Cost Estimate Comic Strips
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Coworker says, "Can I get a rough cost estimate for the design phase?" Dilbert says, "No. I don't trust you with numbers." Coworker says, "What?" Dilbert says, "You're the kind of guy who will remove useful qualifiers and distribute a figure as if it is true in all cases." Dilbert says, "Decisions will be made. People will get hurt." Dilbert says, "For everyone's sake, the safest thing I can do is make an annoying humming sound until you go away." Dilbert says, "Hummmmm-mmmmmmmmm-mmmmm." Dilbert says, "Half of life is making people go away." Dogbert says, "Humm-mmmm"
The Boss: "I need a cost estimate on your project." Dilbert: "I have no idea I haven't even gathered the user requirements." The Boss: "Don't worry I won't hold you to the estimate." Dilbert: "Yes you will. You will put it in the plan, forget we had this conversation, and fire me when I go over budget." The boss: "Give me a number or I'll fire you right now." Dilbert: "Okay, it will cost ten million dollars." The Boss: "That's too high." Dilbert: "If you already know the cost why are you asking me?" The Boss: "So you'll feel like you had input." Dilbert: "Is input supposed to feel this bad?"
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?"
Dilbert says, "Your software services contract is too confusing for any normal human to comprehend." Dilbert says, "And it wouldn't be cost- effective to involve our attorneys for a deal so small." Dilbert says, "So I'll just take chance and sign it." Man says, "Doc... scrub in. I got the liver."
Tina says, "My best friend from college keeps bugging me to visit her. The flight will cost a small fortune." Dilbert says, "Try offering her a cash payment of half the estimated cost of the trip if she agrees to stop inviting you." Tina says, "You don't have any friends, do you?" Dilbert says, "I hear they're expensive."
Boss: We need creative ideas for our next product. But not from you. Your ideas are awful. And don't suggest something that is already being done. That just puts your ignorance on public display. I don't want to hear any ideas that cost money or increase risk. As usual, I'll evaluate each idea by repeating it slowly while I look at your with disdain. If you come up with a good idea, I'll let you take on the project in addition to your existing work. Who wants to go first? How did I hire so many people who have no ideas? Catbert: Probably bad luck.
Boss: Do a cost analysis for consolidating our data centers. No matter what the data says, make sure your conclusion is that it's a good investment. Dilbert: Remind me why I went to college. Boss: Some liar probably convinced you it was a good investment.
Dilbert sits at his desk working on his computer. Dilbert says, "My program predicts that the cost of college will rise twenty percent a year . . ." Dilbert continues, "Now, throw in the cost of orthodontia and haircuts . . ." Dilbert reads a printout and says to Dogbert, "I can either have a child or buy Norway . . ."
Dilbert and Dogbert sit at the table. Dilbert says, "The cost of sending a child to college is rising so quickly . . ." Dilbert continues, ". . . We need to start budgeting now, in case I ever get married and have a kid." Dogbert says, "I guess that's the price for living in a modern society." Dilbert says, "In the meantime, we'll have to live in a cave and hunt bison."
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?"