Tag Archives: career

No Swat

I’ve been really busy lately, so I drew this week’s Dustinland comic while I was on the train. A little sloppy but hey, I hope you can read it. True story too. Kids!

Really though, I hope my kid does not grow up to be a SWAT team guy. I mean, I’d be proud of him for following his dreams, but I’d sleep sounder knowing he wasn’t invading people’s homes with grenades and machine guns.

You’re Garbage

As I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, being a sanitation worker is probably not the horrible future you were meant to believe it would be as a child. I think I read there is a 5-year waiting list to get the gig in NYC. Or that they only hire 500 new people a year, meaning that statistically it’s harder to get into garbage than Harvard. It does look rough though, physically speaking. I would imagine these dudes are pretty broken by the time they retire. Which is probably at a relatively early age but still, hard to factor in that kind of wear and tear into your salary and benefits. Also it’s probably pretty stinky and dirty. But you know, until Scott Walker has his way with the rest of the nation, it should be a nice blue collar union job that lets people support a family. Imagine that.

PS I shouldn’t always say dudes and men since once I saw a woman sanitation worker. Seems pretttttttty rare though.

Late Again

Like I say in this week’s Dustinland comic, I have it better than so many people, in terms of the amount of time I spend with my son. But it is crazy that no matter how far society progresses, we seem to figure out ways to work longer hours and be away from our families more. Maybe it’s just an American thing. It’s definitely a New York thing. And usually an advertising thing. Bad combo I guess.

Well, they say if you can hack it here at this pace, anything after will be easy. But the thing is, once your kid gets older, they just want to hang out with their friends. There’s no more “dada come play with me.” Just “dad can I have some money, thanks bye.” So to miss these early years in exchange for those later ones… not a great deal. Frankly it’s best to be there for all of the years, so even debating this is sad and frustrating.

It’s just a pressure. A brutal endless pressure. Either way you feel like you’re neglecting something. Work or family. And you can’t really choose one, because they’re both so tied to each other. Man. I don’t know. I really don’t.

Great Job

This week’s Dustinland comic compares two different states of mentality regarding the workplace. Or careers really.

When I was young, I was aimless. I didn’t care about work, and I had a pretty easy dead-end job, 9-5, in and out, no stress. So on the day-to-day side of it, life was great. No worries. No nightmares about looming presentations. No fear of layoffs. But in the grand scheme of things, it was stressful. Now, I was getting paid peanuts, which was fine at the time, since I was young and didn’t really need much besides money for beer and rent. But looking toward the future, I knew that would be a problem. And even worse, the bigger picture… there was really no place to go, no “up.” Just a steady dull career of churning out the same thing for a barely increasing wage. No pressure, but no future. And that was it’s own kind of long term awful stress.

These days, I take work a lot more seriously. It’s my career. My life. I have a family to take care of. I have pride in what what I do. And I have a career where there is a lot of potential for success. So looking forward, things are much improved. And in the wallet area, that too. But now there’s a different kind of concern. A day to day creeping. A consuming stress. Even physical pain. Yes, it’s that cliche career stress you heard about all your life, growing up, watching TV and movies, reading books, seeing the stressed out fat, balding out of shape white collar father with an ulcer in a migraine. Lying in bed, thinking about work, even dreaming about it. Checking your email while on vacation. Ah, mo money, mo problems. And freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. There’s got to be a reason they’ve been writing song lyrics about the same subject for 50 years.

Why

This week’s comic is not a solicitation for props or support. I’m not fishing for compliments. I’m just working out some issues I’ve been having lately. You know, it takes a lot of time and effort to draw comics. Well, at least some comics (don’t worry, I won’t get into that whole thing again). And for me personally, I have been struggling to make time lately. Between parenthood and holding down a career, finding a few hours a week to spend doodling can be difficult. And when you’re watching your traffic slowly wane away, you start to wonder… is there a point to all this? 

Now, I don’t have an answer. And there’s no reason to repeat myself here. Basically, I’m just trying to work it out. And maybe that’s what my comic is for after all. Maybe that’s what all true art is for. Not expressing yourself, but understanding yourself. Figuring out what matters, what drives you, what you really care about and enjoy. And if other people happen to enjoy watching you do so—hell, watching me do so—then great. Even better. 

Call it what you will. Psychological crutch. Fantasy world. Pipe dream. Therapy. Whatever it is, I’m going to keep doing it, whether Reddit likes it or not. Maybe the time will come when I call it quits, but I’m going to try to put that off for as long as possible. Preferrably as long as Charles Schulz did, even though we work/ed under somewhat different circumstances. 

Why

Yes, I drew this comic at work. Sometimes when you work in advertising (or other businesses, I would imagine), you have to work late, and part of that time you may just be sitting around waiting. That’s when I drew this comic. Uh… my brain is drained so I don’t know what else to say. Working all the time is not fun. You know, you work to support your family but then you don’t see your family, so then it turns into a weird cliche Don Draper thing and that’s not only not fun, it’s also not original, which may even be worse. 

So yeah, money is nice and so are reasonable hours and weekends and vacations. Unfortunately most of us can’t have both. But at least we’re not stepping on landmines every day or eating dirt pies. Always gotta remind yourself of these things when you’re getting grumpy. 

Sad Men

Oops – last night I forgot to write a blog post for this week’s comic. So here it is! Yup, advertising ain’t what it used to be. Bet you never heard that one before. But I admit, as much as we like to complain, we have pretty cool jobs. We get to wear jeans to work and we get to think up “big ideas” all day, and sometimes giant companies give us millions of dollars to go make videos and apps and other creative stuff. So yeah, it’s fun. Just not on Sunday on your birthday (true story).