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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?"
The Boss says to Tina the Tech Writer, "Tina, we need a few minor edits on our product brochure." Tina sits at her desk and thinks, "Minor? Uh-oh . . ." The Boss continues, "We've discovered that our product causes hallucinations and sterility." The Boss continues, "See if you can put a positive spin on that." Tina thinks, "This will be my greatest writing challenge yet." Tina types, "Are you tired of the same old sights? We've got you covered." Tina types, ". . . Makes a great gift for those people who - in your opinion - should not reproduce." Tina thinks, "Ooh . . . I feel a tiny pang of conscience. That's one." Dilbert asks, "So the brochure was only a three-panger?" Tina replies, "Yeah, and I think I faked the third one."
The Boss tells Dilbert, "I made an upgrade to your product design." He hands Dilbert a document. Dilbert says, "This would make the product overheat." The Boss says, "Let's try to look at the big picture." Dilbert reads the document and says, "Okay . . . Let's see . . . Your upgrade has no benefits and it costs more." Dilbert continues, "The overheating would start office fires and put all of our customers out of business." Dilbert continues, "If our sales are strong, we could create economic chaos and a global firestorm." Dilbert concludes, "Your 'upgrade' would destroy civilization as we know it." The Boss says, "Keep me informed." Back at home, Dilbert sits on the couch and Dogbert sits on the backrest. Dogbert asks, "So you're going to end civilization as we know it?" Dilbert replies, "I don't think I'll miss it, frankly."
Dilbert is in a metting with another man and a woman. The man says, "We didn't include engineers in the product planning sessions because.... um.. because...." The woman says, "Because we were art history majors in college." The man says, "Par-r-r-r-rty!" The woman says, "How soon can you build the cloak of invisibility?" The man says, "Let the man think, Clover."
Asok and Dilbert stand in front of the boss' desk. Dilbert says, "we need six weeks to make a good product design." Asok says, "You gave us three." Dilbert says, "Thanks to your leadership, the products is bad, our stock will plunge, and our lives are totally meaningless." Dilbert says, "Oh, and happy birthday." Asok holds a letter out and says, "We all signed a card."
Asok, Wally and Dilbert stare at a large book. Dilbert says, "One of us will have to read this gigantic product requirements document." Wally says, "Unless it gets destroyed in a freak accident." Wally says, "I have some oily rags in mu cube." Asok thinks, "It's like watching Thomas Edison work."
The Boss and Ted are walking together, carrying their briefcases. Ted says: "Let me do all the talking to the customer." The Boss replies: "Check!" The Boss, Ted, and the customer are sitting at a table. The Boss says to the customer: "You'd better make up your mind fast. We plan to discontinue that product any day." Walking back from the meeting, the Boss says to Ted, who is turned away from the Boss and looks angry, "Well, excuse me for trying to fill a lull in the conversation."
The Boss says at a meeting: "We can't make enough of our product to meet demand." He continues: "Our new strategy is to be more arrogant. We hope that will lower demand." At home, Dilbert asks Dogbert: "Can you teach me to be arrogant." Dogbert exclaims: "Bah!"
Wally says to the Boss, "I plan to spend the next year adding automatic registration to our product." Dilbert says to Wally, "It already has that feature." Both the Boss and Wally turn to look at Dilbert. Dilbert replies, "Oh."
Dilbert stands in front of a complex model. He points on the screen and says, "I designed a product that could fill a gaping hole in the market." Dilbert continues his presentation, pointing to a new slide with two shapes on it, nothing more. He says, "But thanks to the miracle of teamwork it turned into a product with no actual features." The next slide Dilbert points to shows a picture of himself in bed, laughing. He says, "In Phase three I fantasized about my coworkers being eaten by squirrels."