Overworked Comic Strips
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Dilbert sits at his desk working and talking on the phone at the same time. The Boss asks, "Have you set up our off-site meeting so we can talk about how overworked you are?" The Boss continues, "I was thinking we should invite the reast of the staff, too. We can discuss our mission statement, maybe have a sack race." The Boss adds, "Did you know that if you're a state trooper, you can shoot any animal that's been hit by a car?"
Boss: How's your project going? Dilbert: Do you mean the one that has no management support, ambiguous goals, no budget, and an angry team of overworked people who want it to die? Boss: No, the other one. Dilbert: Sometimes there isn't an "other one."
wally: Heed my advice, young Asok. Only an idiot finishes a project before the deadline. The less time you give people to nitpick. The more time you have to pretend you are overworked." Freedom is just another word for people finding out you're useless.
Wally is asleep in his cubicle. Asok enters and says, "Wally, I need advice from the master." Wally wakes up and says, "Huh?" Asok says, "How do you remain so carefree while everyone else seems so overworked?" Wally replies, "Asok, you are ready to learn my most powerful secret." Wally continues, "Always volunteer to do lots of tasks. That will make you appear very busy." Wally continues, "Later, when someone complains that you didn't do a task..." Wally continues, "Say you remember discussing the topic but you don't recall agreeing to do anything." Wally continues, "Offer a glimmer of hope that you might yet do the task if no one yells at you... Then repeat." Asok replies, "Wow." Asok walks away and thinks, "He's like a Gandhi that eats."
Boss: A good leader listens to his underlings. Alice: Fine. I've overworked and underpaid. I hate my co-workers, I don't have the resources to do my job, and we have no clear strategy. Boss: No wonder leaders listen. It's a lot easier than fixing all of that stuff.
The Boss gestures toward an employee and says to Dilbert and another man, "I'd like to recognize Wilson for working twenty-hour days and making the project a success." The man says, "Thanks, but I'm not Wilson. He quit months ago." The Boss says, "Oh . . ." The Boss walks away thinking, "I've got to sop calling this the employee recognition program."
The caption reads, "The problem . . ." Dilbert enters looking frazzled and says to the Boss, "We're so under-staffed that the project is six weeks behind schedule." The caption reads, "The analysis . . ." The Boss looks pensive and thinks, "I can't add people . . . I can't change the due date . . . I can't ignore it." The caption reads, "The result . . ." Dilbert says to Wally and Alice, "He wants daily status reports until the situation improves." All three look overworked and disheveled.
Dilbert stands next to Wally's desk and says, "Wally, you never really answered the question I left on your voicemail." Dilbert asks, "Is this a case of simple incompetence or a preview of something far more sinster?" Wally replies, "It's the sinister one." Wally explains, "I've adopted a defensive strategy. I'm withholding information to make myself appear more valuable." Wally continues, "Now I only return phone calls late at night and leave incomplete answers." Wally continues, "In person, I act overworked and irrational so people stop asking questions." Wally continues, "If cornered, I sigh deeply and recount old war stories that don't relate to the question." Wally concludes, "No co-worker can thwart me!" Dilbert asks, "What if they team up?" Behind Wally's back, Alice reaches over the wall and grabs Wally's CPU. She thinks, "Got it!"
Alice sits looking frazzled as the Boss says, "You're understaffed and overworked." Two people appear behind the Boss as he continues, "So I hired a stress counselor and another manager to glare at you." The stress counselor massages the Boss' back and says, "Relax...Deep breaths...There..." The manager stands over Alice glaring at her.