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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."
The Boss says, "You'll love your new assignment, Alice." Alice thinks, "Uh-oh." The Boss says, "You're going to redesign all of our brochures!" Alice replies, "I'm an electrical engineer, not a graphic artist." The Boss says, "We can discuss your huge inadequacies during your annual review." Alice replies, "I'm not inadequate. I'm a highly skilled engineer." The Boss says, "And yet you can't make brochures." Alice says, "Okay, let me try to explain this in the simplest possible way . . ." Alice continues, "You . . . Are . . . An . . . Idiot." Alice sits at her desk thinking, "The simplest possible explanation isn't always the best." Wally stands behind her and says, "Hey, it looks like a brochure, only uglier!"
Wally sits at his desk thinking, "Whoa . . . I found a huge bug in our new software product." Wally thinks, "I could alert the development team and work many hours of overtime to fix it . . ." Wally thinks, "Or I could surf over to my online brokerage service and buy stock in our competition." Dilbert asks, "Are you going to lunch?" Wally replies, "No, I have to do an analysis." Dilbert walks away thinking, "When Wally works through lunch . . . It's time to buy stock in our competition." Dilbert tells Alice, "Wally's working through lunch!" Alice says, "Quick! To the online brokerage service!" The Boss reads the newspaper and thinks, "Our competition is up ten points on no news. We're up two, maybe from the industry halo effect." The Boss tells Alice and Wally, ". . . Or maybe our new compensation plan is motivating smarter behavior." Wally says, "I think you nailed it."
Dogbert sits at a computer with a telephone headset on. He says, "This is Dogbert's technical support. How may I disconnect you?" Wally sits at his computer and holds a cordless phone. He says, "What are my choices?" Dogbert says, "I recommend the abrupt disconnect; simple, gets the job done." Wally replies, "I had that last time. What else do you have?" Dogbert says, "You might like our 'Please hold,' followed by the 'wrong button' disconnect." Wally says, "Too predictable. Do you have anything new?" Dogbert says, "Try our new "Kervorkian Disconnect." I put you on hold and play an annoying message until you disconnect yourself." Through the phone Wally hears, "Your call is important. Please hold while we ignore it... Your call is important..." Wally thinks, "Not bad."
Dilbert is on the phone while Dogbert watches. Dilbert says, "Mom, guess what.. I got promoted!" Dilbert says, "You're talking to the new Executive Engineer." Dilbert says, "No.. nobody reports to me. No... it's the same pay as before." Dilbert says, "But I do get a lot more responsibility!" Dogbert's ears fly up. Dilbert puts his hand over the telephone receiver and says to Dogbert, "She's going to throw a party for me!" Dilbert's Mom sits on the couch and says, "No.. no gifts. No... no music. No... no food. No.. no guests." Dilbert says, "I guess it's just you and me." Dilberts mom says, "I'm busy that day." Dilbert and Dogbert sit at a table wearing party hats. Dilbert says, "I'm not allowed to get new business cards, but I can write my new title on the old ones!" Dogbert falls asleep.
Catbert sits at his computer terminal. The monitor dispalys a picture of Wally, labeled Victims. Catbert thinks, "You're next." Catbert stands in Wally's cubicle and says, "Wally, you've been randomly selected for an employee drug test." Wally says, "Randomly? Why am I the only one who gets picked every week?!" Catbert says, "You're very unlucky at work. But I'm sure you compensate by being lucky at love." Catbert laughs a maniacal laugh. Catbert says, "Anyway... our new drug test uses hair samples." Catbert holds a little box and says, "To be safe, give me six hairs... and one whole eyebrow." Catbert walks off with his box, purring. He thinks, "I'll come back in an hour and says I lost the box."
At the staff meeting, The Boss says, "Good news on your budgets. I did some recalculating last night." The Boss says, "I found a way to give more money to every project without increasing the total budget for projects!" Wally raises his hand and says, "Question: Does your new way involve poor math skills?" Wally has a question mark above his head. Alice puts her arm in front of him and says, "Ignore the skeptic. Hey, I have a suggestion!" Alice says, "Maybe you could recalculate the salary budget for next year." Dilbert says, "And when was the last time you recalculated the vacation days?" Wally, using his calculator wrist watch, says, "I calculate that we have an hour left for this meeting, but I'm interested in YOUR caculation." Dilbert, Wally and Alice walk out of the meeting counting stacks of money. Dilbert says, "I think we got greedy when we asked if he change for a five." They whistle as they leave.
Catbert enters a meeting. Dilbert and the Boss are already there. Catbert, sitting between Asok the Intern and Dilbert, begins, "There's been a slight change in the vacation policy." Asok asks, "Are we getting more vacation days?" Catbert responds, "You must be new here." Catbert continues, "As you know, all vacation time must be used in the year it is earned." Catbert then says, "I realize this is not always convenient. So I've decided to be flexible." Catbert: "From now on, any time you spend in the restroom will count as vacation." The meeting is over. As Dilbert leaves, he says to Wally, "We should complain." Wally counters with, "If you need me, I'll be taking a porcelain cruise."
The Boss introduces Matt to Dilbert. The Boss says, "Dilbert, this is our newest employee, Matt." In a private fashion, The Boss says, "Would you mind ..." Dilbert finishes his sentence, "Crushing his spirit?" The Boss confirms, "Right." Dilbert shows Matt his cubicle. Dilbert says to Matt, "This little box will be your home for sixty hours a week." Dilbert and Matt enter the cubicle. Dilbert points to a binder and says, "It comes with an obsolete computer and a binder about safety hazards." Dilbert continues, "Your challenge is to look busy until someone gives you a meaningful assignment." Matt inquires, "How long will that take?" As Dilbert exits the cubicle, he comments, "I'm still waiting for mine." Matt proceeds to read the binder in front of his computer. "Safety tip 1: Don't sit near any obsolete computers."
An employee comes into the Boss' office with a man and says, "I'd like you to meet our newest customer." The Boss says, "You won't be sorry; we're one of the top five companies in this field." The customer turns to the employee and says, "I thought you said no one else makes this kind of product." The Boss interjects, "No one else makes one with so few features." The employee grimaces as the customer asks, "So...your strategy is low price, right?" The Boss replies, "No, high margins!" The customer grabs the employee by the collar and begins to choke him, screaming, "YOU!!" The employee's feet are propped up on the Boss' desk as the Boss thinks to himself, "I'd better ask someone what a 'margin' is."