I guess I was only mostly dead. Far be it from me to complain about having the best job in the world, but sometimes the constant travel and convention weirdness does start to take its toll. Angela and I were in a pretty sad state last weekend at Emerald City Comicon, what with each of us having a cold, a cough, a soar throat and various headachings. She had some sweet Canadian cold meds that kept my corpse mostly ambulatory all weekend. I asked a guy at a Seattle pharmacy if we had them in the US and he got real wide eyed and backed away, all the while speaking in hushed, panicked tones into his sleeve. Seattle is a weird place.

COMMENTERS: Have you ever had a job that was pretty great except for one shady, questionable, morally grey, disgusting or totally illegal aspect? What about a great job that was ruined by one not-great person?

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  1. Every time people come here they say "it's a weird place." Damn. I grew up here and I don't feel that way. I'm afraid of what that means.

    • I know, right? I also grew up in Western Washington, and I've always thought Portland was much weirder.

    • I don't know what's supposed to be so weird about Seattle. I mean, sure, it's a city built on hills, where it rains 157 days per year on the average, and everyone wants folks to commute to work on bicycles, but other than that…

  2. Well, not a job I've had but I hear being a lawyer is really great. The only shady, questionable, morally grey and disgusting downside is the fact that you're a lawyer… but it's totally legal!

  3. I used to work for Santa Claus in the mall. The pay was great and for the most part it was a decent seasonal job. For years we had a great Santa, the guy was a professional who was flown into our area. When he decided to be a mall Santa, he gave up drinking and swearing, and was just an overall nice guy. The year I left, we had a new Santa. This one was horrible. He made lewd comments about the teenage girls who came to get their pictures taken and talked about hitting the bar as soon as the day was over. The guy was really creepy, and I wouldn't have wanted any child of mine anywhere near him.

      • I have actual lupus. Would you consider a cessation of the use of an (OLD) meme that makes people laugh at a disease that could kill me in my sleep any day at random? I'd appreciate it. So would most of us who have it. Lupus doesn't have the media coverage that cancer does, to counteract the joke. When I'm forced to tell people I have it, they still don't even know what it is. Thanks, that is all.

  4. I'm a zoo vet, which means I have simultaneously the coolest and most disgusting job in the world. While I do get to play with baby gorillas, that also involves, for example, daily topical anti-inflammatory treatment of a deer with priapism (read: applied preparation-h to a prolapsed deer penis). Yeah, my job is great. #zoovetproblems

  5. I worked at a high-end tour agency in downtown SF, which was pretty sweet except that they arranged tours to the "hill tribes" of Southeast Asia, i.e. where women have been put back into neck rings for the tourist trade. I got no good answers about this from my boss, and I quit.

  6. I worked at a mini-golf course & bar out in the boonies. I was a naive 21 yr. old, who didn't get the drift that my job was /actually/ prostituting myself to the 5 old-man regulars who were friends of the owner (there was NO other business). I was fired once the owner figured out that I was going to stick around playing the virginal idiot as long as he paid me minimum wage to do nothing.

  7. I use to write for a website back in the day. I would write funny stories accompanied to pretty pictures and people would pay money to see this amazing entertaining combination.

    It was actually writing captions to porn photo sets.

    I hated *the* job. I loved *my* job. I would write long monologues about how "Cake" was the best word in the world, while captioning some beauty nakedly prancing around kitchen furniture.

    I hated the exploitative part of porn. But damn I had fun making fun of it.

  8. I think a lot of us who enjoy your comicing would be just as happy if you did fewer cons since they seem to kill your actual comic output. I'm sure the merch sales make it necessary but I'm guessing the hit to your readers when there's not regular updates works back against that. Just sayin'. And you're not the only one, this seems a regular phenomenon among web comic people–make comics, get known, do conventions, stop making comics because too busy at conventions.

    • Fair enough. It's a difficult balancing act. One that I certainly haven't mastered. But it's the weird life Ive chosen.

      • But if Joel doesn't ever leave his house, how will he have zany adventures with other hilarious folk!?

        You'll entertain me even if it kills you, Watson!


  9. Yeah i post as anoymous to avoid the remote chance of coworkers or bosses finding and relating..

    yeah i have seen that happen in the most stadisticly impossible ways

    i have a good job .. not good paid at all but i do what i love in a good ambient.. the catch is.. we have to work 7 day weeks (yeah, 7 straight days, not 5) , night shifts , almost all weekends and we dont get paid extra for that..

    so its a "i like my job ..i enjoy it .. but they are taking advance from it"

  10. I used to make additional money as a student acting as a facteur getting stuff for people, a job I blunded into by accident. Basically I was very good at negotiating the byzantine university beurocracy and just generally finding stuff and bodge-fixing things and realized I could make some money doing it for others.

    It sometimes meant doing long chains of trades to get people things which sometimes involved bizzare borderline ilegal or just plain disturbing things along the way.

    Now I profit from the misery and pain of others for a living (I work in healthcare)

  11. I get what you go through Joel because I do craft shows and music festival and most of them involved 1/2 to a full days drive. It's really hard when you're run down or near impossible when you get sick. We caught the swine flu at a show in Medicine Hat a couple of years ago, it hit my partner first and I managed to drive home before the chills and nausea got too bad.

    Don't know about a great job, but I had a good job ruined by a bad supervisor…and there was some financially grey stuff. The company was going through a difficult time (bankruptcy protection) and was in the process of closing some branches, laying off people or not replacing them if they quit or transferred to another branch. The problem was there was still work that needed to be done until a branch closed. I was told that I needed to work 3 days at the closing branch, and 2 days at my branch, and when I accepted it I was promised that I would become a full time employee (instead of part time employee who got full time hours sometime) and would not lose my standing at my branch. The manager thanked me because he had started at the closing branch and had a soft spot for it. Since the position no longer existed (the last person transferred out), I had to secretly send my hours to the Manager and he would pull it out of a different part of his budget. The plan was to split my hours and work there for 6 months until the store closed.

    I am barely trained to cover the work involved, in keeping the branch going and tying up loose ends before it closes…but muddle through it. Everything is going fine until head office decides that they have too many managers…my manager loses his job. He hands over the secret paying to my supervisor at my original branch. She immediatly forgets to put in the hours, and when I get my paycheck, it is hardly anything….and my rent is due and I have no money. I have to go to payroll and have a breakdown to get them to give me a cash advance. The inept supervisor (who I cannot stand and was happy to get away from) claims she just forgot!

    Forward to a couple of months later, the branch is closed, I'm back at my original branch, I have full time hours and a "permanent" position and have been working there for 3 weeks. My name is announced over the intercom, I am brought to an office and told that my position no longer exists…they cut me and one part time person from that section, and they cut other types of jobs from other divisions.

    They would not tell me why my position no longer exists, or why people who have been hired after me still get to keep their jobs. The supervisor has a secret meeting with all the other staff to tell them what happens. It turns out that she sent headquarters a list prioritizing staff 6-9 months ago and put me at the bottom of the list. But she comes out of the meeting blubbering and says she's sorry and promises to let me know if something opens up. A few months later I go to the business to ask for an item I left behind, and see a former employee who had quit a year ago, she is working my job! I go see the supervisor…it turns out that even though my job was cut, they couldn't run on such a low amount of staff. So once again, budget money was moved around, officially this person works for a different department, but they do my job, the job that "no longer exists"!

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