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The Boss pokes his head into Ted's office and asks, "How do you like being a manager, Ted?" Ted replies, "Yesterday my staff pushed me down ten flights of stairs. My soul left my body and now I'm a lifeless evil entity." The Boss says, "Just in time to do performance reviews!" Ted responds, "I couldn't have planned it better."
The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "The company announced a new compensation plan today. Bonuses will be paid only to the top ten percent of the employees." The Boss continues, "In related news, 89% of the employees resigned in bitter disgust. The top ten percent also left, realizing they could get better jobs elsewhere." The Boss concludes, "This could have an impact on those of you who remain." Wally asks, "We get the bonuses?"
Dilbert and Wally stand in front of Ratbert who is standing on a desk. Dilbert says, "Ratbert, we'd like you to be the Director of Marketing for the company we're starting." Ratbert says, "Okay! What do I do?" Dilbert responds, "Be as annoying and illogical as you can. We'll whack you in the head with balled-up socks to make you shut up." Ratbert lies on the table after being beaten with socks. Dilbert says, "It's definitely better to be an owner than an employee." Wally says, "Let's link his salary to earnings! Hee hee!"
Alice walks away from Dilbert's cubicle and says, "I don't believe men have a special chromosome to tell them which assignments are a waste of time." Dilbert leans out of his cubicle and says, "We do." Alice approaches Asok and thinks, "I will test the theory on young Asok the intern." Asok looks at the documents Alice is holding and says, "Mmm . . . The sweet smell of unnecessary work." Alice thinks, "Maybe men are more perceptive than you'd think." Asok thinks, "She's aroused. I'll make my move."
Catbert says to Dilbert, "This report says you went nuts at a vending machine because it took your money." Dilbert sits with his arms crossed over his chest. Catbert continues, "The company used to offer counseling in these cases. But we found it was more economical to apply the death penalty." Dilbert looks shocked. Dilbert asks, "What?! How is that possible?" Catbert replies, "I'm not sure yet. You're too big for the microwave oven . . ."
Dogbert, who is wearing a wizard's hat, stands on a chair across from the Boss's desk. Dogbert says, "I can make your employees more creative and spiritually fulfilled." Dogbert continues, "I use my special blend of poetry and dance to touch their souls." The Boss says, "Okay. You're hired." Dogbert stands on a desk and dances while Alice, Wally and Dilbert watch. Dogbert recites, "There once was a dog with a hat . . . Who got paid to dance like that . . ." Wally says, "Hey! My soul just healed!"
The caption says, "Experiment #1: I am exposing a rat to my company's marketing plan." Dilbert shows a copy of the plan to Ratbert. The caption says, "He seems to have no adverse response to the introduction and background." Ratbert hums as he reads the plan. Dilbert takes notes. The caption says, "This is already far more exposure than humans could tolerate." A large bump appears on Ratbert's head and he says, "Sales projections . . . brain tumor . . . get Tylenol . . ."
The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "It's time to do peer performance reviews!" The Boss continues, "Remember, there's a limited budget for raises. Your best strategy is to slander your co-workers so there's more money for you!" Wally says to Dilbert, "I plan to say very nice things about YOU." Dilbert replies, "Nice try, weasel boy." The Boss thinks as he walks away, "Managing is easy when you hate the employees."
Catbert stands on the Boss's desk and says, "Morale is low because the employees are underpaid." Catbert continues, "You can compensate by having more frequent performance reviews. They love feedback." Catbert clenches his teeth and thinks, "The hardest part is keeping a straight face." The Boss says, "Tell me again why I'd want morale to be high?"
The Boss says, "Good news, Alice. I'm going to have quarterly performance reviews to boost morale." Alice stands in her cubicle and replies, "Wow! In addition to working sixteen hours a day in this big box, now I'll get 300% more criticism!" The Boss says, "I'll have a chance to hear employee concerns four times a year." Alice says, "I assume comprehension will remain on the bicentennial plan."