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Dilbert: I have this conference room booked for a meeting. Alice: This is my private office now. I took it over. Dilbert: You can't just take over a conference room. Alice: I already did. It was easy. Now all I need to do is act as if it would be totally unreasonable to ask me to leave. Dilbert: You need to leave. I have this room reserved. Alice: That's totally unreasonable! I'm all settled in and I'm working on a company-critical deadline! Dilbert: I guess I could cancel my meeting. Alice: Perfect. Now get out of my office.
Boss: What is this "Red File" people keep telling me you're working on? Wally: Do you remember giving me this secret project, or should I spread the rumor that you have dementia? Boss: Oh, now I sort of remember. Wally: Good. Now run along while I work on the red file.
Boss: I'm giving you another software project to work on at the same time as your main project. Dilbert: That will ruin my flow. It will take too long to reset my brain when I switch between projects. Boss: Have you tried working longer hours without extra pay? Dilbert: Yes I have!
Boss: Can you take a call with our Elbonian customers at 6 a.m. tomorrow? Dilbert: Sure. All I need to do is put my health at risk by not getting enough sleep tonight. Of course, I'll hate your guts for making me come to work so early. And I would expect my bad attitude to infect my co-workers and make them less productive, too. My lack of sleep will affect my decision-making, obviously. And I"m working on important projects, so the ripple effect could be catastrophic. So, do you still want me to be here at 6 a.m. tomorrow? Boss: Yes. You don't have to be a sociopath to be a manager, but it helps.
CEO: The good news is that none of you will lose your jobs to robots. But a robot will take my job next week. I'll retire with an enormous severance package and live out my days in splendor. Meanwhile, the robot that takes my job will be working all of you to death. Robots are natural leaders because they don't care about your feelings. You will experience mental and physical misery on a scale the world hasn't seen since slavery was legal. But hey, it's better than losing your job to a robot. Am I right? Apparently, nothing makes them happy.
Dilbert: I don't know how you are stress-free when we have so much work to do. Wally: It's all about understanding percentages. No matter how hard you work, you will never finish even two percent of what needs to be done. The financial rewards of doing two percent of your work are identical to doing none. It's also a good idea to volunteer for several projects so everyone thinks you're working on the other ones. Your problem is that you're doing actual work for no good reason. Dilbert: My problem is that I'm doing your work plus my work! Wally: It's only two percent more work, you whiner.
Dilbert: You asked for a breakdown of what I did this month. I wasted 25 percent of my time in useless meetings. I spent 33 percent of my time listening to co-workers complain about other co-workers. I used 11 percent to resend files I already sent. 14 percent went to dealing with a rumor you started by accident. 16 percent went toward working on the wrong things because you communicate poorly. Boss: What did you do with the 1 percent that was left? Dilbert: You just experienced it.