Padded Estimate Comic Strips
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Dilbert sits at his desk. A woman says, "Dilbert, I need you to stop everything and do this emergency budget exercise." The woman explains, "Estimate the budget impact of replacing all the engineers with decorative plants." The woman says, "Later, I'll summarize everybody's inputs into a bullet point, like 'oxygen is good.'" Dilbert asks, "Would these be rented plants?"
Dilbert sees a sign that says "Bungee Jump 10 dollars." He thinks, "It's the manly thing to do." Dilbert enters the office and says, "I'd like to expose myself to avoidable danger." A man says, "Sit right down." The man says, "I need to know your weight so I can adjust the bungee cord." The man says, "Be sure you don't under-estimate your weight or else your head will hit the ground like an over-ripe cantaloupe." Dilbert answers, "Seven hundred pounds." The man wraps a bungee cord around Dilbert's body and head. He says, "Count to three and jump." Dilbert and the man stand on a hill. Dilbert says, "I didn't know you could do this on a hill." The man kicks Dilbert. Dilbert lies face-down on the hill. He says, "Today, I am a man." The man says, "For a hundred bucks I'll pull you back."
The Boss tells Dilbert, "It's time for your annual performance review." The Boss continues, "The process is the same as usual." The Boss continues, "Make your accomplishments fit the trendy categories on this form." Dilbert reads, "'1. Estimate the cash value of the empowerment you displayed this year. Cite examples.'" The Boss says, "Try to make your accomplishments match the raise I've already decided for you." Dilbert asks, "Why don't you just tell me what you've decided?" The Boss responds, "What - and ruin the motivational value of the process??" The Boss thinks as he walks away, "How did I get stuck with all the cynical employees?"
The Boss, Dilbert and Wally sit at a conference table. The Boss says, "We can succeed if each of you will commit to giving 110 percent." Wally says, "That would be ten percent over the theoretical maximum." Dilbert adds, "Can't be done." Wally says, "Plus you have your vacation days and your sick days . . ." Dilbert continues, "Heck, these staff meetings take ten percent right off the top . . . Wally asks, "And what about all the times something unexpected comes up?" Wally says, "I think we could give you . . . What?" Dilbert says, "Forty-three percent." Wally adds, "And that's not a commitment." Dilbert says, "It's an estimate." The Boss asks, "Can we continue the meeting now?" Dilbert replies, "I'm over my estimate for today."
Man: "Let's spend the next four hours reviewing the project plan." "I've detailed every resource, task and dependency into an exquisitely accurate road map." "It took me two weeks, but it's the only way to make sure we're not wasting time." Alice: "My tasks are two weeks late because I was waiting for your input." Dilbert: "And you left off one task, so all the dependencies are wrong." Wally: "I'm changing all of my estimate to 'to be determined'." Dilbert: "Can we do that? I've just been using random numbers." Man: "I'll have to redo the whole plan." Wally: "Don't worry. We won't do anything until we hear from you."
"Friends Explained" "A Very Special 'Dilbert'." "Close friends." "May I borrow your gum?" "Sure, reach in and take what you need." "Buddies" "May I borrow your hammer?" "Why not use your forehead as usual?" "Work Friends" "So, how's your wife?" "Dead, same as last week." "Boyfriend/girlfriend (stereotypical view)" "Love." "Lust." "Boyfriend/girlfriend (modern correct view)" "Lust." "Television." "Platonic friends" "Television?" "Lust." "Man's Best Friend" "By my estimate there are 2.6 billion females who do NOT desire you." "Name them."
Wally follows the Boss and says, "We need to have a little talk . . ." Wally continues, "You told me to finish my project in a week but it's taken two months." Wally continues, "This doesn't look good for your ability to estimate resource requirements." The Boss sits at his desk. Wally continues, "Frankly, it's not much of an endorsement of your leadership either. I was uninspired the whole time." Wally continues, "And don't even get me started about your incompetence at budgeting. I spent WAY more than you predicted!" Wally pretends to strangle himself as he says, "Your incessant demands for status reports were like a rope that strangled my productivity!" Wally continues, "Bottom line, your performance did NOT meet my expectations." Wally's clothes are disheveled and his glasses are bent, Dilbert says, "So, Wally, do you still think the best defense is a good offense?" Wally replies, "It seemed like such a good idea."
Dilbert follows the Boss into his office and says, "I told you this project would take a year. But on my objectives you say I must have it done in three months." Dilbert continues, "Which of these reasons best describes why: A. You have great confidence in me. B. You think I padded my estimate. C. You hate my guts." The Boss responds, "We don't really need the project. It's just a way to keep raises low." Dilbert says, "I just felt a little dip in my motivation."
The Boss, Dilbert, Wally and Alice sit at a conference table. Wally says, "The status of my action item is 50% done." Wally continues, "Specifically, I finished the item part but not the action." The Boss asks, "Do you have an estimate for when the action will be done?" Wally answers, "Yes, and that estimate is 100% complete!"
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?"