Vague Preference Comic Strips
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Dilbert walks toward a ringing phone. A voice on the telephone says, "Hello! This is a long-distance phone company with vague promises of unverifiable savings if you switch to us." The voice asks, "Is this an inconvenient time for you?" Dilbert replies, "No." The voice says, "Oh, then we'll call back later."
Dilbert sits at his desk. The Boss says, "I'm putting you on the strategic planning team." The Boss continues, "It's like work but without the satisfaction of accomplishing anything." Dilbert and three co-workers sit at a conference table. A man says, "You're new, so let me explain how this works." The man continues, "We have meetings and talk about the company's strategy in vague emotional terms." The man continues, "In time, we convince ourselves that we're more than mediocre thinkers who sit around complaining." The man continues, "We start believing our opinions will steer the company. We feel important. We feel ALIVE!!" A woman tells Dilbert, "Then we snap out of it and make viewgraphs that say we should keep doing what we're doing." Dilbert says, "I like making viewgraphs." The woman replies, "Actually, we use last year's viewgraph."
A man sits across from Dogbert's desk. Dogbert reads from a document and says, "According to your occupational preference test, you like to remove vital organs from helpless people." Dogbert continues, "That narrows the career choices to doctor or serial killer. Do you get along with other people?" The man replies, "Other people are insignificant insects." Dogbert responds, "We'll have to go to a tie-breaker question."
Dilbert walks into the office building carrying a laptop computer in a case. A security guard with a huge head says to Dilbert, "Halt and submit to the mind scan of 'Brainitor, the Guardian of Security.'" Brainitor closes his eyes, puts his hands on his head and says, "The bag contains one computer . . . 'Pentium' processor . . . one gig hard drive . . . highly fragmented . . ." Brainitor continues, "Please wait while I optimize your hard disk . . ." Dilbert says, "This is vaguely unsettling."
Wally is driving to work. He thinks, "I have a vague feeling of uncertainty." At work Wally thinks, "It gets stronger at the office." Wally loses his balance and thinks, "The uncertainty saps my strength. My suitcase is getting heavier." Wally crawls on the floor and says, "Must.. get... to... cubicle." Wally leans back in his chair. He thinks, "The uncertainty feels like a piano on my chest." The Boss looks in on him. The Boss says, "I decided to reorganize... or downsize, unless there's a merger." Wally waves his arms about. Wally says, "I summon the unholy demons of Apathy, Sarcasm, and Cynicism!" Wally is surrounded by devils and demons. He says, "Good thinking! Reorganizations always increase profits!" The Boss thinks, "Wow. Third time today."
The Boss stands in front of a chart and says, "Our next product will determine the future of our company." The Boss turns and looks at Dilbert and Wally who are sitting at the conference table. He says, "I need a project leader who has a passion for success!" Wally raises his hand and asks, "Would that leader get extra pay?" The Boss replies, "It's not about money, Wally. It's about a passion for success!" Wally turns to Dilbert and Alice and says, "All I have is a vague preference. How about you?" Dilbert puts his hand to his head and says, "Yes, I'm feeling something...Maybe it's..." The Boss looks frustrated as Dilbert says, "No, it's just my allergy medication." The Boss throws up his hands as Wally asks, "What was it like?" Dilbert replies, "It tingled."
Dilbert says, "Yesterday you told me to do the exact opposite of what you told me today." The boss says, "It's my way of holding you accountable." Dilbert is in his cubicle. Dilbert thinks, "I have a vague feeling that I am not being all that I can be."
Carol sits across from the Boss, who says, "Carol, your overall performance rating is 'good.'" Carol screams, "AAAG! Good is bad! What did I do to deserve this humiliation?" The Boss replies, "Well, you gave me six hundred phone messages that said, 'It might have been Bob.'" Carol furiously replies, "You can't tell me that none of them were from a Bob." The Boss continues, "You arranged for all of my flights to have connections in war zones." Carol throws up her arms and says, "Excuse me for trying to save the company some money." The Boss says, "You held a press conference to announce that I was the Parkside Strangler." Later, Carol tells Wally, "And he refuses to take any responsibility for giving me vague objectives."
The Boss approaches Carol and says, "Carol, if anyone calls, say I'm in a meeting." Carol asks, "What meeting?" The Boss replies, "It doesn't matter." Carol thinks, "#O!* vague instructions" as the phone rings. Carol says into the phone, "He's at his weekly meeting of 'Morons Anonymous.' She continues on the phone, "It's a long meeting. They usually get into an argument about the definition of 'anonymous.' She continues on the phone, "Half of them think it means 'angry.' Then someone throws a chair and it's pandemonium." She continues on the phone, "The whole thing usually ends with a shoe-sniffing contest." The Boss returns to Carol's desk. She says, "Your mom called."
The Boss: There must be more to managing than giving vague directions and punishing people for not reading my mind. But I like to play within my game. Its a form of genius. Catbert: wake me up when some of this is about me.