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The Boss tells Dilbert, "I want you to study our options for Project 'Zebra' and make a recommendation." Both the Boss and Dilbert think, "Translation: 'Read my mind then recommend the option I've already decided on.'" Dilbert answers, "I'll get right on it!" He thinks, "Translation: 'I am doomed. I will go look for naughty pictures on the Internet instead.'"
The Boss, Alice and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "You employees are the key to our economic success." The Boss explains, "Anytime we need a little stock-price boost, we just fire another batch of you. It's like printing money!" The Boss holds up a chart and says, "In fact, 'incompetence' has become our most profitable product." Alice says, "Wow. It beat out 'lying to customers.'"
The Boss reads a document and tells Dilbert, Wally and Alice, "The company announced that we will 'abandon our strategy of making good products . . .'" The Boss continues, "From now on we'll 'pursue a desperate strategy of mergers, business spin-offs, fruitless partnerships and random reorganizations.'" The Boss reads, "And we'll accelerate our program of paying the good employees to leave." Dilbert asks Wally, "Stock price?" Wally looks at his monitor and replies, "Up three points."
The Boss tells Dilbert and Wally, "In today's news, our company has decided to buy another dying company in a business we don't fully understand." The Boss continues, "Our stock rose five points on the announcement." Wally asks Dilbert, "Why does our stock go up every time we do something boneheaded?" Dilbert replies, "I like to think of it as our competitive advantage."
Dogbert stands on a conference table next to a laptop and an overhead projector. Dogbert tells Alice, "Your booth at the trade show must be attention-grabbing. You have several options." Dogbert says, "1. Magic tricks 2. special effects 3. raffles 4. booth babes." Dogbert continues, "For the best result, combine all four: create the illusion that you're raffling off the booth babes." Alice asks, "Booth babes?"
Dilbert stands across from the Boss's desk. He says, "We've identified the people who will create the system to develop a product process." Dilbert points at a newspaper and continues, "While we were doing that, our competitor created a new Internet product that added a billion dollars to their stock value." Dilbert says, "Experts attribute the company's success to their 'employee of the week' program." The Boss says, "Quick! Hire those experts!"
The Boss says to Asok the Intern, "So you see, if you got a raise, our earnings growth wouldn't be so smooth." The Boss asks, "And smooth earnings are good for who?" Asok ventures a guess, "Stock market analysts?" The Boss corrects him, "Specifically, the lazy ones." Asok says, "I'm fine. Now that I understand."
Dilbert stands before a manager, possibly the Boss. He says, "I appreciate your new "open book management" philosophy." Dilbert continues, "For example, I've learned that we're repurchasing stock while I'm working unpaid overtime." Dilbert says, "Yet I remain highly motivated because I understand that income and equity are distinct concepts." The manager says, "Who said ignorance is bliss? Ha!"
Wally is standing in front of the Boss' desk. There are four darts in Wally's back. The Boss tells him, "No one likes being hunted down and shot with flu darts, Wally." He continues, "But remember: companies are managed for the benefit of stockholders, not employees." Wally responds, "I own stock. It's in my 401(K) account." The Boss counters, "I'm not supposed to tell you, but none of that is real."
Wally sits at his desk thinking, "Whoa . . . I found a huge bug in our new software product." Wally thinks, "I could alert the development team and work many hours of overtime to fix it . . ." Wally thinks, "Or I could surf over to my online brokerage service and buy stock in our competition." Dilbert asks, "Are you going to lunch?" Wally replies, "No, I have to do an analysis." Dilbert walks away thinking, "When Wally works through lunch . . . It's time to buy stock in our competition." Dilbert tells Alice, "Wally's working through lunch!" Alice says, "Quick! To the online brokerage service!" The Boss reads the newspaper and thinks, "Our competition is up ten points on no news. We're up two, maybe from the industry halo effect." The Boss tells Alice and Wally, ". . . Or maybe our new compensation plan is motivating smarter behavior." Wally says, "I think you nailed it."