Capital Budget Comic Strips
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The Boss sits at a table, his hands folded together and says, "We're going to try something called 'open book management.'" The Boss looks to Dilbert and Wally and syas, "We'll teach you to read the finacial statements of this company. It's all very motivating." Wally looks at a report and says, "... and our CEO got paid more than the entire capital budget." Alice says, "Is this what motivation feels like?"
"I need a $1,600 handheld bar code scanner to finish my lab tests." "Okay. Apply for a capital budget variance, prepare an RFP, get three bids, form a team to evaluate the bids, then prepare a purchase order." "Never mind. I'll just learn how to read bar codes by sight." "Quitter."
Dilbert approaches the Boss' desk with a piece of paper. Dilbert says, "I need your approval for to buy a new computer." The Boss says, "Eh! Eh!" as Dilbert speaks. The Boss replies, "There's a freeze on the capital budget. Only our CEO can approve it." Dilbert holds out the slip of paper again and says, "Could you ask him to..." as The Boss says, "Eh! Eh!" The Boss replies, "I don't want to be the guy who always asks for things." The Boss continues, "Maybe you could assemble a computer from components that are each within my approval limit?" Dilbert asks, "What's your approval limit?" The Boss replies, "Ten dollars." Dilbert says, "If you need me, I'll be in my cubicle banging my head against the wall." The Boss stands overlooking the cubicles from his office door as sounds of "Thud! Thud! Thud! come from a cubicle. The Boss thinks to himself, "This is why I keep them in soft-walled containers."
boss: we need to reduce our expense budget to 40% of our capital budget. dilbert: why do we need to do that? boss: because the ratio is too high. dilbert: are you saying we can't afford it? boss: no. i'm saying the ratio is too high. dilbert: okay, but by what standard is it "too high"? boss: by historical standards, it has never been this high. dilbert: i don't think we want to start using an irrelevant ratio to manage the department. boss: to be fair, this is just the first time you noticed.
Dilbert approaches the Boss and says, "We desperately need another person on my project!" The Boss replies, "We're already over headcount. Get a contract employee." Dilbert says, "Okay, but they cost twice as much." Dilbert says, "Plus we need to buy a computer." The Boss says, "Rent one. We're over our capital budget." Dilbert replies, "Renting is expensive. We'll go over our expense budget." The Boss says, "I'll fire Wally. That will free up some cash." Dilbert throws his arms up in frustration and says, "Wally's on my project!" Dilbert shouts, "Forget it! I'll just work sixteen hours a day!!" The Boss thinks, "That worked out perfectly. I think I might be a genius or something." The Boss sits at his desk and thinks, "I wonder if I should have told him the project was cancelled last week."
Boss: You need to get your capital budget approved by all of the department heads. We're in the middle of a reorg, so get approval from both the outgoing and the incoming managers. Dilbert: Someday I hope to solve a problem that is not caused by leadership. Boss: You'll never get that far.
Wally hands the Boss a document and says, "Here are my budget estimates for the year." Wally continues, "Thanks to management bungling and indecision, I plan to use no capital for several months followed by a reckless year-end orgy of acquisition." Wally asks, "Is that what you were looking for?" The Boss responds, "Tell me again what 'capital' is."
Dogbert sits on the hassock watching television. A newscaster says, "The budget for education was cut ten million dollars." Dogbert thinks, "Is that a big percentage? Does it make any difference?" The reporter says, "Congress considered a music safety law after studies showed a ten percent increase in piano-related deaths." Dogbert wonders, "How does that compare to other health risks? Should I be concerned?" The newscaster continues, "Lawmakers debated a bill to lower capital gains tax rates . . ." Dogbert thinks, "What do most economists think? Would it stimulate the economy much? Should I care?" The newscaster continues, "A new poll show that many voters have strong opinions on these issues despite the fact that we provide no useful contextual data." Dogbert walks away with his ears standing up. He thinks, "I've got to stop watching scary shows right before bedtime."
Boss: I only have enough in the budget to hire an employee who is incompetent half of the time. But if I don't use the budget, I will lose those funds next year. Employee: And I am proud to say that I'm 75% competent. Boss: I wish I could afford that.
Ted: You charged expenses to my project code. Dilbert: I had to because I don't have a budget. Ted: This will make it seem as if I went over budget while you didn't spend a penny. Dilbert: Good point. Wally: How's your project coming along with no budget? Dilbert: Better than I'd hoped.