Performance Becomes Average Comic Strips
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Job Applicant "How do you reward your top performers?" "I keep increasing their work loads until their performances become average." "So, why would anyone try to excel?" "I use only the finest motivational posters."
Catbert: Our big data analysis tells us that only the top performers leave for higher pay. Since you're still here, it means your performance is average at best. Dilbert: That's not fair! Catbert: That's what all the average people say.
Headline: Catbert: Evil H.R. Director. Catbert is standing on The Boss' desk. Catbert reports, "The average performance evaluation for your group is too high." The Boss asks, "Do you want me to lower their ratings or their actual performance?" Catbert responds, "Whatever." Dilbert is sitting at his computer. The Boss is standing behind him with one arm reached out towards the back of Dilbert's head. Dilbert says, "This is starting to affect my performance." The Boss replies, "Why? I'm not touching you."
The boss: I have a plan to avoid paying division performance bonuses. I'll merge our group with the worst division so our average performance is lower. her- hee! I should be eay because every division manager is already begging to merge with me.
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.
Boss: I can't give you a raise because your performance was only average. Dilbert: How can you calculate an average for my performance? No one has ever been in my exact situation. Boss: I compared you to other employees. Dilbert: You compared me to strangers doing entirely different things? Boss: No, I compared you to imaginary people doing your exact job. It's called managing, and I'm very good at it. Dilbert: How do you know you're good at it? Boss: Because imaginary people do this job worse than I do.
Voice: Meltdown in cubicle 459540! Dilbert: That's Te. He must have reached his T.W.L. Asok: His what? Dilbert: Theoretical workload limit. In layman's terms, his brain is full. It starts when just one of your projects becomes overdue. You end up spending all of your time explaining why you didn't get it done. That makes all of your other projects overdue. When ever task become urgent, your brain can't decide what to do next. Brains make a funny noise when they shut down. Noise: Poink. Asok: Uh-oh. I just missed a deadline. Wally: And so it begins.
Dilbert: In my spare time I created some awesome new features for our product. Boss: GAAA!!! Shut the door! Dilbert: What?!! Boss: You fool! If my boss finds out you have spare time, he'll think we're overstaffed! You can never speak of these awesome new features again. Dilbert: I'm confused. You told me I need to go above and beyond my job description to get the highest performance rating. Boss: That's just something I say to keep you from getting a healthy raise. Dilbert: So... I lose no matter what I do? Boss: For what it's worth, you're doing better than our customers.
Boss: Dilbert, your job performance is terrific. Dilbert: GAAA!!! That's code for "I'm going to fire someone else and make you do two jobs." Boss: Yes, but it's still better to be you than the guy I'm going to fire. Dilbert: We don't know that! This might be the wake-up call that spurs him on to greatness while I work myself to death in this cubicle. Boss: There's no way to please some people. Ted, you're fired. Ted: YES!