Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Take This Job and Shove It ... Ha, ha Just Kidding!

With respects to Johnny Paycheck, I am back with another brand new cartoon. I know it's been almost a month, and I really feel bad, but real life sometimes steps in the door and there's nothing you can do about it. In this case, real life being buying a condo and finishing up my first ever web site. You can check it out at www.boston-braves.com

Ok, shameless plug over. I'm not turning Room 19 Comics into a cheap Dilbert clone, Dilbert already does that well enough. Whoa! Where did that jar of burn sauce come from? I've never been a big fan of Dilbert or comic strip office humor in general. Most of the jokes are pretty cliched by now and that staleness just gets repeated over and over again.

Hopefully, I've tred on some new ground here with a real-life experience at my very first "real" job out of college. I know that this is going to sound like some really bad lines from a teenage prostitute from an ABC After School Special, but "I was young, needed the money and had no idea what I was getting myself into." Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I was a fund accountant for Mellon Bank.

Hey now! Teenage prostitutes, Boston Braves, Dilbert. This sounds like the makings of a terrific afternoon! Want to see what all of the fuss is about? Check it out here: www.room19comics.com

The time was the spring of 1997, Massachusetts was days away from the infamous "April Fool's Day Blizzard" and a company hired me to work on the books for a couple of clients. Never mind that I was terrible at math, took zero accounting classes at school and owned about three ties. I took the job because a. I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with my life and b. they were actually going to give me a paycheck and benefits.

The first day I knew that I was over my head, but I decided to tough it out and see if I could pick up the lingo and what needed to be done. Fast forward to July and I was still no closer to knowing what the hell I was supposed to do than the day before I started. Combine this with a shitty commute (there were actual times I wished that I'd get into a car accident, so I didn't have to go to work), a posse of friends who hated their jobs as much as I did, and this was not a good cocktail.

Finally, I burst; I went into my manager's office and completely fell to pieces. I told him how much I hated this job, how lost I was and how miserable my entire had become and finally I said the words that I'd long to say, "I QUIT." It felt awesome walking back to my desk, sitting down and realizing that after two weeks, I would never have to come to this hell hole again. Then I realized that I still had to make car payments, I was moving out on my own in a week and beer to be bought. This was not a good idea at all.

How could I save myself? The next day, I walked back into work with my tail between my legs. Ever see that episodes of the Simpsons, "And Maggie Makes Three"? This was the one where Homer quits his job to work at the Bowlerama, but then Maggie is born and he has to get his old job at the power plant. He has to crawl into Burns' office and beg to have his shit ass job that he never wanted, back?

That's exactly how I felt. It was the most humiliating experience in my life and they only agreed to let me come back because I never wrote a resignation letter. I promised them that I'd try harder, get on the stick and become the best damn fund accountant ever.

The promised lasted a grand total of two weeks, tops. I hated my job more than ever and the worst parts were that I felt as if I would never leave there and everyone probably thought I was insane for quitting than coming back. As the summer turned to autumn, my attitude got worse and worse, until finally my boss asked me to come into his office for a talk.

I knew exactly where this was going, they were going to give me the old, "Straighten up and fly right" speech, but I was done, a beaten man. No matter how much I was getting paid (which wasn't that much to begin with) I just couldn't take it anymore. I told Jim that I quit and that this time, "I meant it". From my recolection, he was really surprised ... at least more surprised than I thought he was going to be. He asked me if I was serious and I wanted to think about it, but I was sure of my move.

This was not a good fit for me, so I was getting out when I had the chance. The thing is I spent the next four months unemployed (save for a job at J. Crew, 25 miles away from my new place ... that was even worse than the Mellon Trust job). In March the following year, I was hired by the Revere Journal and worked with some great people and enjoyed the hell out of life again. The pay sucked, but sometimes it's not all about the Benjamins, no matter what P. Diddy says.

In this cartoon, I did a few things different; for one it is a five-panel piece. I haven't done one of these in a long time and if I remember right, this might only be the second one I've ever done. I think it came out pretty well. My favorite part of this cartoon is the third panel.

I think I nailed my cube down (that's what it looked like, exactly) and I think the expression on my face coupled with the thoughts floating around in my head bring the gravity of the situation home. Yes, it was a major life decision, but in all actuality I was making myself miserable for beer, chicks, and other material things. That stuff would've still been there, but I needed it then.

Also, my boss really looked like the characture that I drew. He was a real Alpha-Male type, except he was at least 5'4" on a good day, so he had the Napoleon complex thing going for him. I remember how he used to brag about being in high school and playing baseball. He was normally a righty, but when it was time for him to bunt, he'd bat lefty so he'd get an extra second out of the box. He acted as if he was Connie Mack. Just a real tool to deal with.

BTW, if you've made it through this post and want to read some more ramblings about my new job, keep reading. I made a post yesterday and it's all about my new job and leaving my old one. I forgot to put this in there yesterday, but I think that the reason why I was actually sad leaving HCPro was because so many things happened to me while I was there: I bought a house, met and married Aly, moved six times, dated and broke up with Debbie, went a bunch of places, did a bunch of things and the one constant was my job. Now that constant has changed ... that's why I was so freaked out.

Tomorow is a new step.