ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Economy Woes

I think the economy is worse than they are saying-- and they are saying it's pretty bad.  I'm betting that in 1931 they didn't realize they were in an economic depression, more likely calling it a recession, and it's only as you get away from it and look back that you realize how bad it really was.

I think we're in an equally bad spot.  I'm not going to go all political but it seems to me if you stopped both these wars we're in right now and re-focused that money here at home things would turn around right away-- but what do I know-- I'm just an artist.

I'm thinking of the economy because as I write this I'm sitting in Nu Cafe and next to me is an HR Rep who is doing interviews (not for Nu Cafe) and his latest two interviewee's were easily men in their 60s.  The guy who looks like Will Brimley looks like he got the job and he seemed pretty happy about it.

I don't enjoy job interviews, actually, that's not entirely true, I enjoy the interview it's usually the job I don't like.  I once went on an interview with Borders for the position of District Manager and after several- including one that lasted FOUR hours-- I'm not kidding-- they offered me the job and I declined it.  I decided that it just wasn't for me.

A few years ago my brother was running an alarm company and he asked me if I'd consider working an evening shift there-- 8-midnight-- the pitch was that I could sit and draw while I monitored the various computer screens and valves and buttons which protected local homes and businesses.  It actually wasn't a bad job, and it was only one or two days a week, but when they shifted me to midnight to 8am it wasn't nearly as much fun.

A few years later a friend of mine was dispatching for a shuttle service that operated cars and vans from Central Ma to Boston's Logan Airport and he asked if I'd be interested in driving for them.  I had visions of driving a town car in a dark suit with sunglasses-- a glass partition between me and the VIP and it didn't sound half bad.  It ended up being me in a van with weak brakes and a window defroster that had the power of three gerbils breathing hard and a load of people who never realized how close to death we were as I weaved my way down the MassPike with a steering wheel that only kind of responded the way you wanted it to.

These were the days before GPS so you had to whip out your Map Atlas and figure out a course to get the eleven people on your bus home.  I never played nicely-- refusing to use the jargon on the radio, opting to skip cleaning the vehicle when I'd bring it back to "base", etc-- in my defense the definition of a shift was 5-10 unless you've still got people to deliver which in that case means 5-2am.

I think I lasted two weeks and never bothered to pick up my paycheck.  I knew it was bad when the driver I trained with told me he sometimes worked 20 hours straight and he was pulling down as much as $400 a week (which he said excitedly).  $400 a week working 70 hours sounds like I should be making shoes in China.