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Coworker says, "Did you read my long e-mail?" Dilbert says, "Not yet. What's it about?" Coworker says, "I can't say." Coworker says, "If I tell you what I wrote, the effort I put into writing the e-mail will be transformed into a waste of time." Dilbert says, "I just decided to delete your e-mail before reading it. Therefore it is already wasted." Dilbert says, "You are now free to tell me its contents without reducing your productivity." Coworker says, "Oh. Okay." Coworker says, "It was something about improving communication. But I worded it better." Coworker says, "Maybe you should read it." Dilbert says, "Maybe you should."
Boss: I hired a management consultant to teach us something he calls backwards causation. Dogbert: I studied the most successful companies. If you imitate them, you'll feel as if you have a strategy. Number one: sponsor a golf tournament so your CEO can meet celebrities. Boss: Profits, here we come.
Dilbert: I did a study of our past business plans and found something. There's no correlation between our predicted and actual outcomes. That might be a problem for you. Your enormous CEO compensation is based on the myth that you have some control over our profitability. CEO: Ha! Dilbert: Ha! CEO: Is it just me or is this awkward? Dilbert: No, I'm feeling it too.
CEO: Profits are way down, but don't worry your little heads about it. The board increased my annual compensation to $60 million. Now I finally have an incentive to do a good job! Un-oh. I'd better hurry because I'm already starting to feel underpaid again.
Boss: Our products are getting worse every day. But our marketing keeps improving. We're very close to the point where our customers will give us money for no reason. Then we can give ourselves huge raises and do no work at all. CEO: I like everything you said, except the "we" part.
Catbert: I'm going to brainwash you to believe company profits are more important than your health. It's called "employee engagement," and it will make you work 12-hour days while thinking you enjoy every minute of it. Dilbert: Can I just work for money? Catbert: Why are you being a jerk about this?
Catbert: My job in Human Resources is to instill in you a permanent feeling of inadequacy. Your only hope for feeling good about yourself is to work feverishly to boos company profits. If you work all weekend for free, I am willing to call you adequate on a temporary basis. Dilbert: I'll take it.
Catbert: The Evil Director of Human Resources. Catbert: Ideally, you want all of your employees to be optimists. Because optimists believe anything you tell them. Boss: If you work all weekend, and our profits double in a month, I'll give you a helicopter. Asok: Deal!
CEO: The company's goal is to make the world a better place. Dilbert: How does that square with our stated goal of destroying our competition? If we succeed, those people will be out of jobs. After we annihilate our competition, we can jack up our prices to monopoly levels and take advantage of our customers. Most of our profits go toward making the rich richer. We don't even pay taxes. Meanwhile, my co-workers and I will be living a life that has been stripped of all meaning. Is that what you had in mind by "Making the world a better place?" CEO: I didn't mean better for everyone.