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The caption says, "Performance Review." Tina the Tech Writer sits across from the Boss's desk. The Boss says, "Your main accomplishment was the department newsletter which was both uninteresting and unimportant. You get no raise." Tina looks shocked and says, "The newsletter was YOUR idea, and it's boring because most of the articles are contributed by my idiotic co-workers." The Boss says, "You don't seem to understand the value of teamwork." Tina replies, "I understand its value; it just cost me a two-percent raise."
The Boss, Alice, Wally and Dilbert sit at a conference table. Wally says, "This week I kicked off the 'Wally Compensation Equilibrium Project.'" Wally continues, "My goal is to lower the quality of my work until it is consistent with my salary." The Boss thinks, "I hate the first month after they see their raises." Wally says, "I'd go on, but I just achieved equilibrium."
Ratbert sits on a file cabinet while Dilbert works at his desk. Ratbert says, "Yesterday I was lying in a sun spot thinking about how you work, work, work but your net worth remains constant." Ratbert throws his head back and yells, "Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!" Dilbert looks angry. Ratbert says, "Well . . . I guess you had to be there."
Dilbert and Wally walk down the hall together. Wally says, "This company makes perfect sense, now that I'm insane." Wally continues, "For example, it might seem as though we're woefully understaffed, but I can compensate by working smarter not harder." Wally walks into Dilbert's cubicle in his underwear with a box on his head and a monitor strapped to his chest. Wally says, "Hey, if I'm capable of working smarter, then why do I work HERE?" Dilbert thinks, "The healing has begun."
Dilbert and Liz walk outdoors. Dilbert says, "I was going to get the 'Buns of Steel' video but I'm making excellent progress without it." Liz says, "When they say steel, it refers to hardness, not weight." Dilbert says, "I KNEW it seemed too easy." Liz says, "Stay away from large magnets."
Wally says to Dilbert, "The only employee suggestions that get accepted are the ones that are harmless and stupid." They sit down at a conference table and Wally continues, "I submitted some harmless and stupid ideas to test my theory." The Boss sits at his desk and reads a document that says, "Suggestion: Replace all #2 pencils with #4 pencils. The hard lead lasts longer yet costs the same." The Boss thinks, "That could work."
Dilbert sits on the couch and Dogbert sits on the backrest. Dilbert shows Dogbert a ring and says, "As you can see from my ring, I'm a member of the 'Talc Club' at work." Dilbert continues, "With hard work and a bit of luck I will rise to the next level: shale." Dogbert says, "I can honestly say my respect for you has never been higher." Dilbert says, "Someday, God willing, I'll make it to aluminum."
Alice stands in front of the Boss's desk and says, "I admit I was skeptical when you said I would be empowered to make my own decisions . . ." Alice continues, "But I give you credit. You've let me work independently for three months . . . What's that look on your face?" Alice says, "Please tell me that it was empowerment I was experiencing." The Boss asks, "Did I ever mention that your project was canceled?"
The Boss says to Wally, "Good news, Wally. Most of our smart employees quit to get much better jobs elsewhere. Now we don't have to do any downsizing." The Boss continues, "Your job is safe. We need you to do the work of all the people who left." Wally, Dilbert and Alice sit at a table eating lunch. Wally asks, "Is it just me . . . or is the quality of 'good news' really going downhill lately?" Dilbert replies, "I'd have to say you're both going downhill."
Alice and Wally sit at a table eating lunch. Alice says, "I've hit the glass ceiling. I'll never be promoted again." Wally replies, "That's because you're not willing to 'play the game.' You have to look and act like the person who can promote you." In order to look like the Boss, Alice shapes her hair into two points, puts on a suit and stuffs a pillow under her shirt. The Boss sees her and thinks, "Ooo la la!" Alice thinks, "This had better work."