Precious Budget Dollars Comic Strips
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The Boss says, "I have a budget meeting tomorrow with our CFO." The Boss says, "I'll be competing against all of the other departments for precious budget dollars." The Boss says, "This won't be easy because all of the other departments are staffed with professional liars." Dilbert says, "That's a bit of an exaggeration, don't you think?" The Boss says, "What do you call marketing?" Dilbert says, "Okay, I'll give you that one." The Boss says, "Sales?" Dilbert says, "Right, but..." The Boss says, "P.R.?" Dilbert says, "Well, yes..." The Boss says, "Finance?" Dilbert says, "I forgot about that one." The Boss says, "Legal?" Dilbert says, "Wow." The Boss says, "Do the next one yourself." Dilbert says, "How about human resour... you win."
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 holds out a slip of paper to his Boss and says, "This needs your approval." The Boss looks at the piece of paper and Dilbert continues, "The company will save forty million dollars but you'll be ten thousand over budget." Dilbert says, "And before you ask, no it won't work the other way around." The Boss says, "Whose side are you on?"
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?"
Boss: I need a budget estimate for your project. Dilbert: One billion dollars. Boss: That doesn't sound reasonable. Dilbert: I'll shout numbers and you can stop me when one sounds reasonable. Boss: Please stop being you. Dilbert: Eleven!
Dilbert stands in front of the Boss's desk and says, "My patent will make fifty million dollars for the company, so I thought maybe you could afford to give me a raise." The Boss replies, "Unfortunately, the profit bucket is not connected to the budget bucket, so there's no money for a raise." Dilbert says, "I think some recognition of a job well-done is appropriate here." The Boss replies, "Thanks. It WAS one of my better excuses."
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."
The Boss says to Dilbert and Wally, "We need to ship the V-1 product tomorrow. I promised our CEO he can announce it at the shareholder meeting." Wally says, "That's two months early!!" Dilbert says, "We haven't added any features yet!!" Dilbert says, "What would we ship? Our lab prototype is the only V-1 in existence!" Wally cries, "No . . . You wouldn't!" The Boss picks up the device and says, "I've scheduled press tours so you can do demos all next week." Wally asks, "On what?!" As the Boss walks away carrying the prototype, Dilbert says, "We'll need twenty thousand dollars to build another prototype!" The Boss says, "That reminds me; I froze the budget for the rest of the year." The Boss continues, "If there's anything you'd like me to do, don't hesitate to ask." Wally says, "Yeah, I'd like you to do something . . ." The Boss looks angry. Wally says, "Ooh . . . I think I should have hesitated to ask that."
Asok the Intern and Dilbert sit at a table. The Boss comes in and says, "I need your budget estimate today." Asok replies, "We won't have useful numbers until next week." Dilbert turns and says, "It doesn't work that way, Asok." Asok says, "No?" Asok and Dilbert approach the Boss who stares blankly into space. Dilbert explains, "As soon as he asked the question, he went into 'boss hibernation.'" Dilbert waves his hand in front of his face and says, "He can't see or hear anything until we say a number. Watch." Dilbert says, "Three million dollars." The Boss comes to and says, "Uhn!" The Boss walks away and says, "Three million. Good work." Dilbert says, "The first time I saw it, I panicked and ended up with a budget of $911."
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."