Dilbert’s one liners

These quips came to me as “Dilbert’s one liners” on a WhatApp message. Some of these don’t sound Dilbertian. I am a fairly avid follower of Dilbert and could not imagine a context in which some of them might have been voiced. But then, you never can say. Dilbert also has off days!

Nos. 3 and 30 are the ones I liked best. Hope you will be able to laugh at least at some of them.

1. I say no to alcohol, it just doesn’t listen.

2. A friend in need is a pest indeed.

3. Marriage is one of the chief causes of divorce.

4. Work is fine if it doesn’t take too much of your time.

5. When everything comes in your way you’re in the wrong lane.

6. The light at the end of the tunnel may be an incoming train..

7. Born free, taxed to death.

8. Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film.

9. Life is unsure; always eat your dessert first.

10. Smile, it makes people wonder what you are thinking.

11. If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.

12. It’s not hard to meet expenses, they are everywhere.

13. I love being a writer… what I can’t stand is the paperwork..

14. A printer consists of 3 main parts: the case, the jammed paper tray and the blinking red light.

15. The guy who invented the first wheel was an idiot. The guy who invented the other three, he was the genius.

16. The trouble with being punctual is that no one is there to appreciate it.

17. In a country of free speech, why are there phone bills?

18. If you cannot change your mind, are you sure you have one?

19. Beat the 5 O’clock rush, leave work at noon!

20. If you can’t convince them, confuse them.

21. It’s not the fall that kills you. It’s the sudden stop at the end.

22. I couldn’t repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder.

23. Hot glass looks same as cold glass. – Cunino’s Law of Burnt Fingers

24. The cigarette does the smoking you are just the sucker.

25. Someday is not a day of the week

26. Whenever I find the key to success, someone changes the lock.

27. To Err is human, to forgive is not a Company policy.

28. The road to success…. Is always under construction.

29. Alcohol doesn’t solve any problems, but if you think again, neither does Milk.

30. In order to get a Loan, you first need to prove that you don’t need it.

My Way or the highway

Morning conversation

HR Manager to New Employee : Welcome to The Fictitious Company Ltd. We are glad to have you on board. We hope that we have a long-lasting and mutually beneficial relationship. Here is your Employment Letter. You will need to sign a copy and return as an acknowledgement of acceptance of the Job Offer.

New Employee : Thank you. I look forward to working here. I assure you I will put in my best. Please give me a few minutes to read the letter and sign and return a copy.

HR Manager : What a strange young man you are ! You want to read the letter before you sign and accept the terms. This is a standard letter which we issue to all new hires. Are you suggesting that I, the HR Manager of the company, have the time to make changes to individual letters ? Nobody else has had a problem signing it. You think you are special ?

New Employee : Not at all sir. But I would still like to understand all the terms and conditions so that I can ensure that I can abide by them.

HR Manager : Suit yourself. As you know I am a very important person with very important things to do. If you want to read the letter you can take it with you and come back and see me in the evening.

Evening Conversation

New Employee : Sir, there is a mention about a “scope of work” and the letter says it is attached. I don’t find it attached. Can I please have a copy of the “scope of work”.

HR Manager : We don’t give out copies of “scope of work”. Your “scope of work” will be briefed to you by your Manager.

New Employee : Very well sir. In that case, I request you to remove this line from the letter since, by signing it, it would mean that I have seen it and accepted it.

HR Manager : Now listen young fellow! You are being unreasonable. We cannot take it out of the letter as it is a Corporate Policy that has been laid down by the top management. I have no authority to take it out. If I take it out I will be violating Corporate Policy.

New Employee : I assume that putting this line in the letter and not actually giving it out does not violate Corporate Policy. In any case, if you cannot take the line out, please give me a copy of the “scope of work”.

HR Manager : But I don’t have a “scope of work” to give you.

New Employee : Then please remove this line from the letter.

This “endless loop” continued endlessly. Finally, exasperated, the HR Manager said : Leave this with me. Let me see what I can do. I will call you soon.

Next day

Of course we all know that the HR Manager never made that call. Instead, the company hired another young individual who was willing to accept the letter stating “scope of work enclosed” without it actually being.

“Ethical” business practices

Stated policy of the company (boldly displayed across the office):

“We do not support any unethical and unfair practices while pursuing our business interests. Action will be taken against any employee
found to have indulged in an unethical or unfair practice in pursuit of the company’s business objectives.”

Practiced policy of the company (not stated or displayed anywhere) :

“We do not support any unethical and unfair practices while pursuing our business interests, after they (the unethical and unfair practices) are discovered and brought out in the open. Till such time, we will gladly turn a blind eye to any unfair or unethical practice that we believe will be profitable for the company and there is no risk of this knowledge (of unethical and unfair practices being followed) being traced to the propagators of this policy (read – senior management). If usage of such practices does get discovered and brought out into the open, we will, without compunction, act speedily in the best interest of the company, and blame it as a wanton act of deception, fuelled  by personal  greed, on part of some employee low down in the food-chain.

I maintain standards. In fact, two of them. I maintain “double standards”.

Scene 1 – Employee in office

The employee : “What ? Airconditioning in the office is down again? For as much as thirty minutes ?? It was down for as much as 45 minutes on one occasion only three months back. Who does the company think I am? I refuse to be taken for granted by the company. I refuse to do any work under these inhuman  conditions.”

The employee’s supervisor : “It is not such a big deal. They have assured me that it will be up and running in another 15 minutes. This is the first breakdown in over 3 months. It is a machine and requires occasional maintenance. Please get back to work now.”

The employee : “No way. You and other people in senior management are trying to fatten the margins by saving on electricity cost. But what about the conditions under which we have to work ? Have you ever thought about that ? Will you pay us for our sacrifice by sharing the better margins with us ?”

The employee then stomps out of the room, to return an hour after the AC has been restored. He claimed “nobody told him”.

Scene 2 – The employee returns home in the evening from a hard day at office

The employee’s 8 year old daughter : “Dad, it feels very hot now. When are we going to get an AC for our house ? It is difficult to do my homework in this heat.”

The employee : “You know darling how harmful ACs are for the environment. They produce fluorocarbons that damage the ozone layer. Besides, they are huge guzzlers of electricity which, again, the more we produce the more environmental damage we inflict. We are all making these little “adjustments” for the good of the environment. And, as you already know, working in a challenging environment  builds character. Now go and finish your homework.”