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Dilbert: I got reassigned to manage our legacy systems. The dress code is "troll." My cubicle is under the walkway. My side job is scaring vendors. Dogbert: Is that hard? Dilbert: Only the first day. After you eat one vendor, work gets around.
Dilbert says, "Our project plan is so complicated that failure is assured." Dilbert says, "But complexity is too abstract for you to manage, so instead you will spray me energy into the vortex of failure." Dilbert says, "Go." The Boss says, "I need you to finish it six weeks sooner for a trade show."
Ellen says, "I need a budget estimate for my project, but I don't have a scope or a design for it yet." Dilbert says, "Okay, my estimate is $3,583,729." Ellen says, "You don't know anything about my project." Dilbert says, "That makes two of us."
The Boss: "I hired all of you because the project will take 300 man days to complete." "There are 300 of you, so I want you to finish by five o'clock and clean out your desks. You're all fired." "If it takes more than one meeting to manage a project, I lose interest."
"Blah, blah, blah, blah." "Uh-oh." "It's 2 o'clock and my brain has shut down for the afternoon." "Blah, blah, blah, blah..." "I have no idea what he's talking about." "This calls for some generic leadership." "Do a cost-benefit analysis, get buy-in from all the key stakeholders, and track the critical metrics." "Now if you'll excuse me, I have a conference call." push "How did anyone manage before there were fake conference calls?"
"Why is your project months behind?" "I still don't have the user's requirements because she's a complete nut job." "It's your job to manage that process!" "I complained to her boss, who promptly misinterpreted the problem and ordered her to work on the wrong stuff." "Then every member of her family got a serious illness. Then she got called to jury duty." "She promised to give me the requirements this afternoon." "It was too hard to come up with my own requirements, so I just copied the requirements from another product." "Is the other product similar to what you want?" "Where are you going with this?"
Coworker: The software upgrade will be written and rolled out in three months. Dilbert: Has any project of this complexity ever been completed by the estimated finish date? Coworker: Not yet. We're confident we'll be the first. Dilbert: Is that because you're doing things differently from all of those who went before and failed? Coworker: No. We're doing things exactly the same way as the people who failed. Dilbert: Do you see what I'm getting at? Coworker: No, not really. And we expect to be on budget. Wally: Snork!
Temporary Robot Boss. Robot: I have come to micromanage you. But only until I replace you with a robot and turn you into furniture. Dilbert: On the plus side, he has a plan and he communicates well.
Boss: When will you have that done? Dilbert: Two weeks. Boss: Can you do it faster? Dilbert: Yes. All I need to do is lower the quality. Dilbert: Tell me what your minimum acceptable quality level is and I'll tell you when you can have it. Boss: I want it in one week. Dilbert: I can do that at 50 percent of planned quality. Boss: Why does it feel as if I'm not really managing anything here? Dilbert: Maybe you could go manage someone else now. Boss: I can't tell if I'm doing my job now. Dilbert: Is it your job to prevent me from working?