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Dilbert sits with Ted at a table. Dilbert hands Ted a piece of paper. Ted says, "I'm strongly opposed to your plan." Dilbert says, "You haven't read it." Ted says, "Oh, right. But now I'm emotionally invested in my opinion." Ted says, "This plan will never work!!!" Dilbert says, "That is the meeting agenda."
The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "We need to ship the V-1 product tomorrow. I promised our CEO he can announce it at the shareholder meeting." Wally says, "That's two months early!!" Dilbert says, "We haven't added any features yet!!" Dilbert says, "What would we ship? Our lab prototype is the only V-1 in existence!" Wally cries, "No . . . You wouldn't!" The Boss picks up the device and says, "I've scheduled press tours so you can do demos all next week." Wally asks, "On what?!" As the Boss walks away carrying the prototype, Dilbert says, "We'll need twenty thousand dollars to build another prototype!" The Boss says, "That reminds me; I froze the budget for the rest of the year." The Boss continues, "If there's anything you'd like me to do, don't hesitate to ask." Wally says, "Yeah, I'd like you to do something . . ." The Boss looks angry. Wally says, "Ooh . . . I think I should have hesitated to ask that."
The Boss, Alice, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Alice, our records show that you haven't taken a vacation all year." The Boss continues, "Company policy requires you to use your vacation days." Alice says, "How?? You told me to work seven days a week to prepare the project for your boss's year-end review." Alice asks, "Do you want me to meet the artificial project target or the artificial vacation target?" Alice stands up and screams, "Hello!!! These are mutually exclusive goals!!! Hello!!!" Alice says, "Ooh . . . Sorry, I usually just think that last part in silent frustration." The Boss says, "Moving right along . . . Kudos to Wally for using all of his vacation days ahead of schedule." Alice looks furious. Wally says, "Get over it, Alice. We can't all be superstars."
The caption says, "The Budget Trap." The Boss says, "I need a quick estimate for how much your next project will cost, Wally." Wally replies, "How should I know? You haven't even told me what my next project is." The Boss says, "That's okay. I only need a rough estimate for planning purposes." Wally says, "I see where this is going. You're going to turn my wild guess into a budget. Later I'll be blamed when it's wrong." The Boss replies, "No, no. I won't hold you to these numbers." Wally says, "Well . . . Okay, let's say two million dollars." The Boss says as he walks away, "Ooh . . . Can't afford that. I'll put you down for twenty thousand dollars." The caption says, "One year later . . ." The Boss sits at his desk and says to Wally, "You're way over budget. Can you show me the cause?" Wally replies, "It depends. Can mirrors reflect your image?"
Catbert stands at his desk thinking, "My tail is twitching . . ." Catbert thinks, "That can only mean it's time to write some more evil policies." Catbert types, "To: all employees. Subject: new policy." Dilbert gets the e-mail message and reads, "Employees must wear shoes that are one size smaller than their feet." Alice reads, "This will reduce wear and tear on carpets by five percent." Catbert thinks, "This is my favorite part." He types, "We must do this to be competitive." A woman enters Catbert's office and says, "I'm a reporter for 'Evil HR Policies Weekly.' Do you have any success stories?" Catbert purrs. The caption says, "This is how industry practices are born." The journalist asks, "Has anyone complained about the 'Footsizing' program?" Catbert replies, "I haven't listened to a single complaint."
A consultant is giving a presentation using an overhead projector. He holds a transparency and says, "We have the results of the employee communications survey." The projection shows a skull and cross bones and says Negative News. He says, "The number one problem is "Fear of Giving Negative News to Managers." The Boss sits next to Dilbert and says, "What?! Why haven't I heard this before?" The consultant says, "Well, maybe because it's negative news?" The Boss says, "Do you have a solution or did you just come to insult me?" Dilbert and Wally both think, "Don't get involved." The consultant says, "Ooh. Um... maybe if we wait a few days it will take care of itself." The Boss says, "Fine. Next." The consultant smiles nervously and says, "Happily, there are no other communication problems whatsoever. Heh, heh." The Boss turns to Dilbert and says,"I wonder why so many problems go away on their own." Dilbert says, "I have no comment at this time."
Dilbert and Wally peer around a doorway. Ken stands in the foreground. Dilbert says, "Ken, may we have a word with you?" Wally and Dilbert sit across from Ken at a table. Wally says, "We heard that you gave an interesting presentation at the sales staff meeting." Ken says, "Thanks." Dilbert says, "Our spies gave us copies of your slides." Wally and Dilbert hold up pieces of paper. Dilbert says, "You told them that our new product kills mold and mildew." Ken says, "Won't it?" Dilbert and Wally scream, "WE MAKE SOFTWARE!" Ken says, "So? Haven't you ever heard of the placebo effect?!!!" Caption: Stunned Silence. Arrows point at Wally's and Dilbert's heads. The Boss, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "..In company news, our entire sales force shriveled up and died for no apparent reason."
Caption: "Catbert: Evil H.R. Director" Catbert remarks to Alice, "You look stressed out, Alice." Catbert says, "I could fix that by becoming a champion for improvements in the workplace." Catbert says, "Or I could give you a little booklet called 'Stress No More'." Catbert says, "Hmm.. I wonder which way is best." Alice reaches for booklet. Alice reads, "'Stress is your body's way of saying.." Alice continues, "'..You haven't worked enough unpaid overtime.'" Alice starts to get mad. Catbert says, "I've never seen a woman's forehead ignite her hair before."
A woman (Tina ?) stands in the boss's office. She says, "I just realized that if my project is a success, my job will be eliminated." She says, "The smartest thing to do is to fail miserably and blame it all on your indecisiveness." She says, "I'm happy because I have a clear strategy!" The boss thinks, "I haven't nodded in a while."
Catbert walks on the wall of Wally's cubicle. He thinks, "The evil director of human resources spots his prey." Catbert stands on top of Wally's computer and says, "Wally, you haven't filled out a vacation request form yet." Catbert continues, "If we don't get it by tomorrow, you lose your vacation." Wally asks, "Where do I get a form?" Catbert replies, "We're all out." Wally is furious and screams, "Did they ever exist?" Catbert says, "Wally, does anything really exist, or is it all just shadows on a cubicle wall?" Catbert stands and says, "I leave you with that thought." Catbert continues walking on the wall of the cubicle as Wally bangs his head on his desk. Catbert thinks, "Who says philosophy is useless?"