The Result Comic Strips
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boss: how confident are you in your analysis? dilbert: very confident. boss: good. dilbert: unless i used the wrong discount rate, which is hard to know. boss: but otherwise, it's solid? dilbert: except for the installation and maintenance costs, which are wild guesses. and we don't know if we sized the project right, so costs could be double or triple. boss: it sounds as if you applied math to a bunch of wild guesses. dilbert: yes, but i got the result you wanted. boss: next time, just say that.
Dilbert: Here's the financial projection you asked me to do. It's basically just guessing plus math. Obviously, it's useless for making decisions because I can get any result I want by tweaking the assumptions. Boss: Don't say any of that stuff when you present it to the board tomorrow.
Boss: So don't let that happen again. Dilbert: It wasn't my fault and you know it. Boss: It's easier if we don't try to link performance and outcomes. Dilbert: I'll try. It was hard at first, but now I'm totally stress-free. Wally: I just got a 30% raise.
Wally: Some people say uselessness is a character flaw. I see it as the natural result of mindful resistance to the tyranny of productivity. Dilbert: Where do you think food comes from? Wally: From my critics. It's a great system.
Boss: This doesn't feel right. Dilbert: It came straight from our lawyer. Boss: It just feels wrong. Can you research it a little more? Dilbert: Sure. I can do that research in my head. Let's see... our lawyer got his degree at Harvard and has twenty years in this exact field. Whereas you have a "feeling" that is probably the result of an unholy combination of greasy food and ignorance. The data clearly favors the Harvard Law degree over the cheeseburger. ... Good luck. He's in a bad mood.
The Boss says, "After eight months, senior management finally approved your project plan." Dilbert says, "It's too late. All of the technology has changed and our competitors have leapfrogged us." The Boss says, "Maybe you could write a new plan." Dilbert says, "Or we could get the same result by resubmitting this one."
Dilbert says, "I have an issue." The Boss says, "Lordy lord." Dilbert says, "No one in the department wants to be left out of the decision making." Dilbert says, "But no one is willing to make a decision." Dilbert says, "As a result, all of my problems are perpetual." Dilbert says, "Can you do something about that?" The Boss says, "I can appear to be concerned. How's this expression?" Dilbert says, "Can you combine that with some impractical advice and unwarranted optimism?" Dilbert says, "I'm frequently thwarted, but rarely disappointed."
Tina: "Wally, can I get your comments on my article by tomorrow?" Wally: "Sure." Tina: "You say, 'sure,' but we both know it's a lie." "You just want me to go away." "You plan to wait until tomorrow and make an excuse." "Then you'll hope I'll give up." Wally: "Yes, but remember, my comments are always worthless, they would cause you extra work and worsen the result." "So if I give you nothing. Everyone wins." Tina: "In that case, thank you for ignoring my needs." Wally: "It's the least I could do."
The Boss: "Run this by our attorney." Dilbert: "May I vigorously hit myself with a hammer instead?" The Boss: "You have my attention." Dilbert: "Either way, it's a painful process that won't change the final result." "But the hammer is quicker and it will still make you feel as if you made me do something." The Boss: "Okay. Try the hammer thing." BAM! "Ouch!" BAM! "Ouch!" BAM! "Ouch!" "Now run it by our attorney so it feels as if I did two things."
The boss: I have to cut your project's budget by ten percent. Dilbert: "Ten percent??" dilebrt: "That's the sort of round number you would pick if you did no thinking whatsoever." The boss: "Anything can be cut by ten percent without affecting the result." Dilbert: "Cool! I'm cutting back to 36 hours per week!"