Certainly I don’t speak for everyone, but maybe some of us are presently employed and just trying to hatch an escape plan, except we used up all of the so-called PTO (that it took us an entire beleaguered year to earn) on obscure holidays such as “Christmas” and “New Year’s.”


Accounting for Mudbutt

toilet-paper-they-see-me-rollin_largeOur accountant didn’t show up for work today, and chose to send our Vice President a multi-paragraph text message detailing his overnight struggle and continued epic battle with severe mudbutt. Together we read about how he suspects food poisoning, keeps running to the toilet, etc., etc. How come every time someone at my work needs a day off, they say it is diarrhea? That bitch is at Six Flags. This is what happens when your company enforces a strict no vacation for your first year of employment policy.

I have never heard of a company except for mine that makes employees show up every day for the first year. Internment camps, maybe. It seems worse than it is since we only close for two days a year. Happy 249 days of cube dwelling in 2013, fellow co-workers! It was even worse in 2011 (my first year here), since Christmas and New Year’s were both on the weekend. Sorry, employees who want to spend the holidays with family. It is your fault for working for Italian people who only moved here to cash in on the absurdly high American work ethic (read: ability to withstand sitting in a chair for extended periods of time, for minimal pay and no insurance).

On top of giving us all the horrible mental picture of his little stick man body and disproportionately large head on the toilet, he signed his name at the end of the text message. SIGNED. The. Text. Message. Why is everyone so weird around here?

I (Still) Like Birds

ESomebody who thought I was homeless tossed me $25, so I saw Eels with some friends last night at 9:30 Club. Although I didn’t get an autograph on the pretend gig poster I made for Eels as a school project in 2010 (weak!), it was a great time. Nicole Atkins and Puddles Pity Party opened. I enjoyed Nicole Atkins but Puddles and his monkey lady friend terrified the shit out of me. Since I work as a graphic design monkey for a series of Italian overlords, anything remotely resembling a Pulcinella makes me want to reach for the Xanax. However, in spite of appearances, credit needs to be given to Puddles for his beautiful singing voice.

Eels is amazing for a lot of reasons besides willingness to color coordinate matching Adidas tracksuits. E just keeps changing his style and getting better all of the time. Throughout the show he lauded his band for their performances, and we received three encores. Their set list was great-I only wish I could have heard “I Like Birds” live. Oh well, I am sure that E is tired of every female on the planet asking to hear that song.

I really enjoy 9:30 Club as a venue, but last night they did this weird thing where they used the guard rail for the stage as a cattle catcher to push all of us towards the door after the show. The guys leading the bum’s rush even ridiculed my friend for jumping out of the way. It might have bothered me less if I had been able to duck out of the way as well; some immovable hipsters behind me were deep in conversation and somehow didn’t realize that I was being squished against them in an effort to not lose any toes. Weird. If anyone from my five followers knows any staff at 9:30 Club, perhaps you can request that they wait a full five minutes after the show ends next time before they start the plow.

My photos aren’t great since I was using my Cybershot, but here they are in case you want to be able to recognize Puddles in a dark alley.

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You Get What You Give

“Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

And let us not partake from the donuts that your office mates take turns to purchase with their own money every Friday, when you have not only denied your turn to purchase multiple times, but vehemently stated that you would not be “coerced.”


The Crass Ceiling

Glass CeilingThere is this dingleberry at my work who is always trying to pawn his work off on others. In his addled mind, graphic designer means “Ed’s Typist,” so he always comes to me to try and make me type his letters, claiming that he doesn’t have the software. It looks like it is high time for somebody to admit that he doesn’t know Microsoft Word. Jesus Christ, our office is so janky he probably has the version with the original talking paper clip, and still would rather try and tell a woman what to do than actually learn something.

When I brought this issue up to my small social circle at work, together we realized that he was trying to delegate only to the women of the company. This adds an entirely new and exponentially more insulting facet to his already annoying habits of bossing others, taking three hour lunch breaks, and always skipping his turn to buy donuts on Friday while still eating the donuts other people bring (we can now add “red commie bastard” to the list of offenses). I would also like to throw out the last ounce of professionalism in this post by mentioning that he “sprays it” when he “says it.” Not work relevant, but still irksome.

As someone who is a full-time member of the “too much shit to do already” club, I constantly have to remind him that this isn’t Mad Men and I didn’t go to college to type his letters. I don’t know why he still automatically assumes that the women of the office are beneath him, when we refute him on a daily basis in such a magnificent cacophony of insulting gestures. What gives anyone the right to assume that they are the boss based on what hardware they have? If we bring actual job skills into the equation, then if anything having a vagina would automatically imply rank over Ed since even my vagina can figure out how to use Microsoft Word on its own.

State of the Union

cartoon_200403_0I was looking forward to offering a middle class perspective on the State of the Union, but unfortunately I missed it due to having to work my second job. Maybe I will catch it later on this week.

I got a nice email from my mother today saying that her company is no longer matching her 401K and that she is taking a pay cut. In her words, “They are preparing for the “Fiscal Cliff” Obama is driving us over. They have matched 50% up to 5 % all the years I’ve been here. It’s about a $200 a month pay decrease for me.”

They are also cutting her health benefits, which is great because the added stress of the pay cuts certainly won’t push anybody toward depression, anxiety or worse. Luckily for me, my company never offered us health insurance, vacation or 401K in the first place, so I won’t be disappointed. I guess my boss is progressive considering that he built the “work until you die” bandwagon that everyone else is now jumping on.

Plus, we just got that tasty tax hike! They had better be spending that extra on the good hookers and blow, I don’t want them wasting my educational debt payments or my mother’s retirement money on anything less.

Middle Class: Too poor to afford a home or healthcare, too “rich” for the government to want to help.

On Logos (the design element, not the channel)

This is Not Helvetica.

I had a job interview yesterday for the position of graphic designer/marketing assistant at a local restaurant chain in the DMV. The interview was encouraging, and if I land the job it means a fat raise.  At the interview I was informed that I would be given a quickie graphic design task for their bar to email back to them the next day.  No problem, right?

Riiiiiiight.  After having worked at the same job for over a year now, I forgot that some people, despite having hired artists in the past, have no idea what graphic design entails. Here are some of the tasks that I was given to complete in a 20 hour window while still going to work and finding time to sleep:

1.       A design that is a flyer, poster and able to be uploaded on Facebook (we are talking about 2-3 vastly different documents here).  Also had to create a logo to attach to the flyer for the restaurant and a slogan.

Part 2 (Oh God, why is there a part two?)

1.       Create a logo for our new seafood restaurant.  Please include elements from our current logo in your design (vector artwork for their current logo was not provided, so I had to create my own mock-up).

The weird request about a poster that is also a flyer that is also a Facebook ad sucked, but in particular having to create two logos in just a few hours stressed me out.  Any graphic designer that is worthwhile knows that the best logos take a lot of time and development.  These projects were also a red flag to me because if I get this job, does this imply that they want me to crank out sub-par, underdeveloped artwork on a daily basis?

I think that more graphic designers need to speak out in the workplace and make the implications of the job clearer.  Many office managers seem to think that we play in MS Paint all day, but the graphic elements of a company’s branding make a lasting impression to the outside world.  Would you rather call the company with a kick-ass logo on nice thick business card stock with rounded corners, or the one with a crappy Clip Art logo on Vistaprint‘s prison toilet paper cardstock?  The fact is that the economy sucks and it is far more likely that a designer will end up in some random company than a trendy design haus.  In this instance my hands were tied because I can’t explain to a potential employer that their expectations are retarded, but if I get this job I will be sure to let them know in a polite manner that great work takes time.  And that their expectations are retarded.

For the purpose of further illustrating that I am not the only misunderstood graphic designer, I present to you Missing Missy, a now ubiquitous example of what it is like to be the artist at a regular company.