must use a sock puppet." Alice asks, "How many of your policies are designed for the sole purpose of satisfying your sadistic tendencies?" Catbert replies, "All of them. Some are just more obvious."
The Boss, Catbert, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Mr. Catbert, our evil director of human resources, will describe our new cubicle plan." Catbert says, "Last year we reduced the size of cubicles in the densification project." Catbert continues, "We didn't save much money, but we did lower morale." Catbert continues, "This year we'll build on that success . . ." Catbert holds a square box and says, "With the patented 'Head Cubicle.'" Catbert lifts the Head Cubicle and says, "Hold still, Wally." Catbert says, "And the head cubicle can be recycled after you're downsized!" The cubicle covers Wally's head. Dilbert, Alice and Wally wear the cubicles on their heads. Alice says, "We really need to draw the line at some point." Dilbert adds, "While we still have our dignity."
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?"
Alice stands in front of the Boss's desk and says, "I admit I was skeptical when you said I would be empowered to make my own decisions . . ." Alice continues, "But I give you credit. You've let me work independently for three months . . . What's that look on your face?" Alice says, "Please tell me that it was empowerment I was experiencing." The Boss asks, "Did I ever mention that your project was canceled?"
The Boss says to Ratbert, "In the short time you've worked in quality assurance, you've found a huge number of flaws in our prototype." Ratbert replies, "That's my job!" The Boss continues, "You're jeopardizing our schedule. The entire project will fail and it's all YOUR fault." Ratbert asks, "Why is it MY fault?" The Boss replies, "If a tree falls in the forest . . . And we've already sold the tree . . . Does it have quality?" Ratbert asks, "How many angels can dance on your head?"