1. He’s one of those “Don’t come to me with a problem, come to me with a solution” executive morons. Therefore, he can’t bring himself to just say “no”. Instead he offers a horrible “solution” to her wanting her salary changed.

  2. “I’m be more than happy”?

    It’s three o’clock, he has his briefcase in hand — is he packing it in for the day? Is that supposed to be part of it, that not only is he unsympathetic, uncaring, callous, etc., he’s also a slacker? Do as I say, not as I do?

  3. See, if I hadn’t bothered with the second part, I might have beat Lord Flatulence to the punch…

  4. That “I’m be…” might have been a simple typo (for “I’d be” or “I’ll be”), or it could have been the result of a rewrite (inserting “be more than” into “I’m happy…“), but none of that matters now. The real question is when it happened: this comic was originally published nine years ago. Unless the error occurred when the caption was reset for a rerun, one would think there was time to catch and correct the mistake.

  5. And the proofreading could have been made more difficult by the way the lines broke. The “I’m be” discord is split across lines.

  6. Maybe he intends it as a “counter offer” so that after negotiations they can “meet in the middle” and keep her salary exactly as it is, BUT he can claim brownie points for “being a supervisor who’s willing to listen and compromise”?

    Or is that too cynical a reading even for us folks?

  7. You don’t really get this until you something similar happens to you (like getting a pay cut).

    This also reminds me of a time when I was a graduate student and we grad students were grading undergrad homework assignments. After the assignments were given back, two young lady students (who were friends with each other) came up to us and explained that they had given the same answer for one question, but one student had it marked wrong, and the other did not. Understandably, the student who had it marked wrong wanted credit for the answer.

    I looked at the answers, and realized that the answer they had both given was wrong, and explained that I could not give credit for a wrong answer. This felt unfair to them, as one did receive credit (albeit mistakenly). I explained that I couldn’t give credit for the answer that was marked wrong, but I could take off points for the answer that was marked correct.

    It wasn’t a surprise to me that the student who didn’t get the answer wrong didn’t want points removed. So they both left, unhappy that something unfair had happened — while the only thing they could do to make it fair was to have one of the friends sacrifice her homework grade, which she was unwilling to do.

  8. I’ve seen a lot of can’t do option A so (unrelated and often opposing) option B jokes.

    There’s an episode of the the Simpsons where Bart falls out of a tree, Nelson says “Ha-ha”. Milhouse says “Bart’s really hurt” and Nelson says defensively “I *said* ‘ha-ha'”.
    There was a t-shirt popular in college of a guy saying “I may not be smart but I can lift heavy things”.
    Even the phrase “It’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick” reflects this.

    And there are many modern jokes these days where the punchline is essentially a person “Oh well, so long as someone got hurt”.

    I think this cartoon is along those lines and hyper aware of it. It really doesn’t work in that it forces you to think about it but when you do you don’t analyze what’s funny about the cartoon– you analyze that such contradictions aren’t actually funny.

  9. The 2010 date was during recovery from the 2008 recession so that could have been an impetus for the muse. People weren’t getting raises during that time. I do also wonder if it is a nod to the pay disparity issue. “Oops, I just realized I might already be paying you too much because you are female” type of bonehead executive thinking.

    J-L, On the mistake in grading issue, one way to be fair might have been to strike the question across the board for all students and regraded the tests. The mistake was made by the folks in charge of the process.

  10. At a literal level, the line indicates a hallway corner.

    At a figurative level, the line indicates the sharp dividing line between employees and management, which neither can cross, and prevents either from truly understanding the other. The manager comes close to touching the line, showing that he’s making a sincere effort to understand the employee, but as the caption demonstrates, fails completely. The clock is on the manager’s side of the line, which means that time is on the manager’s side.

  11. John: Rescoring and reweighting everyone’s homework in response to one mistake on one test seems excessive. (And potentially unfair to students who put in the work to get that question correct.)

    The situation J-L describes doesn’t seem that unfair. Everyone gets credit for the problems that they get done correctly, and some students occasionally get a bonus points for some problems that they did incorrectly. Yes, in an ideal world the latter would never happen, but in practice grading isn’t going to be perfect, and the bonus points will average out over the course.

  12. Striking a question is unfair… the students who got it right lose the credit for getting it right, through no fault of their own.

    In university settings, it is often the case that the instructor/professor who teaches the class does not grade the homework, and might not even be grading exams… these tasks are offloaded onto graduate teaching assistants. In very large class sections, you’ll sometimes get cases of multiple TAs doing grading, and sometimes the standards are not consistent between the different assistants. Ideally, this is handled (and adjusted) by the supervising professor, but it isn’t always handled well.

    When I was teaching, I graded everything myself. We had a rule that any graded work had to be returned to the student, graded, by the next class meeting. I’m also the sort of person who makes extensive notes, explaining why an answer was found to be inadequate (if it was). Then, in addition to teaching, I also managed all the computer labs, which require most of their attention between terms, right about the time all the other instructors are doing their grades and handing them in to the registrar. My grades tended to come in within minutes of deadline, and it wasn’t unusual for the registrar to be waiting for my grades in order to close the term.

  13. Note: It’s VERY unusual for a single exam question to be the difference between one grade and another when final grades are determined.

  14. I’m just surprised nobody else was wondering why the woman is leaning back against a giant thumb? Seriously, the lines there threw me off completely.

  15. cannot unsee

    (James: not only is it uncommon, but allowing it to be is an error on the professor’s part.)

  16. “(James: not only is it uncommon, but allowing it to be is an error on the professor’s part.)”

    You’re overbroad there. Sometimes a student’s performance is such that they fall right on the division between grades. When this happens, every thing they’ve done is the difference between their grades.

    You mean that one incorrectly-graded item shouldn’t be the difference between grades.

  17. I don’t really understand; you seem to be using two different senses of “difference”. Anyway what I’m saying is that the division between grades shouldn’t fall arbitrarily within the confidence interval of any one student’s performance.

  18. J-L wrote “You don’t really get this until you something similar happens to you”.

    You don’t really get this until you’m be something similar happens to you. Fixed it for you.

  19. “With the business going through a rough time I have to give you a 50% pay cut for the next 3 months. But at the end of that time I’ll give you a 75% raise to make up for it.”

  20. But by not going back and marking the answer wrong on all the papers on which it was marked as correct, those students do not know that they answered the question wrong and will think that the wrong answer is correct. One day one of them will be on Jeopardy with $30,000 wagered in Final Jeopardy and that will be the question asked and, the student will provide the wrong answer and lose the $30,000 – all because it was it was too much trouble to go back and change the incorrect answers marked as correct to wrong. 🙂

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