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The caption says, "Bad news in 1985." Dilbert, the Boss and another man sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "We're replacing the company doctor with a registered nurse." The caption says, "Bad news in 1990." The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "We fired the nurse and put the aspirin and tourniquets in the vending machine." The caption says, "Bad news in 1995." The Boss holds a mallet behind his back as he says to Dilbert and Wally, "We've been asked to increase vending machine revenue by fifteen percent."
Dilbert stands across from the Boss's desk. The Boss tells Dilbert, "This is a very interesting employee suggestion." Dilbert replies, "Thank you, sir." The Boss says, "If I read this correctly . . ." The Boss continues, "You observed that everybody is smarter than his boss . . ." Dilbert says, "Exactly . . . So we all just switch jobs with our bosses and boost productivity by 200 percent!!" The Boss says, "I've decided to do a limited trial . . ." A janitor enters the room and tells Dilbert, "Something died in the stairwell. Take care of it."
The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. Wally says, "It's time now for the Wally Report, a weekly status update." Wally continues, "My income is 80 percent of industry average, enthusiasm is at 63 percent of capacity and my ego shield is holding at 15 percent." Dilbert says, "Your enthusiasm is up from last week." Wally says, "Someone left the supply cabinet unlocked!"
The Boss stands behind Dilbert's desk and says, "Good news about your compensation plan . . ." Dilbert says, "I hate good news about my compensation plan." The Boss says, "Twenty percent of your pay will now be in the form of stock options instead of cash!" The Boss says, "To get your stock options, simply sign this updated employment agreement." Dilbert asks, "Why does good news feel like a mugging?"
The caption says, "Designing a brochure." Dilbert sits at a conference table with a man from marketing. Dilbert says, "We'll want to emphasize the things that make our product unique." The man says, "Good good." Dilbert says, "Let's see . . . We have higher prices . . . Stale technology . . . Fewer features . . . And it's hard to use." Dilbert asks, "Can you work with that?" The man replies, "Suddenly I don't feel so bad that we won't be using 100 percent recycled paper."
Dogbert works at a computer. Behind him, Dilbert says, "Is it hard to write an earnings report after you steal the investor's money?" Dogbert says, "Nah." Dogbert says, "I'll compare my performance to the S&P 500 under a common set of assumptions." Dilbert walks away and says, "Oh." A woman says to her husband, "How did our Dogbert fund do?" The husband looks at the earnings statement and says, "Ten percent better than the S&P 500 if it were also managed by an unscrupulous dog."
At the staff meeting, The Boss says, "The sales force was offered a retirement buyout package of fifty dollars." He continues, "One hundred percent of the sales force elected to take the offer." The Boss says, "I wonder what they know that we don't know." Wally turns to Dilbert and says, "There's a hole with no bottom."
Dogbert sits on the hassock watching television. A newscaster says, "The budget for education was cut ten million dollars." Dogbert thinks, "Is that a big percentage? Does it make any difference?" The reporter says, "Congress considered a music safety law after studies showed a ten percent increase in piano-related deaths." Dogbert wonders, "How does that compare to other health risks? Should I be concerned?" The newscaster continues, "Lawmakers debated a bill to lower capital gains tax rates . . ." Dogbert thinks, "What do most economists think? Would it stimulate the economy much? Should I care?" The newscaster continues, "A new poll show that many voters have strong opinions on these issues despite the fact that we provide no useful contextual data." Dogbert walks away with his ears standing up. He thinks, "I've got to stop watching scary shows right before bedtime."
The Boss, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "We can succeed if each of you will commit to giving 110 percent." Wally says, "That would be ten percent over the theoretical maximum." Dilbert adds, "Can't be done." Wally says, "Plus you have your vacation days and your sick days . . ." Dilbert continues, "Heck, these staff meetings take ten percent right off the top . . . Wally asks, "And what about all the times something unexpected comes up?" Wally says, "I think we could give you . . . What?" Dilbert says, "Forty-three percent." Wally adds, "And that's not a commitment." Dilbert says, "It's an estimate." The Boss asks, "Can we continue the meeting now?" Dilbert replies, "I'm over my estimate for today."
The Boss: Let's each share our accomplishments for the month. Dilbert: To the untrained observer it might seem like I didn't accomplish anything. However, I did strategically "position" my project by socializing it within the company. Dilbert: Then Wally and I help a "tiger team" lock up session. Then I prepared the executive briefing package for the big meeting that got cancelled. Since then Ive spent most if my time looking for the best project management software to use. And I did it all within ten percent of my budget goal, Dilbert: Looking good. Wally: wow all I did was that tiger thing.