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The Boss sits at his desk and says into the telephone, "This voice mail message is for the whole department." The Boss continues, "Every morning from now on you'll get my 'Quality Thought of the Day.'" The Boss continues, "Today's thought is . . . Um . . ." The Boss looks in a desk drawer and continues, "Let's see . . . According to Webster's dictionary . . ." The Boss continues, "Aardvark is a burrowing African mammal that eats ants." The Boss continues, "What if we were more like that?" Dilbert sits at his desk listening to the message. The Boss continues, "I mean like the aardvark, not the ants . . ." Alice looks at her phone. The Boss stands by the printer thinking, "That's weird. Every time I leave my Quality Thought of the Day, the shared printer starts spewing resumes." Dilbert and Wally peek around the corner.
Dilbert and Dogbert walk down the sidewalk. Dogbert says, "People are getting stupider every day, relatively speaking." Dogbert continues, "The complexity of the world is increasing geometrically." Dogbert continues, "But your ability to learn is at the same slow trickle it has always been." Dogbert climbs onto a rock and continues, "Information is gushing toward your brain like a firehose aimed at a teacup." Dogbert stands on the rock and continues, "You're at a crossroads in history. Even the smartest among you has become 'functionally stupid.'" Dogbert continues, "Your only hope is to choose a leader whose vision can penetrate the thick fog of human incompetence." Dogbert raises his paws and shouts, "Dogbert for Supreme Ruler of Earth!!" Dilbert sits on a rock and asks, "Do you want my opinion?" Dogbert says, "What are the odds of that?"
Dilbert approaches the cave where the accounting department is located. He groans. Dilbert tells a troll, "I saved $500 in airfare by extending my business trip to Saturday." Dilbert asks, "Why won't you reimburse me for the Saturday hotel costs?" The troll replies, "Saturday was not a business-related activity." Dilbert says, "Hmm . . . Let me see if I understand this . . ." Dilbert continues, "It's NOT business-related to make sensible economic choices . . ." Dilbert continues, "But it IS business-related to waste money like an ugly, brain-dead troll . . ." Dilbert arrives at home with his arm in a sling and wearing disheveled clothes. He tells Dogbert, "Then he beat me up and took my lunch money." Dogbert asks, "Are you saying I can get free lunch money by beating you up?"
The Boss says to Dilbert, Wally and Alice, "Nobody has nominated a co-worker for a special achievement award." The Boss continues, "Someone in this group must have done SOMETHING good this year." Wally says, "No . . . I don't think so." Dilbert says, "We'd remember something like that." The Boss says, "This looks bad. All the other departments are giving themselves awards." The Boss says, "We might have to lower our standards a bit." Alice says, "I've been proactive in that area." The Boss asks, "Why are we standing in the hallway?" Wally replies, "We think the room is locked." Dilbert says, "We don't have the key." The caption says, "Later that month." The Boss hands Alice an award and says, "This award goes to Alice for boldly trying the door knob." Alice says, "When I find out who nominated me . . ."
The Boss says, "Alice, I'd like you to meet the newest member of my management team." The Boss continues, "Keith is highly qualified, he has a masters in business administration." Alice and Keith shake hands. Alice says, "Very impressive. They must have taught you a lot about motivating employees." Keith replies, "No, not really." Alice says, "Well . . . You probably learned how to identify and hire good people, right?" Keith replies, "That might have been optional reading." Alice asks, "Did you learn negotiation skills? Strategic thinking? Business writing?" Keith answers "No" to all three questions. Keith explains, "It was mostly finance and accounting. And economics." Alice says, "So, you're a highly qualified leader because . . . You're good at math?" Keith whispers to the Boss, "What should I do here?" The Boss replies, "In these situations I like to use swearing."
Dilbert, Alice, Wally and Asok sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "Our pointy-haired boss will be joining us by speakerphone." Alice tells Asok, "This is an important part of your engineering trainig, Asok." Asok asks, "What do I do?" Wally explains, "When Alice presses the mute button, you make witty and sarcastic remarks." The phone rings. The Boss says, "Hello, everyone. I'd like to talk about the new compensation plan." Alice presses a button and points to Asok. Asok says, "Tell us some lies, you ugly, two-faced, hypocritical troll!" Asok continues, "I am Asok the Intern and I spit on your feeble compensation plan!" Asok continues, "I've found stuff on the bottom of my shoe that was smarter than you!!" He laughs. Dilbert and Asok walk out of the conference room. Dilbert says, "Next time, a bit wittier . . . And make sure Alice really presses the mute button."
Dogbert answers the phone and says, "This is Dogbert. How may I abuse you?" The Boss sits at his desk and says into the telephone, "I need to move my cursor to the right but my mouse is at the edge of the mousepad." Dogbert asks, "Have you tried rebooting without saving your files?" The Boss replies, "Yeah, several times." Dogbert asks, "Have you tried moving your desk?" The Boss pushes his desk. The Boss says, "It didn't work." Dogbert says, "You need my $800 mousepad upgrade." The Boss asks Carol, "What account does this get charged to?" Carol replies, "'Idiot Expense,' just like everything else."
The Boss says, "Alice, I'd like your input on something." Alice thinks, "Uh-oh . . . My intuition is activating the fist of death. Must . . . Control . . ." They sit at a conference table and the Boss says, "Our corporate culture is bad." The Boss continues, "I'm trying to find the cause." Alice replies, "Well, obviously the problem isn't caused by managers who have no self-awareness . . . So what could it be?" Alice continues, "The culture problem must be coming from the other direction. Some EMPLOYEE must be causing this problem!" Alice continues, "I think it's the guy in the mail room. His bad culture is infecting the rest of us." The Boss stands in the mail room. A man says, "If this is about that conference room full of mail, I don't know how it got there."
The caption says, "Office obstacle course." Dilbert walks down the hall. He sees another man and thinks, "Uh-oh, it's Phil. I never returned his call. Walk faster." Dilbert runs into the elevator as the doors close. He thinks, "Yes!!" Dilbert peers around a corner and thinks, "Uh-oh, it's an unpleasant co-worker who wants to be my friend." Dilbert walks behind Wally and a woman and thinks, "The clever engineer blends with the herd to avoid detection." Dilbert stands by Alice's desk and thinks, "Uh-oh, I owe Alice some information." Alice's phone rings. As Alice answers the phone, Dilbert runs by her desk and thinks, "Yes!!" Dilbert looks behind him and thinks, "There's only one more obstacle between me and blissful productivity." The Boss comes around the corner. Dilbert runs into the Boss and shouts, "My whole day is ruined!!!" The Boss says, "It looks like you need a one-on-one coaching session."
Dilbert and his mother stand in the kitchen. Dilbert asks, "What do you want for your birthday this year, Mom?" Dilbert's mother replies, "Oh, nothing. I have everything I need." Dilbert says, "Oh, c'mon. There must be something you want." His mother replies, "Well, one thing, but it's silly." They sit in chairs. Dilbert says, "You just name it." His mom replies, "Okay." Dilbert's mother says, "I'd like a home entertainment theatre with a fifty-inch screen, 'Thx' Surround Sound and a 600 KBPS satellite link to the Net so I can view adult pictures during the commercials." Dilbert replies, "I was thinking more along the lines of a new toaster oven." Dilbert's mother says, "Oh, that's exciting. I'll put it next to my other one and watch them fight it out." Dilbert says, "There's a real dark side to the information age." Dilbert's mother says, "Oh, and about the gift of life I gave you; you're welcome."