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The Boss tells Dilbert, "I want you to interview the new candidate for engineering. Don't reveal any ugly truths." Dilbert and a woman sit at a conference table. Dilbert says, "At this company we're dedicated to the principle of employee empowerment, Jennifer." Jennifer asks, "The 'principle of employee empowerment'?" Dilbert thinks, "Uh-oh." Jennifer asks, "Why would you have a special phrase for something like that?" Jennifer continues, "If you could really make decisions on your own it would never occur to you to invent a phrase for it." Dilbert thinks, "My shields are down . . . A hull breach is imminent . . ." Jennifer says, "Just don't tell me you have 'quality teams.'" Dilbert stands up and screams, "Run for it, Jennifer!!! It's too late for me but you can save yourself!!! Run!!!" Dilbert's clothes are tattered and his glasses are bent. Wally says, "Whoa! Hull breach. Any survivors?" Dilbert replies, "One. I had to jettison my dignity but she made it to the escape pod."
The Boss tells Dilbert, "I need to move you one cubicle down." Dilbert asks, "Why?" The Boss replies, "That way my people will still be in a square pattern." The Boss explains, "You're in a random pattern now. The symmetry is bad." Dilbert says, "You want me to waste two days of work to move . . ." Dilbert continues, "I'll have no phone and no network connection for a week . . ." Dilbert continues, "I'll have to order new business cards and update my cubicle address on dozens of records." Dilbert continues, "And you still won't have a SQUARE because there are FIVE of us." A man stands in the door of Dilbert's cubicle holding a box. He tells Dilbert, "I got downsized. Apparently somebody complained that I formed a pentagon." Dilbert replies, "That can happen."
Phil the Ruler of Heck watches Dilbert and thinks, "My next victim." Phil says, "I am Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light and Supreme Ruler of Heck!!" Dilbert sits at his desk and replies, "Hi, Phil." Phil says, "You must choose one of these two hideous fates to pay for your sins." Phil continues, "You can choose eternal high pay, but all of your work will be burned in front of you at the end of each day . . ." Phil continues, "Or you can choose eternal poverty, but your work will be useful and appreciated." Dilbert says, "WOW! They're BOTH better than my current job!" Dilbert says, "Hey, Wally, you might want to get in on this!" Wally confesses, "I watch tv when I'm supposed to be telecommuting." Phil thinks, "I hate the nineties." Dilbert waves his hand and says, "Do me first!"
Dilbert walks through the house thinking, "Where's Dogbert?" Dilbert sits on the couch and turns the television on with the remote control. He thinks, "Uh-oh." On a tv commercial, Dogbert sits at a desk wearing a sorcerer's hat. Dogbert asks, "Are you gullible? Do you spend money on stupid stuff?" Dogbert continues, "Call the 'Dogbert Gullible Friends Hotline' for help. Only four dollars per minute." On tv, a woman says into a telephone, "Hello, Dogbert. I bought an exercise machine and I'm still lazy." Dogbert says, "Please hold." The woman replies, "Okay." Dogbert says, "Call now, and I'll replace your old television with a new one that looks just like it, while you sleep!" Dogbert continues, "If you don't have a touch tone phone, stay on the line . . . Until you get one."
The Boss sits at his desk and says, "Dilbert, I've decided to downsize you." The Boss continues, "It's nothing personal, just an economic necessity." Dilbert tugs nervously at his necktie. The Boss says, "I calculated how much your salary was dragging down the value of my stock options." The Boss continues, "Without you, I can afford to go to the movies one additional time per year." The Boss continues, "And let's face it: recreation is important when one has a stressful job." Dilbert waves his arms and says sarcastically, "Hey, why don't you downsize Wally instead. You'll save enough in office supplies to buy popcorn too. Sheesh!" The Boss thinks, "Mmm . . ." Wally asks Dilbert, "How'd it go?" Dilbert says, "You know that team-building exercise we did last week? It didn't take."
The caption says, "The Budget Trap." The Boss says, "I need a quick estimate for how much your next project will cost, Wally." Wally replies, "How should I know? You haven't even told me what my next project is." The Boss says, "That's okay. I only need a rough estimate for planning purposes." Wally says, "I see where this is going. You're going to turn my wild guess into a budget. Later I'll be blamed when it's wrong." The Boss replies, "No, no. I won't hold you to these numbers." Wally says, "Well . . . Okay, let's say two million dollars." The Boss says as he walks away, "Ooh . . . Can't afford that. I'll put you down for twenty thousand dollars." The caption says, "One year later . . ." The Boss sits at his desk and says to Wally, "You're way over budget. Can you show me the cause?" Wally replies, "It depends. Can mirrors reflect your image?"
The Boss says to Tina the Tech Writer, "Tina, we need a few minor edits on our product brochure." Tina sits at her desk and thinks, "Minor? Uh-oh . . ." The Boss continues, "We've discovered that our product causes hallucinations and sterility." The Boss continues, "See if you can put a positive spin on that." Tina thinks, "This will be my greatest writing challenge yet." Tina types, "Are you tired of the same old sights? We've got you covered." Tina types, ". . . Makes a great gift for those people who - in your opinion - should not reproduce." Tina thinks, "Ooh . . . I feel a tiny pang of conscience. That's one." Dilbert asks, "So the brochure was only a three-panger?" Tina replies, "Yeah, and I think I faked the third one."
Dilbert: Carolf, I need yo document your procedure for ordering office supplies. Its and ISO 9000 requirement. Carol: If someone asks for something, I check first the supply cabinet first. Then I say, "Theres one left You can't have it because then we'd be all out" Carol: Then I spend the rest of the day complaining about the person who asked. Dilbert: Uh - Oh....Im out of ink.
The Boss enters a row of cubicles and thinks, "The powerful leader enters Cubeville to inspire the wretched underlings." The Boss peers into Dilbert's cubicle and thinks, "He spots one of the little people in desperate need of a morale boost." The Boss thinks, "The leader carefully assesses the situation. Every solution is unique." The Boss says, "Try identifying the problem and then solving it." The Boss thinks, "The leader waits while the brilliance of his contribution sinks in." Dilbert says, "That's a much better idea than what I was doing." Dilbert continues sarcastically, "I've been sitting here all day randomly pressing keys, but you've shown me a better way!" The Boss thinks, "Suddenly the leader remembers why he rarely visits Cubeville." Dilbert says, "My morale is soaring."
The Boss stands next to an overhead projector and says, "Last week our consultants warned us about a serious threat." The Boss continues, "They said our competitors would 'eat our lunch.'" The Boss continues, "I'm happy to tell the executive committee that I leapt into action." The Boss continues, "I hired a security guard to protect the cafeteria." The Boss concludes, "Our lunches are safe." An executive says to another, "I always thought that was just a figure of speech." The woman replies, "Fool! Give me your department!" One executive shouts, "Let go of my hair!!" One of them slaps the other and someone shouts, "Ouch!!" The Boss thinks, "This is going better than usual." Dilbert asks a security guard, "Why is the cafeteria closed?" The guard replies, "Someone ate all the lunches." He burps.