Thursday, January 7, 2016

Another Dilbert strip...

Another Dilbert strip ... that resonates oh-so-strongly with my corporate experience:

One incident in particular comes right to mind, in which my then-CEO, a nice fellow named John T., sent me off to make a budget spreadsheet for the engineering department.  He particularly wanted it to show the effects of a planned layoff.  When I brought the spreadsheet down, he said (these are his exact words):
“Fix that so that the total savings is $1.4 million.”
My calculations had showed a roughly $600 thousand savings.  Further discussion revealed that he really, truly didn't care whether the spreadsheet represented reality at all.  All he cared about was the bottom line.  So I just changed (as he stood there) the total savings cell from a formula to a fixed value of $1.4 million.  He said:
“Great!  But add just a little bit so it doesn’t look like we just made it up.”
At that point I reverted the spreadsheet to the way I had built it, emailed it to him, and told him I didn't want to know what he did with it...

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