I would think an enginer would come up with somting better, like maybe just changing to a black tie. the third pannel could then show a room full of enginers wearing thier work clothes with a black tie.
What if Dilbert were to skip the Engineers' Ball? He wouldn't have to wear borrowed pants (yuck), he would save the $65 dollars on the tuxedo (plus gas money to get there and back and the potential entry fee), and he would save his hearing and voice by not having to listen to and talk over hundreds of other people talking. Also, if Dilbert is like me, he can think of at least a dozen ways to have more fun at home than at the ball.