Shipping Comic Strips
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The Boss, Alice and Dilbert stand next to the coffee machine. The Boss says, "I need everybody to help in the shipping department today." The Boss continues, "Every product that ships before the end of the month gets counted as revenue for the fiscal year. Unfortunately, we don't have inventory." Dilbert, Alice and Wally each have an open box in front of them. The Boss continues, "So we'll ship whatever is lying around, book it as revenue and sort it out later." Wally reaches into his mouth and says, "This one's getting gum."
"Project meeting" "I'll have to cut a few corners because of your bungling of the budget process." "If we skip design, prototype, testing and manufacturing, we can afford the product recall." "We'll save on shipping, too." "Is bungle the same as juggle?"
Dilbert: Do your estimates include tax and shipping? Tina: Relax, relax, calm down." "There's no need to go all nuts about the tax and shipping. It's under control. Take a deep breath." Dilbert: Um...All I asked was..." " Tina: Gaaa! You're totally losing it now!"
"That price quote includes everything!" Dilbert: "What about taxes, shipping, cables, carts, software, memory upgrades, maintenance and insurance?" "Has anyone ever called you needy?"
Ratbert stands in front of the television. An announcer asks, "Are you tired of fad diets and fad exercise devices?" Ratbert replies, "Yes, I am!" Dogbert appears in the commercial and says, "Then buy my book and get the revolutionary Joggerobic Carpet Patch for only $19.95 plus shipping and handling." Dogbert continues, "To prove it works, we photographed an actual athlete." Ratbert says, "Pictures don't lie!"
Dilbert stands in front of the Boss's desk, reading a newspaper. Dilbert says, "The pundits in the press are nailing us for shipping a keyboard with no 'Q.'" Dilbert continues, "It's a public-relations fiasco. Obviously, we need an engineering solution. I'm on the case." Dilbert and Wally sit at a table. Dilbert says, "Users could use a graphics program to draw a 'Q' in the unlikely event that they need one." Wally says, "Or we could replace the semi-colon; nobody uses them."
The Boss says, "We start shipping in two weeks." Dilbert says, "That's not enough time to fix the known bugs." The Boss says, "When you say, 'bugs,' that's sort of a gray area." Dilbert says, "Um? I don't think it is." The Boss says, "For example, a user might need several steps to do something that should only take one." The Boss says, "Or perhaps the interface is a bit unclear." Dilbert says, "or perhaps it can only be operated by a robot from the future who jacks into it and sends commands in zeros and ones." The Boss says, "I can't tell if you're agreeing with me or mocking me." Dilbert says, "That's sort of a gray area."
Dilbert: "What would your system cost?" Vendor: "We can deliver in two weeks." Dilbert: "But what would it cost?" Vendor: "A lot of vendors deliver in four weeks, but we can do it in two." Dilbert: "I'm asking about price, not delivery schedules." Vendor: "Do you want it shipped by ground or air? Air is even faster." Dilbert: "What does it cost?" Vendor: "Ground costs less than air." Dilbert: "GAAA!!! What does the SYSTEM cost?!!" Vendor: "For ground?"
The Boss points to a slide of a man making a funny face and says, "We've expanded our customer disservice program." The Boss points to the next slide of a technician saying, "Uh.. reboot." The Boss continues, "...Doubled our unhelpful technical support advice." The next slide is of a customer leaning back with one hand on the phone and the other holding his stomach, saying, "So... hungry." The Boss continues, "... Stretched our telephone hold times to lethal durations..." Wally, Dilbert, and Alice listen as The Boss' voice continues, "... And cleansed our online support database of all useful articles." The Boss says, "Our goal is to force customers to form support groups." The Boss continues, "Over time, with luck, we'll train customers to do our manufacturing and shipping, too." Wally raises his hand and asks, "May I train a customer to do my job?" The Boss replies, "Sure." A little boy sits in front of a computer with a cup of coffee in his hand. He asks Wally, "So.. what do I do?" Wally responds, "You're doing it."
dilbert: the product is ready to ship as soon as the new user guide is complete. boss: ship it with the old model's user guide. dilbert: the user interface is totally different. boss: don't let perfect be the enemy of shipping.