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The Boss: Dilbert, work with Gustav to get our new product explained on our website. Gustav: Heres what I have so far. Dilbert: Its awful. Gustav: excuse me? Dilbert: there no information. Its all images and annoying music. Dilbert: People make buying decisions based on what they read. This gives them nothing, Gustav: If I clutter the design with useful information, it will look ugly ad I won't be able to use it in my portfolio. I need that portfolio to get a job at a better company, Please help me escape. Gustav: You'll probably work here until you die in your cubicle no matter what the website looks like. The Boss: Did you help Gustav? Dilbert: yes, But it wasn't a good day for our stock holders.
The Boss: My management philosophy is 'measure' twice, cut once. Dilbert: That only makes sense in a narrow, and generally archaic, set of conditions. In software development, the item being cut, metaphorically speaking, is often plentiful and inexpensive. In many cases, the cost of measuring incorrectly is low compared to the time wasted doing two measurements before every action. Your philosophy is better suited for rock carving than web design. Do you have any wise sayings that involve churning your own butter, or putting saddles on dinosaurs?" The Boss: Don't bite the hand that feeds you. Dilbert: I have direct deposit."
Dilbert says, "My design plan is obviously too complex for a manager to understand." Dilbert says, "So I highlighted a few areas that are intentionally suboptimal." Dilbert says, "Just point to the highlighted items and demand that I fix them." Dilbert says, "That will give you the illusion of usefulness." Dilbert says, "Pretend this is olden times when bosses knew what their employees did for a living." Dilbert says, "To round out the fantasy, wear this hat made from a dead animal." Dilbert says, "Now manage me like it's the 1800's!" Boss says, "Do you have a smaller hat?" Dilbert says, "Imagine that we're out of candles."
CoWorker: I changed the product design. Dilbert: "It's worse than the old design." Coworker: "You asked me to come up with a new design." Dilbert: "I meant a new design that's better than the old design." Coworker: "Great. You could have told me that before I did all this work." "How do you think this makes me feel?" "No one would blame me for hating you." "I'm the only sane person in this company."
The Boss: "Everyone says your new circuit design is worse than the old one." Dilbert: "By 'everyone', do you mean you heard it from one person who doesn't like me, and isn't familiar with either design?" The Boss: "I also spoke to the people who heard it from that one person."
"And that's my design plan. Are there any questions?" "It reminds me of Eqyptian Hieroglyphics. Are you sure they didn't patent it?" "Um...I don't think that's likely." "But there's still some risk?" "First of all, I didn't use Hieroglyphics. Secondly, the ancient Egyptians didn't have microchips. Thirdly, they didn't have patent laws." "Good point. " "Oh yeah? Then how did they build pyramids?" "Do some research on that question and get back to us next week" "Next on the agenda: why do our projects take so long?" "What?"
"I told our CEO that the design would be done in a month. He's ecstatic!" "That would be good except that I told you it won't be done for six months." "Ooh." "So, I guess you'll have to tell him." "It's too late." "He's already issued a press release. You'll have to finish the design in a month." "The only way to do it in a month is to accept massive design flaws that will destroy a billion dollar line of business." "That's okay. My stock options are so underwater that it won't make any difference." "I'll just blame all of the problems on the Chinese company that manufactures our products." "Ultimately, it's the CEO's fault for failing to give me proper incentives."
Dilbert points to a slide and says, "My new design will meet all of our customers' current and future needs." The Boss is sitting with two board members, one male and one female. The male board member says, "That's no good; they'll never need to upgrade." Dilbert responds, "Please don't ask me to put flaws in my design." The Boss says, "Flaws could work." The male board member says, "We need flaws." The female board member says, "Flaws, flaws, flaws." Dilbert grabs his tie in fear and says, "Please.... No....." The Boss says, "Make it freeze every hour." The male board member says, "The interface needs to be more confounding." The female board member raises her finger and says, "And..." Headline: Later. Dilbert is on the floor begging, "Please... No more." A voice from the meeting continues, "... And crippling electric shocks." Headline: Much, much later. The Boss says, "The help screen could recommend marrying an unemployed, shirtless guy with a mullet." The male board member responds, "That's marketing!"
Boss: We won the bid to build a fleet of small drones for retail package delivery. I'm not sure why they call their customers infidels, but I doubt that's important. You'll be working with their design guy, who's name is Mullah John Smith.
Boss: Do you have any great ideas? Dilbert: How would I know? Boss: You could tell me your ideas and I'll judge them Dilbert: That's like asking a chipmunk to judge algebra. Boss: Are you comparing me to algebra? Dilbert: Sure, let's go with that. Boss: That makes sense because algebra is complex and useful... just like me. Dilbert: So... what do you think of this innovative circuit design? Boss: It's um... fine? Dilbert: Said the chipmunk to the engineer.