Bureaucracy Comic Strips
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Dogbert stands on a desk chair typing. He says to Dilbert, "I'm writing my first business management book, 'Managing in a Bureaucracy.'" Dilbert reads a draft, "You know you're in a bureaucracy when a hundred people who think 'A' get together and compromise on 'B.'" Dilbert asks, "Think anybody will read it?" Dogbert replies, "It doesn't matter. The real money is on the lecture circuit."
The Boss: It's going to be another year of flogging dead horses. But somehow we'll muddle through our internal bureaucracy, gouge our customers, and keep getting our tiny paychecks. Dilbert: Sir, Wilson turned into a clump of uninspired sod. The Boss: It's just as well; he had a bad attitude.
Dilbert, Wally, the Boss and a man sit at a conference table. Dilbert asks Wally, "Any luck trying to get fired?" Wally replies, "No . . But I'll get that severance package yet." Wally continues, "This morning I Krazy-glued farm animals to the Boss, but he STILL won't deal with all the bureaucracy to fire me." The Boss has a chicken glued to his head and a pig and a cow glued to each arm. The Boss says, "The staff meeting may run a little long today."
Wally asks Dilbert, "How's the new guy doing?" Dilbert replies, "He's extremely productive." Dilbert says as they watch a man at a desk wildly tossing documents over his shoulder, "We think he's one of those bureaucracy savants."
Dilbert says to a man sitting at a desk behind piles of paper, "Hi . . . Are you new here? I've never seen you before." The man says, "I'm the lost employee . . . I've been hiding in the bureaucracy since the fifties . . . Paid but forgotten." Dilbert thinks, "Wouldn't THAT be the perfect job . . ."
Dilbert enters a cave. A door above the sign says "Bureaucracy." Dilbert tells a troll sitting at a desk, "I need to buy an upgrade for my computer." The troll growls. The troll replies, "First, you must write a business case and get five signatures." Another troll jumps onto Dilbert's back. The troll sitting at the desk continues, "Get bids from nine vendors." Another troll approaches Dilbert. The troll continues, "All vendors must be approved by a vote of the vendor approval committee." The troll lists, ". . . Purchase order . . . Budget transfer . . . Legal review . . . Accounting classification . . . Inventory . . ." Several trolls cling to Dilbert's body. The troll explains, "These steps are necessary to prevent employees from doing something uneconomical." Dilbert arrives at home with several trolls clinging to his body. Dogbert asks, ". . . So you suggested a process 'quality audit'?" Dilbert replies, "Yeah, that's the one clinging to my buttocks."
DOGBURT CONSULTS dogcart: "I recommend forming a separate group to pursue disruptive innovations." "It will be a glorious place: fully funded, amazing ambiance, brilliant people, free from bureaucracy." "Best of all, once a year they'll let you losers tour their work space and sit in their bean bag chairs."
ASOK: There is an error on my tiny paycheck. It is four dollars too much. The Boss: Gasp! Now you must travel to the bowels of the bureaucracy to correct the injustice, Asok: or I could just keep it as a reward for my honesty. The Boss: Bowles I say!!
The boss says, "Finish this project in two weeks." The boss says, "And make sure you get input from all the executive stakeholders." Dilbert says, "That's impossible." The boss says, "Why?" Dilbert says, "Let's call one of the ten stakeholders and I'll show you." Beep beep This is Ed Bigston's voice mail. I'm not available...ever. I am either on vacation, or sick, or traveling, or in a meeting. I do not check e-mail or return phone calls. Like the horizon, I am more of a concept than a corporeal being. Despair is your only option. The boss says, "Try faxing him."
Wally says, "It takes an average of five people to approve any action in this company, and at any given time, three are on vacation." Wally says, "Should I violate our company culture of consensus building, or just sit around and do nothing for lack of buy-in?" The boss says, "Did you mention flailing around in futility?" Wally says, "I was hoping you forgot that option."