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Dogbert is sitting at a computer. He says into a telephone headset, "This is Dogbert's Tech Support. How may I abuse you?" The customer on the other end of the line responds, "Finally!! It took me an hour to penetrate your inscrutable audio menu system!" The customer continues, "Then I waited in queue for forty minutes!" The customer says, "My problem is that my computer keeps freezing..." Dogbert's voice interrupts him, "Not so fast." Dogbert says, "I need to know your name, address, phone number, operating system, e-mail address, serial numbers, software versions and video drivers." The customer clenches his teeth and shakes his fist as Dogbert's voice continues, "Then I'll put you in queue for the low-level technician who can only tell you to reboot." Dogbert continues, "He'll ask you the same questions for reasons that will baffle you." The customer asks, "But eventually you'll solve my problem, right?" Dogbert's voice replies, "Sure, if your problem is too much optimism."
The Boss points to a slide of a man making a funny face and says, "We've expanded our customer disservice program." The Boss points to the next slide of a technician saying, "Uh.. reboot." The Boss continues, "...Doubled our unhelpful technical support advice." The next slide is of a customer leaning back with one hand on the phone and the other holding his stomach, saying, "So... hungry." The Boss continues, "... Stretched our telephone hold times to lethal durations..." Wally, Dilbert, and Alice listen as The Boss' voice continues, "... And cleansed our online support database of all useful articles." The Boss says, "Our goal is to force customers to form support groups." The Boss continues, "Over time, with luck, we'll train customers to do our manufacturing and shipping, too." Wally raises his hand and asks, "May I train a customer to do my job?" The Boss replies, "Sure." A little boy sits in front of a computer with a cup of coffee in his hand. He asks Wally, "So.. what do I do?" Wally responds, "You're doing it."
Headline: Seven Stages of a Performance Review. Alice is sitting at her computer. The Boss approaches and says, "It's time." Headline: Denial. Carol is sitting across from the Boss. She looks at her evaluation and exclaims, "What the...? These aren't even my objectives!" Headline: Anger. Alice grabs The Boss by his tie and says, "Who said these things about me?!" Headline: Bargaining. Alice calms down and asks, "What if I make someone write a glowing e-mail about me?" Headline: Depression. Alice slumps in her chair and says, "Morale slipping away... hair.... so.... limp." Headline: Acceptance. Alice stands to leave and says, "Whatever, there's no budget for raises anyway." Headline: Trash-talking. Alice walks away from The Boss' office and says to herself, "... Wool-covered pile of ignorant monkey spit." Headline: Lunch. Alice sits in her cubicle and thinks, "A falafel would hit the spot."
The Boss comes into Dilbert's cubicle and says, "Dilbert, write up our technology strategy." Dilbert replies, "Okay." He pauses and then asks, "What's our strategy?" The Boss says, "How should I know? It's not written yet." He pauses and then adds, "Duh!" Dilbert turns and says, "How can I write about something that doesn't exist?" He pauses and then adds, "Duh!" The Boss replies, "It will exist, as soon as you write it." He pauses and then adds, "Duh!" The Boss and Dilbert exchange "Duhs:" The Boss says, "Duh!" Dilbert responds, "Duh!" The Boss says, "Duh!" Dilbert responds, "Duh!" The Boss says, "Duh!" Dilbert responds, "Duh!" The Boss turns to leave and says, "Just do it." The Boss thinks to himself, "Double duh." Dilbert responds, "Whatever." Dilbert thinks to himself, "Duh to infinity." Dilbert faces his computer and thinks, "If my company stock had any value, I'd be selling it right now."
The Boss approaches Carol and says, "Carol, cancel all of my meetings forever." The Boss continues, "From now on, I plan to stay in my office and manage by e- mail." Carol responds, "You still need to communicate some things in person." The Boss replies, "No, I don't. I can do it all by e-mail." The Boss types, "Carol, e-mail me the budget." He hits "Send." The Boss sits back and thinks, "And now, like magic.." The computer alerts, "You have 1 message." The e-mail reads, "Auto-reply: Carol is out of the office." The Boss looks out and sees Carol at her desk. Carol waves. The Boss thinks, "We have a situation here."
Wally is sitting at his computer. The Boss approaches and says, "Wally, it's time for your annual performance review." As they're walking to the conference room, The Boss says to Wally, "None of my usual words fit your situation." They enter the conference room and take seats. The Boss continues, "So I had to hit the thesaurus pretty hard." The Boss continues, "Your overall rating is 'feral.'" The Boss continues, "Your leadership skills are rated 'squirrely.'" The Boss continues, "And your teamwork is a solid 'coot.'" The Boss continues, "Your long-term potential is to die in the landscaping and become compost." After the meeting, Dilbert asks Wally, "How'd it go?" Wally responds, "I wasn't really listening."
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."
Catbert says to Fred, "Fred, you're an incompetent VP. You're fired." Fred asks, "May I ask for one favor?" Catbert says, "Sure. I could use a laugh." Fred says, "Please don't make my resignation announcement terse." Fred continues, "If it's terse, everyone will know I was fired for incompetence." Catbert smiles an ugly smile and Fred asks, "Does that smile mean you'll do what I ask?" Catbert says, "I'm sorry if that was ambiguous. Let me try again." Catbert smiles an even bigger ugly smile and Fred says, "I'm still not getting your meaning." Dilbert sits at his computer and reads a memo which says, "Re: Fred. Career dead."
The Boss says to Catbert, "Would you like to join me for a hardening?" Catbert asks, "What's that?" The Boss explains, "A hardening is when an employee is given more work than his central nervous system can handle." The Boss holds his arms out stiffly and says, "His whole body suddenly goes stiff." Catbert says, "I'm in." The Boss says, "I've been ripening Asok all month." Catbert says, "Purrr purrr." The Boss and Catbert look at Asok as he sits as his computer and thinks to himself, "So much work... no time." The Boss, handing Asok a piece of paper, says, "Asok, I have another assignment for you." Asok responds, "Gaaa!!!" Wally and Dilbert peer over Asok's cubicle. Wally says, "I heard a hardening. Get the Apathy Cream." A solid mask of Apathy Cream has been applied to Asok's face. Wally says, "He'll be okay when the apathy sinks in." Dilbert says, "We forgot the air hole."