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Dilbert is in The Boss's office. He holds some files and says, "I need help on the assignment that you said is a 'no brainer.'" The Boss says, "It's easy. Just skip the 'interface design' phase and make everything beige. You can't go wrong with beige." Dilbert walks away thinking, "I always know where to go for no-brainer decisions."
Dilbert sits at his computer, hand on the mouse. Dogbert stands on the desk and says, "I'm going to make an infomercial." Dogbert starts wagging his tail and says, "I'm targeting the people who want to invest their savings, but don't know how." Dilbert says, "I hope you plan to sell educational information about how to avoid scams." Dogbert says, "Good idea for phase two!"
The Boss sits at his desk and hands a piece of paper to Alice. The Boss says, "Get my approval at each phase. Finish in one month." Alice looks at the paper and says, "Let's see.. You're on vacation next week. Then you're traveling, then there's an executive retreat..." Alice continues while the Boss appears to listen, "It takes three weeks to get on your calendar... and the project has six phases..." Alice says, "What we have here is guaranteed failure." Alice says, "You've left nothing to chance on this one." Alice says, "I mean, normally there's a bit of uncertainty, but you've..oh." Alice says, "You've slipped into the "Boss Zone" where you can't see or hear employee input." The Boss is a zombie and Alice waves her hand in front of his eyes to no effect. The Boss says to Carol, his secretary, "It's weird. I lost ten minutes, and when I woke up, my doughnuts were gone." A doughnut is stuck on each of The Boss's tufts of hair.
Dilbert sits across from the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "Give me a final design for Project Caribou by Tuesday." Dilbert replies, "That's Wally's project." The Boss says, "I know, but I'm thinking about it now and Wally isn't in the room." The Boss says, "Tell Wally it's your project now." Dilbert says, "Do you see this thimble? I keep my morale in it."
Ratbert stands in front of a dry erase board and says, "Your strategy options can be shown in this matrix." Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table listening to the presentation. Ratbert continues, "The four boxes are 'Something . . . Something . . . Some other thing and whatever.'" Ratbert continues, "In phase two I hope to turn this matrix into concentric circles with labels and arrows." The Boss thinks, "I'm under the consultant's spell."
The Boss and Dogbert sit at a table. Dogbert shows the Boss a document and says, "Here's my final plan for the company's day care facility." Dogbert continues, "I call it free range day care. The children are allowed to roam free among the cubicles. It's very economical." Two small children stand in Wally's cubicle. The boy says, "I don't believe he's really an evil troll." The girl says, "Look at the 'Powerpoint' slides he's making. It's not human."
The Boss sits across from two men from the buying company who are sitting on a couch. One man says, "In the 'due diligence' phase of our merger you will give us access to all of your proprietary information." The Boss asks, "Wouldn't that let you know how to crush us competitively? Couldn't you cancel the merger and take our customers without paying a cent?" As the two men struggle to control themselves, they think, "Must . . . contain maniacal . . . laugh . . ."
Dilbert stands with his arms extended and says to the Boss, "I'm paralyzed with fear because of the pending merger." Dilbert continues, "Thanks to your leadership I've gone from being unmotivated to being inert." Dilbert says, "I think I'm advancing to the next phase. Hello, rigor mortis!! Take me, I'm ready!!" The Boss walks away thinking, "It might be time for a morale-boosting potluck lunch."
Tags #project time line, #work portion, #meet with people, #competitive bids, #predictable behavior, #randomly reorganize, #department, #cut funding, #final phase, #death, #bitter and broken, #leaving building, #medical
Dilbert and the Boss sit at a conference table. Dilbert works on a laptop connected to an overhead projector. Dilbert says, "Here's my project time line." Dilbert points to a diagram and says, "The 'work' portion will take one week." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend three weeks meeting with people whom you send to me because you don't feel like talking to them yourself." Dilbert continues, "I'll spend eight weeks getting competitive bids from companies that I know I won't select." Dilbert continues, ". . . Six weeks to get the wisdom and approval of executives who are too busy to understand the issues." Dilbert says, "During that time you will randomly reorganize the department and cut my funding." Dilbert points to a picture of a man jumping out of a building window. Dilbert continues, "In the final phase I leap to my death, a bitter and broken shell of a man." The Boss asks, "Is there some sort of manager thing I should be doing now?" Dilbert replies, "If I time my leap right you'll just be leaving the building."
The Boss: I put together a time line for your project. I started by reasoning that anything I don't understand is easy to do. Phase one: design a client-server architecture for our world wide operations time: six minutes.