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Boss: You didn't finish your assignment by the deadline. Wally: It won't matter as long as one other employee is also late, because the project can't move forward until everyone does their tasks. Wait fir it... wait... Coworker: You know how I was supposed to finish that thing?
Wally: I decided to be proactive and push back my deliverable deadline by a year. Boss: That' snot being proactive. That's the opposite of proactive! Wally: You said you want employees to be empowered and now you're criticizing my decision. That's just great. Now my morale is bad, too! I can't be proactive. I can't be empowered. And now I can't even be happy! You've bungled everything! You're a big bungler! Boss: Get out of my office. Wally: Well, say goodbye to the open-door policy!
Coworker: Did you finish the design according to my specs? Dilbert: Yep. Coworker: Hypothetically, if I had forgotten to mention several features, would that be a problem? And let's say the deadline is still the same. Dilbert: No problem. I always plan my schedule around your incompetence.
Voice: Meltdown in cubicle 459540! Dilbert: That's Te. He must have reached his T.W.L. Asok: His what? Dilbert: Theoretical workload limit. In layman's terms, his brain is full. It starts when just one of your projects becomes overdue. You end up spending all of your time explaining why you didn't get it done. That makes all of your other projects overdue. When ever task become urgent, your brain can't decide what to do next. Brains make a funny noise when they shut down. Noise: Poink. Asok: Uh-oh. I just missed a deadline. Wally: And so it begins.
Dilbert says, "The request we got for a quote is vague, and the deadline for our response is tomorrow." Dilbert says, "If I ask for clarity, we'll miss the the deadline. If I don't, our bid will either be below our cost or too high to win." Dilbert says, "Which path of certain failure do you prefer?" The Boss says, "I like the one that makes you work the hardest."
Dilbert says, "I cannot meet your arbitrary deadline, so the engineer's code requires me to kill myself with a lightsaber." Dilbert says, "But lightsabers haven't been invented yet. The best I can do is annoy myself with a flashlight." The Boss says, "Could you do this in the hall?" Dilbert says, "Annoyance before dishonor!"
The Boss says, "And I'll need that by the end of day." Dilbert says, "I will gladly rush to meet your arbitrary deadline so my work can sit in your e-mail inbox until next week." The Boss says, "I'm still within hearing distance." Dilbert says, "Oops. You usually scurry away faster."
Dilbert says, "I'll never be able to finish my project on time." The Boss says, "You need to take ownership." Dilbert says, "Can I hire more programmers?" The Boss says, "No." Dilbert says, "Can I reduce the number of features?" The Boss says, "No." Dilbert says, "So...I'm just taking ownership of the failure?" The Boss says, "Don't be greedy."
The boss: I'm promoting you from legacy systems troll to scapegoat. Your job is to dress in a goat costume and take the blame for all of our projects failing. Ted: We milled another deadline. All in favor of slapping the goat...
wally: Heed my advice, young Asok. Only an idiot finishes a project before the deadline. The less time you give people to nitpick. The more time you have to pretend you are overworked." Freedom is just another word for people finding out you're useless.