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The Boss says to Alice, who is seated in her cubicle, "Every department was asked how it could reduce its budget by ten percent." The Boss says, "Your project is vital to the future of the company, so I cleverly offered to eliminate it, knowing they couldn't accept." The Boss says, "Now this is the funny part..."
The Boss and Dilbert sit at a table. The Boss hands Dilbert a piece of paper and says, "This is the goal that will motivate you for the next year." Dilbert reads from the piece of paper: "'Build a global satellite network. Budget: $12,000.'" Dilbert looks at the Boss and says, "Motivation feels much different from what I imagined." Dilbert continues, "I was expecting a light, energetic feeling." Dilbert continues speaking and illustrates with his hands, "But it's more like being pinned under a burning couch." Dilbert puts his hand to his head and says, "Whoo, I'm getting dizzy." Dilbert stands up slowly and says, "I'd better lie down until the motivation wears off." The Boss leaves the room with Dilbert lying on the table. The Boss says, "He's going to be trouble during the next round of budget cuts."
Dilbert holds out a slip of paper to his Boss and says, "This needs your approval." The Boss looks at the piece of paper and Dilbert continues, "The company will save forty million dollars but you'll be ten thousand over budget." Dilbert says, "And before you ask, no it won't work the other way around." The Boss says, "Whose side are you on?"
The Boss sits at his desk and Dilbert says, "I'm sure your boss will increase the budget if you show him my plan." The Boss throws up his arms and says, "I just asked him for something else. I can't keep asking him for resources!" Dilbert asks, "So...you think that doing your job is a sign of weakness?" The Boss points at Dilbert and says, "Look what it did to you."
Caption reads: "Incredulous Ed." Alice approaches Ed and asks, "Ed, do you have the latest budget numbers?" Ed looks up at Alice, squinting his eyes and gesturing, "Budget??? What is a 'budget' and why on earth would I have one?" Alice replies, "Because you're the budget manager." Ed hands her a piece of paper and says, "Here you go."
The Boss hands Dilbert a piece of paper and says, "Ask the trolls in accounting to explain this charge." Dilbert responds, "Gaa!" Dilbert says, "Please don't make me talk to those trolls during budget season!" A headless man walks out of the accounting department. The troll standing in the doorway says, "Next."
Headline: Accounting Trolls. Dilbert hands the trolls a piece of paper and says, "I need an explanation for these numbers." A troll responds, "This is budget season so I will spit on your data and send you away." Dilbert says, "That doesn't sound too bad." While one troll accumulates his spit, the other replies, "Our bodies are 95% made of spit."
The Boss says to Dilbert, "I want to move you to another cubicle but my office moving budget is shot." The Boss continues, "So I'm going to transfer you to Elbonia and then back so I can use the relocation budget." An Elbonian is on the phone. He relays a message to Dilbert: "He says the relocation budget is shot but you can mail yourself home."
As Dilbert is walking out of the office, The Boss says to him, "Your trip is canceled." The Boss continues, "We used up the travel budget renaming our call centers to 'contact centers.'" Dilbert responds, "But I need this training." The Boss replies, "Isn't that another way of saying you're ignorant?"