17 Managers Comic Strips
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Boss: Our lawyer sent over a sixty-page contract renewal that I need you to review. Make sure you compare it to the original contract and all six or seven amendments. Dilbert: Are there six or... seven? Boss: No one really knows. Check out our other nine hundred contracts to make sure this one doesn't violate any of those. Keep in mind our five-year strategic plan and all likely changes to tax law. Then get buy-in from the seventeen managers who hate my guts and will take it out on you. By tomorrow. Good leaders set high standards.
CEO: employees keep whining that we don't have a clear direction. So Ive doubled the number of managers one each group to increase the clarity. The Boss: I thought we were doubling the direction. No, we're doubling the clarity.
Dilbert: I need to get this technology certification. Boss: Whoa! No way. If I pay for your training, you'll use your certification to get a better job. At the moment, you're in what we managers call the goldilocks zone. You're not hot enough to get a better job, and you're not yet incompetent at the one you have. When your skills expire, in the next year or two, I'll replace you with someone younger. Dilbert: You're a monster! I'll pay for my own training and leave you to marinate in your own stench! CEO: How did you keep your training expenses so low? Boss: I marinated in my own stench.
Dilbert stands behind a broken desk chair and says into the phone, "My chair is broken. Can you send a new one from the warehouse?" A man at a desk replies, "No can do, my friend. All we have is chairs with deluxe armrests. They're only for managers who are one level higher than you." The man says, "What do I suggest? I dunno . . . Maybe take some classes at night. I'm sure you can get promoted eventually."
The Boss points to a diagram and says, "Problem: our product development process requires buy-in from managers who'd be happier if we all died." As he puts a new transparency on the overhead projector, the Boss says, "My solution is to create executive oversight groups who don't understand the issues and don't have time to meet." Wally and Dilbert watch as the Boss looks into the light and yells, "I'm . . . I'm blind!" Dilbert says, "You looked directly at the bulb again."
The Boss and a woman walk by Dilbert's cubicle holding folders. Leaning back in his chair to look out of the cubicle, Dilbert thinks, "Uh-Oh . . . the managers are going to another closed-door meeting." Dilbert thinks, "It must be about pay cuts or layoffs. I'm doomed. I'd better work on my resume NOW." He pulls nervously at his tie, his hair stands on end and beads of sweat fly from his forehead. The Boss sits around a conference table with three other managers. Reading from a document, he says, "Okay, so far our 'leadership vision' says 'we inspire employees to action.' Does anybody have upgrades?" Another man responds, "Nah."
Dilbert says to the Boss as he walks by, "I know where you're going." Dilbert continues, "You're going to a meeting where equally uninformed managers will make decisions that neuter the work I did all week." Alice says to Dilbert, "You didn't do any work this week." Dilbert answers, "I think I've got this whole 'work' concept figured out."
Dilbert stands in front of the Boss's desk and says, "Boss, I have an idea." The Boss gasps. The Boss jumps up and says, "Quick! Close the blinds! I'll get the door!" The Boss shouts, "You fool! If anybody heard you, we're both dead!" The Boss continues, "Don't you realize that ideas are just targets for other power-hungry managers?!!" The Boss continues, "I've based my entire career on shooting down other people's ideas." A brick crashes through the window. Dilbert picks it up and says, "The note says, 'We know you have an idea in there. Give it up.'" Dilbert arrives at home wearing disheveled clothes and bent glasses. Dogbert asks, "How was work?" Dilbert replies, "Same ol' same ol'."
The Boss's secretary tells Dilbert, "He's with the other managers in an employee ranking and rating session." The secretary continues, "Your salary depends on how well your boss can defend your proposed raise to the other managers." Dilbert covers his eyes and sobs. A man says to the Boss, "I'm fairly sure this Dilbert guy works for you." The Boss replies, "Doesn't ring a bell."