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The Boss says to Dilbert, "You need to socialize your idea with the rest of the department." Dilbert replies, "Socialize? Is that the same as getting buy-in?" The Boss answers, "It's one step below buy-in. It's more like dialoging for feedback." Dilbert says, "Wait...I thought that building consensus was one step below buy- in." The Boss responds, "Just run it up a flagpole and see who salutes." Dilbert asks, "Wouldn't it be better to do a temperature check using a straw man?" The Boss answers, "Maybe... But is that going to inoculate the stakeholders?" A letter from Scott Adams reads, "Dear Reader, If you or anyone you love understands the preceding conversation, you have my deepest sympathy." Signed, "S.A."
Alice asks, "I did what?" The Boss responds, "You talked to my boss without my permission." Alice says, "I don't remember reading a rule against that." The Boss replies, "That's because it's an unwritten rule." Alice says, "Unwritten you say? Hmm.. isn't that interesting? I wonder why it's unwritten." Alice continues, "I would think you'd be proud to write down an excellent rule such as that." Alice continues, "But if you prefer to keep transmitting rules by ESP, your skull seems to be blocking the out-going signals." Alice continues, "If you're sending a new rule now, turn your head so it can come out your ear hole."
The Boss walks down the hall and thinks, "I hate today.. I hate today." The Boss takes a seat by Wally in the conference room and thinks, "Wally's annual performance review." The Boss says to Wally, "Let's compare your objectives with.." The Boss pauses and then continues, "What the...?" The Boss says, "Apparently your objectives are "play computer solitaire and drink coffee." Wally says, "I hope you're learning a valuable lesson about reading documents before signing them." The Boss responds, "Okay, we'll use what we have. How many games of solitaire did you win?" Wally says, "Win? I didn't know you could win. Is that something new?" After the meeting, Dilbert approaches Wally and says, "He made you employee of the month?" Wally responds, "He thinks he signed a warning for my file."
The Boss enters Dilbert's cubicle and says, "Dilbert, research this expense and find out what it's for." Dilbert looks at the paper and says, "It's only $2.37." Dilbert exclaims, "It could take all day to track down!" Dilbert continues, "I'm a highly trained engineer, not a clerk." Dilbert crumples up the paper and exclaims, "How can you justify wasting a valuable employee like me on a trivial task like this?!!" The Boss responds, "That reminds me: your project got canceled. This is your only assignment." The Boss does a dance and exclaims, "Woo-hoo! In your face!!!" As The Boss walks away, he thinks, "I wonder if he'll find out I spent $2.37 on his "kudos" award."
The Boss calls after Dilbert, "Dilbert, I want you to write a letter to our new customer." Dilbert follows The Boss down the hall. The Boss continues, "I'll tell you what to say, then you'll go write it and I'll sign it." The Boss sits at his desk and continues, "This way I won't waste my valuable executive time." He pauses and then continues, "It's efficient." Dilbert responds, "Yes, that's one possible outcome." He pauses and then continues, "Here's another." Dilbert continues, "You'll keep forgetting to mention important things that should be in the letter." Dilbert continues, "I'll be trapped in an endless loop of writing, tracking you down, getting criticized and starting over." Dilbert continues, "Or you could simply write the letter yourself and save us both a huge hassle." The Boss responds, "In paragraph one, say something like 'Hi.'"
Headline: The Adventures of Paul Ooshen* (*Say it fast). Paul sits at his computer and looks down at his watch. Paul squirts a perfume bottle towards his face. He thinks, "Aaah... The scent of a hog farm in a rainstorm." Paul rubs in fingers in an oil puddle on his desk and thinks, "Oil for fingers." Paul holds up a sandwich and thinks, "Onion sandwich." Paul snorts his nose and thinks, "Annoying nasal sounds." Paul pours coffee into a mug and thinks, "Leaky coffee mug.. I'm ready for my meeting." Paul enters Alice's cubicle and scratches his nails down her computer screen. Alice screams, "Yes! Yes! I agree to everything! Please leave!" Paul walks away and thinks, "I didn't even need to lean over her keyboard with my sugar donut."
THE CALL CENTER: A worker sits in front of a computer wearing a telephone headset. A woman supervisor says to him, "Carl, reduce your average call time or you're history." Dilbert holds a portable telephone in his hand and presses buttons to dial a number to the sound of "Beep beep beep beep." Carl answers the phone angrily, saying, "What?!" Dilbert says into his telephone, "I have a question about your product." Carl yells into the telephone, "Faster! Faster! Faster!" Dilbert says into his telephone, "Um... It's about the interface." Dilbert hears Carl say, "Great. Thanks." There is the sound "click." Carl's supervisor says to him, "Your average call time is way down. You get a bonus." Carl holds his bonus check and thinks to himself, "Maybe it's a mistake to do this job while I study for the priesthood."
The Boss is hiding behind a doorway as Dilbert walks toward him. The Boss thinks, "The Master of Delegation hears the footsteps of his prey." Sticking his head out the door, The Boss says, "Hi." A startled Dilbert exclaims, "Gaaa!!" The Boss says to Dilbert, "Call this vendor and tell him I want the third thing he told me about." Dilbert says to The Boss, "Okay. That will save two minutes of your valuable time." Dilbert says, "When the vendor asks me dozens of questions should I just guess at the answers?" Dilbert asks The Boss, "Or would you prefer to spend an hour giving me enough background so you can avoid a two-minute call?" Dilbert says, "You know what's funny? This conversation lasted a minute... And there are two of us." The Boss asks, "Are you done?" Dilbert says, "I think you wrote down your own phone number."
The Boss brings an employee into Catbert. The employee is bug-eyed and nervous looking. The Boss says, "This is Jittery Jeff. He needs counseling." The Boss continues as Jittery Jeff whips his head around, "I put him in a cubicle at the end of a busy aisle near a doorway." The Boss tells Catbert, "Now he's jittery because he thinks people are always looking over his shoulder." Catbert stands on the desk and says, "Leave him here. I'll counsel him up." Jittery Jeff sits down but continues to whip his head around. Catbert says, "Relax Jittery Jeff...It's okay now." Jeff begins to calm down as Catbert repeats, "Relax, relax, relax, relax." Suddenly, Catbert screams, "AAAGH!! Someone is behind the door!!" Jittery Jeff jumps up. Jittery Jeff lays slumped in his chair with his tongue hanging out of his mouth. Catbert tells the Boss, "Counseling is mostly instinct."
Dilbert asks, "Do you want to hear what I'm doing at work?" Dilbert's mom is holding a plant. She replies, "Not so much." Dilbert says, "You're supposed to act interested because you're my mother." His mom replies, "Well..." Her voice continues, "I'm not saying you're boring, it's just that everything you talk about is boring." Dilbert says, "That's the same as saying I'm boring." Dilbert's mom is watering a plant. She responds, "Only when you talk." Dilbert asks, "But you care about me, right? When I hurt, you hurt?" Dilbert's mom has put down her plant. She says, "Actually, the electrical impulses in your brain don't fly across the air gap to my brain." She continues, "You could be writhing in agony and I wouldn't feel a thing." Dilbert looks down and says, "Ouch." Dilbert's picks up her plant again and says, "air gap."