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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."
The strip is titled, "Dogbert presents the life cycle of a business idea." The caption says, "The brain creates an idea." Asok, Wally, Alice and the Boss sit at a conference table. Asok dreams about a woman. The caption says, "The mouth - operating independently of the brain - creates words." Asok says, "Let's form proactive synergy restructuring teams." The caption says, "The words are written on large paper." Dilbert writes, "Let's form synergy," on an easel pad. He thinks, "Idiot." The caption says, "The large paper is delivered to a bitter secretary." Dilbert hands Carol the paper and says, "Please?" Carol growls. The caption says, "The secretary types it." Carol types, "Let's . . . form . . . protein . . . symphony reactionary . . . teens." She thinks, "Close enough." The caption says, "The typed notes are delivered to the staff." Someone hands Wally a copy of the notes. He points to the wastebasket and says, "Drop it in the 'to do basket.'" The caption says, "Repeat." Asok sits at his desk dreaming about a woman.
Dilbert enters the Boss's office. He says, "Here's my project plan as you requested." Dilbert explains, "Our team is already working day and night on other projects." Dilbert continues, "I assumed we'd give up eating, sleeping and bathing to fit this in." Dilbert continues, "By the second week we'll be starving, delirious and stinking." Dilbert continues, "We'll be like wild, unpredictable animals." Dilbert continues, "Specifically, we'd be like wild chipmunks. None of us are very aggressive." Dilbert points to the proposal and says, "This clip art represents us in week three as a pile of dead chipmunks." Wally asks Dilbert, "Now he wants it in two weeks?" Dilbert says, "Never mix sarcasm with good clip-art."
The Boss, Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "Here are some money-saving tips from headquarters." The Boss reads from a list, "'When calling long distance, use short words." The Boss continues to read, "'If everyone did this, our fifty-billion dollar company could save nine hundred dollars per year.'" The Boss reads, "'Tip two: For faxes, use Sans Serif fonts. They transmit faster. Annual saving could exceed three hundred dollars." The Boss says, "Next item on the agenda, remember I'll be in Switzerland next week on a fact-finding trip." The Boss continues, "If you need to call me at my four star hotel, be sure to use short words." Dilbert whispers to Alice, "You might want to save those short words until he's on his clue-finding trip." The Boss stands in his hotel room in Switzerland. He holds the phone and listens to someone cursing on the other end. He says, "Those are NOT all short words."
Wally hands Dilbert and Alice a document. Wally says, "Here's your list of fake acronyms for the staff meeting." Wally says, "Try to keep a straight face when you use them." The Boss puts his hand on a stack of paper and says, "I've got a few action items. Who isn't busy?" Wally replies, "I'd be all over it but I need to prepare a BTR for the CPD meeting." Alice says, "I'd love to help but this is XRP week for the entire LBQ." Dilbert says, "My SP00 has too much fleem." Alice growls at Dilbert and Wally glares at him. Dilbert asks, "What?" They carry stacks of documents out of the conference room. Wally says, "That was smooth." Dilbert replies, "Hey, if I could lie I'd be in marketing."
Wally, Alice and Dilbert sit at a table in a restaurant. The waitress hands them the check and says, "Thank you. Please come again." The waitress thinks, "After I'm dead." Dilbert says, "If we each put in twelve dollars, that will give her a healthy fourteen percent tip." Wally says, "The service was excellent. I'll put in a little extra." Dilbert and Alice say, "Me too." Dilbert counts the money and says, "That gives us . . . Um . . . Only thirty-four dollars." Dilbert says, "One of us is a cheap, lying, unscrupulous weasel." They look at each other. Dilbert says, "Or maybe the service was bad." Wally says, "She didn't smile enough." Alice says, "Same as last week."
Asok, Alice, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. Asok says, "Lately I've been feeling discouraged about my job." Alice says, "You should talk to our pointy-haired boss." Wally says, "That'll cheer you up." Asok says, "Maybe you're right. All I need is a little pep talk from our leader." He leaves the room. Alice, Dilbert and Wally laugh. Asok sits across from the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "You think YOU're discouraged . . ." The Boss continues, "I've been stuck in this dead-end job for years, grinding away, day after day." The Boss continues, "And all I have to show for it is high blood pressure and worthless stock options." Asok looks frightened. Dilbert and Wally stand behind Asok's desk. Dilbert says, "It's so gratifying to watch them grow up." Asok says into the telephone, "I need the number for Doctor Kevorkian."
The Boss tells Dilbert and Wally, "I forgot my umbrella. I'm soaked." His clothes are dripping wet. Dilbert says, "Why don't you toss your clothes in the microwave and dry them off?" The Boss asks, "Would that work?" Dilbert and Wally are silent. The Boss stuffs his clothes in the microwave. Dilbert says, "Sixty minutes ought to do it." Wally covers his eyes because the Boss is naked. They shut the door on the Boss. Dilbert says, "We'll guard the door to the break room." As they walk away, Wally says, "You know, ever since the downsizing began, I've felt much less company loyalty." Dilbert says, "Me too." Alice asks, "Why are you two so happy?" Wally says, "There are free goodies in the break room."
The Boss stands at the front of the room and says, "I'm happy to award the 'clean cubicle award' to Matthew." The Boss continues, "It's a ten-dollar 'travelers check.' Where's Matthew?" Alice, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "He was cruelly downsized last month." Alice says, "His cubicle was clean because he shredded his important documents out of spite." Wally says, "All of his furniture and equipment were scavenged by bitter employees who have to do his work now." The Boss says, "This is not having the motivational impact I had hoped for." The Boss says, "Okay . . . The 'travelers check' will go to whoever knows what number I'm thinking." The Boss sits at a table in a restaurant. He hands the check to the waitress and thinks, "They sure were sore losers."
Wally tells the Boss, "I have a great idea to save money." Wally enter the Boss's office and continues, "We can make the photocopier ink last longer by adding water to it." The Boss asks, "Wouldn't that make the copies too light?" Wally replies, "Ordinarily, yes. But we can compensate by setting the copier to 'darken.'" Wally says, "You'll need someone to implement this idea . . . Let's see." Wally says, "Hey, how about Dilbert? He isn't doing much work lately." Wally continues, "I'd do it myself but there's no reason to waste a creative thinker on an implementation task." Dilbert asks Wally, "Are you still mad that I got a bigger raise than you did?" Wally replies, "No, I found a creative way to deal with it."