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I worked for a while as a temp secretary on Wall Street, including a memorable stint working on a high executive floor of the J.P. Morgan building. (I may have been the worst employee they ever had who wasn’t actually an embezzler). So I got to work with some incredibly highly paid people.
And you know what? They did work hard. They (mostly) cared about their work. Many of them worked long hours.
But they’re not working harder than many minimum wage workers work. And the conditions they’re working in – and the respect they’re given by their co-workers and their superiors – are miles above what most minimum wage workers experience. Nor do any of them really seem to be working any harder than a typical McDonalds worker rushing to get the next drive through order out.
Which brings us to this cartoon.
This one required drawing a lot of backgrounds, which isn’t my favorite thing – but for several of the panels, location was essential.
Drawing those detailed fast food settings also forced me to draw the characters with more ordinary human proportions, rather than doing the big head characters. Why? Because those characters looked just ridiculous behind a fast food counter. :-) Those weird Peanutsesque proportions just aren’t made for interacting with real workplaces.
Despite those problems, I’m pretty pleased with how this cartoon came out. (My favorite thing is the worker’s pained expression in panel 2).
Researching this cartoon was too easy; I just googled for fast food workers talking about their least liked job experiences.
TRANSCRIPT OF CARTOON
This cartoon has six panels.
A fast food worker, standing behind a big counter of burger patties and ingredients, looks anxious. Right behind her, a manager-man wearing a white shirt and necktie is yelling at her.
MANAGER: This is drive-through! You have to work faster! FASTER!
A different fast food worker clutches his forearm, which has a big red streak throbbing with pain, an agonized expression on his face. The same manager as panel 1 is offering him some little condiment packets.
MANAGER: It’s only a hot grease burn. No need for the E.R… Just put these condiment packets on it.
CAPTION: True story!
At a fast food counter, a customer yells at a worker.
CUSTOMER: Are you #%@*ing stupid? I said NO PICKLES!
WORKER: But you didn’t say…
CUSTOMER: GET THE MANAGER!
A worker is struggling to drag an enormous black bag of garbage out a door into what looks like a back alley, towards a garbage dumpster.
WORKER (thought): Maybe if I take three showers tonight the smell will come out of my hair…
A fast food employee wearing a peaked paper hat and rubber gloves is kneeling by a toilet, cleaning the gross-looking insides of the toilet with a toilet scrubber. The manager yells at him from off-panel.
MANAGER (off-panel): FASTER!
A customer and worker at a fast food counter. The worker, looking a bit annoyed, is holding a bag of food out towards the customer for her to take. Seh’s talking on her cell phone and not noticing the proffered bag of food at all.
CUSTOMER (on cell phone): Can you believe fast food workers are asking for raises? Gotta be the easiest job in the world.