Hippocrates Rising

The Fancy Sketch Drive ends on Wednesday 7/11/12! About 50/100 are already sold. Get in on this and help support me in a time of financial need while getting some sweet original art! I will draw damn near whatever you want (within reason). I finally got my home Internet working again and was able to stream some live sketching for a couple of hours. If you missed it, the video is archived HERE.

San Diego Comic-Con is this week! I will be hanging out at booth 1332 with Blind Ferret. Check my Twitter for signing times and availability. More info HERE.

Grammar Dalek Shirt from HijiNKS ENSUE

Grammar Dalek Shirts will go on presale after I get back from SDCC.

Check out this board game my daughter and I made! You can download a PDF and play it with your kids.

FINALLY! I get to go where I was going to get with this storyline. I’ve had this planned since way back when Eli got booze-sickness. We haven’t seen Boxcar Pete, the hobo who talks like a pirate for some reason, in a LOOOONG time. What did he do to Eli? Did he harvest his organs and replace them with booze sponges? Yeah, probably. That’s probably it. Actually, seems like a pretty open and shut case when you think about the sponge thing.

I once interviewed for a job at a hypnosis center. Like a “stop smoking, lose weight” type of place. I was about 20 and I had no idea what the job was, but I knew rent was due and I was desperate. The owner basically told me it was all a scam and laid out how he tricked people into feeling good about giving him a lot of money whether they met their goals or not. I was supposed to go home and memorize a script, come back and start working the scam within a week a so. As shockingly broke as I was, I managed to throw away the script and never call them again.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever interview for or even taken a job where you KNEW some shady shit was going on? What finally made you leave? Are you still there?

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  1. I don't know if it counts as "shady" but I once had a door-to-door sales job, selling pest control, where the interview was at a Mormon religious center. I was apparently the only non-Mormon hired for the job which was just a summer sales job. They asked me to relocate up to Fresno, Caliornia for the summer and sell around there. They paid for the first month at the apartment they selected for two of us to share.

    It was as shitty as you would expect going around knocking on people's doors to try and sell poison. But I did it for a couple weeks. Then the bosses found out I bought some beer and put it in the fridge at "their "apartment and made a huge deal about it. Then they wanted to make a curfew for us and other shenanigans. Then they told us we should all eat better to have more energy to sell.

    First they made me pray, then they made me stop drinking but when they took away my cheeseburgers, I fled like it was a burning building.

    • Ah, so that's how they recruit new Mormons. Sounds like classic brainwashing techniques. Lucky for you you had the strength of will to draw the line at the cheeseburgers. Personally I would have fled when they took away my booze, but hey, everybody's different. 😉

      • they just said no booze in the apartment and there was a decent bar less than a block away. When they were setting our "diet" they said among other things, "no cheeseburgers" and then looked at me and said "and no alcohol anywhere" and I said, "Peace out."

  2. The job I have now? I went to orientation, thought "this job is shady as fuck," and considered not showing up to my first day of actual work. Unfortunately, rent is due and groceries cost money, and I'm working there, and I was right. Shady as fuck. So much haaaaaaaaaaaaate. I'm sticking it out until my 3 year old starts school (in Sept) and thus will be cared for during the day (I'm working nights now) so my schedule's freed up a bit, and then I'm out of there… as soon as I find something else. which might be, you know, years. Since we're in a recession and all. Yay.

  3. I once worked a call center where, while the company was only slightly shady, the environment was insane. I'm talking about open drug deals, knife fights between employees, and supervisors having sex with subordinates in the break room during business hours levels of insane.

  4. I interviewed at Vector when I was a senior in high school (like being a Mary Kay lady, but instead you sell knives, and it is a scam). They were very flattering about how well I interviewed, but that's pretty much the only nice thing I can say about them… well, their knives could cut a penny in half.

    • I worked there for a summer, was not a scam at all. I sold a bunch of knives and made enough money to put a down-payment on a car. But I can definitely see why people might get that impression. Especially depending on the type of person running the office 🙂

    • Yeah, not a scam. Just high pressure sales in which management is set up in a pyramid scheme. The knives are, in fact, really good knives. If someone I know came around selling them, I'd definitely buy a set. But, if you aren't psychologically inclined to handle high pressure sales, it very much feels like you're being set up to fail. I know that I failed hard.

      On a slightly shadier note, I also did work at Scentura, selling knock-off perfume. For people who are good at sales, it's a decent way to make a LOT of money. For me, not so much. The shady bit, though, is that they explicitly tell their people to ignore "No Soliciting" signs. I quit when I got hauled into the security office at a mall and banned from the premises.

    • I worked for them too for all of like 2 days before I realized it wasn't for me. Still have the 'demo' set I bought and I've added pieces to it since then. Freaking love those knives.

  5. When I was working in the Accounting field in the early 1980s and had solid experience with IBM System 34 "mini" computers (the size of 2 refrigerators), I found myself actually courted by a possible employer in the Granada Hills suburb of Los Angeles… you know, "porn valley". Yep, it was a producer and distributor of porn videotapes. Now I had no qualms about the business (and even my new wife said it was okay – as long as the office and studios weren't in the same building), but as I did a little research, I learned that some of the companies doing "legal porn" were helping out some of their original investors (from the not-legal days) by laundering money. My potential employer was on a published lists of suspected moneywashers. No wonder they offered me twice as much as I had made in my previous job. I could just imagine if the FBI moved in, they'd go first for the guy with all the accounting records… that would have been me, even if I was doing nothing but calculating cassette sales and writing checks to porn stars. In fact, if I DIDN'T know anything shady, but the cops thought I did… I shuddered to think, and unhappily turned down their generous offer.

    I did get another promising job soon after, that didn't even involve the IBM 34s (which were rapidly going obsolete) with a financial firm closely involved with a hot new financial instrument: Junk Bonds, and their #1 issuer, Michael Milken. At least I had 3 levels of management between me and anyone close enough to Milken to be involved in that investigation. But there were other stories I could tell. Like being told in a staff meeting that the company's reputation had gotten so toxic, we were not supposed to wear our company logo shirts or hats in public. Capitalism. Gotta love it.

    • Yeah but think about it, you could have been involved in a horseback chase on the canadian border before having Sean Connery threatening you by blowing off the head of a guy you didn't realise was already dead.

    • My dad is a CPA, and growing up he had a System 34. Man that brings back memories – first computer I ever "used", back in the early 80s, he would let me sit at the terminal and just type away. Nothing shady, though, and definitely no porn. Then he had a Compaq "portable" that looked like a suitcase. That became my first computer. I remember when I took one of the 5.25" inch floppy drives out to put in a gigantic 10MB harddrive. I think we bought the harddrive down under the bridge in Dallas at the swap meet that Joel immortalized a few months back. Good times.

  6. I saw an opening for a job on craigslist a couple months ago that said it was for a receptionist. It said they were very selective, wanted someone with a "tremendous work ethic" and you had to include a short paragraph on why you would be better than other candidates. It said there would be few incoming calls and many outgoing calls. And it said expect to start at $7.25 per hour. So a call center that pretends they're hiring receptionists, wants exceptional candidates, and expects you start at minimum wage.

    Even though I desperate to get out of my current job at the time, I did not bother contacting them.

  7. No, no, no! You're doing it all wrong, you must place one finger on or slightly above the eyebrow, one finger slightly below the eye, and one finger slightly below the mouth or on the chin. Make sure not to exert too much pressure as that could impede the flow of Katra.

    And although it is not necessary for experienced telepaths, it is helpful to speak the chant "my mind to your mind… my thoughts to your thoughts…" in order to enter the meditative trance required for Mind Melds.

  8. I went for an interview at a "company" that did door-to-door work trying to get people to sign up to monthly giving to charities. The end-game charities were all legit, but the whole thing was a big pyramid scheme that did it's best to try and fleece money out of people with virtually none in the first place. I spent a day walking about a housing scheme, but I knew in about 30 minutes that I wasn't going to take it. Just felt scummy 🙁

  9. I made porn sites at the turn of the century. I knew what I was getting into, day 1.

    The guy who owned the company could not come into the office because he wasn't allowed into Canada for some reason. However, if your phone rang with a Cayman Island number showing, you were in for trouble.

    Once, the accountant came running into the tech room screaming "CUT THE FEED FROM GERMANY!!" Apparently we weren't allowed to show THAT kind of stuff from Canadian servers.

  10. I have been lucky enough to avoid shady jobs. However my husband has not. Once he took a job that was some sort of door to door sales but to businesses (obviously they ignored the No Soliciting signs) he had to drive about 30 minutes to get to the office for the interview, then had to go get into a van with the other salesmen and be shipped out another 40 minutes or so further away. He went to a couple places with his "partner" for the day and decided very quickly that it wasn't for him. They immediately told him that it was fine, but that he would have to find his own way back to the office and his car. He didn't take that very well and made it clear that since they didn't even tell him where he was, that they would damn well take him back to his car or he'd call the cops. He got his ride back, and got to wait in a Burger King or something until they all came back to leave. They didn't go get him however so he had to run outside when he saw them loading up into the van so they wouldn't ditch him.

  11. I worked for a legal publisher that would auto-send new editions of their books to previous purchasers (not always of that particular book)…along with a bill for hundreds of dollars. If you didn't want the book they expected you to return it, at your expense. The same company did legal seminars, and my cube was against the row of salesmen cubes…it was like listening to Glengarry, Glen Ross all day.

  12. (insert 30s radio broadcaster voice)will joel find out what happend to eli that night. will boxcar pete them and dangle them over a vat of hobo gravy. toon in for the next exiting episode of hijinksensue

  13. During my early 20's I sold magazine subscriptions door to door with a bunch of other kids. At the time I had no idea it was a shitty job, we were young doing something easy, and we had fun. When it came time to get paid however we found out we were getting charged out the ass for everything by our boss.

    Cost of the apartment 9 people shared? We each paid full price of the rent.
    Cost of groceries we shared? We each paid full price of the groceries.
    Cost of utilities we shared? We each paid full price of the utilities.
    Cost of the gas for our van? We each paid full price of the gas.

    In the end our boss wound up paying us less than minimum wage for 10 hour days six days a week. I made more money the summer I worked sweeping up at a zoo.

    A screwed up side-note? Our boss ended up going to jail for knocking up the much younger sister of one of my coworkers a year after I quit.

  14. I was a copywriter for a brothel.

    Actually, I was hired as a copywriter for a weekly newsletter for the legit business at the unlicensed massage parlor wink wink nudge nudge, but when the owner found out I knew graphic design and some programming, he had me work on coding his other legit business' website. That legit website was a place where people could sell scrip to each other, like eBay, but the brothel's completely legit business would serve as an escrow agent. Here's an actual thing he told me once: "You know why eBay is going to fail? Because they don't have any physical products."

    Yes. That's exactly why eBay is going to fail.

    Anyway, he was a paranoid cokehead that would sequester himself with the head unlicensed massage therapist for hours, presumably doing blow while getting blown. I eventually left once a real job came my way.

    The last I heard of him, my wife called me at the real job and told me to turn on the news because he was being led away in handcuffs. The whole prostitution ring didn't stick because the undercover officers apparently really liked the undercover work they were doing, including screwing one of the girls in the back of an actual police car.

    • Oh, and there was the time I designed Fleshlight's first ever website and got stiffed the $300 promised. (They went to GDS&M, who turfed it to a former GSD&M employee, who passed the job on to me. Work was done, never was paid. Freelancers: Don't do work without a contract!)

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