Geeks Doing Good.

Comic


Shoulder Surgery

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 Jenny had rotator cuff surgery a couple weeks ago, and it turned into a bit more of a thing when they found way more damage than they expected. Gymnasts, right? And of course, not even 36 hours after her actual surgery, Brett and Anne showed up to work to find Jenny at her desk, working. They had to shoo her out the door.

But she's healing really well, and she's been pulling lottery prizes, working on the Tinker's Packs website, and generally being awesome. The rest of us, though, are all paranoid about her well being. We're super-sensitive about what she's able to do and how wide her personal space radius needs to be. The only problem Jenny herself has is that she can't use her primary arm for anything but typing. It's frustrating for someone who's used to DOING THINGS to be unable to do most of the things. We get it.

On the other hand (ha ha) we probably won't let her lift anything for the next five years, just in case.

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Office Policy

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 It's unofficial office policy that if you're sick, you don't come in to work. We don't want people spreading blah when there's so much to get done. Brett's been subjected to this before, and all of us get sick sometimes.

This morning, Rachel and Mike are both out sick. Rachel's working from home, but since Mike's job involves packing and shipping stuff, he just got an unplanned personal day (we don't want our lottery winners getting sick either). When Brett showed up for work this morning, the first words out of Jenny's mouth weren't, "'Morning, how was your weekend?" they were "ARE YOU SICK?" It was a strange greeting. Brett says this comic is what it felt like.

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Mindy's Lunch

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This is a daily occurrence. Every lunch, Mindy will drop something from her fork, either on its way to her mouth, or just incidentally because she was talking, on her phone, or otherwise distracted. It's to the point where Rachel and Brett keep watching her eat so they don't miss it. Mindy doesn't try to hide it, but she usually hopes nobody noticed. Anne, of course, isn't shy about pointing it out. Rachel is weirdly delighted by the whole process.

The thing about Mindy is that she really doesn't care who thinks what. We'll poke fun at her for being clumsy, and she'll join in. That makes it difficult to make fun of her, which might actually be her master plan...

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Video Skillz

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 Whenever we need video work done, Brett's our go-to guy. Most of the time, he's working on product development, advertising, and...well, this comic. If it's not a Worldbuilders project, it has to wait. But when his work is done, Pat and Amanda hire him away from Worldbuilders to work on some of Pat's videos.

Sometimes Brett has too much fun with the videos. Usually, he'll just freeze-frame the video when Pat has a silly look on his face and email the screenshot to everyone. We're not sure that he's ever done anything as involved as re-editing Pat to talk about snot, but we wouldn't put it past him. Luckily, Amanda keeps him in line.

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Midwest Battle Tactics

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 We are hopelessly Midwestern around here. That means we tend to defer to other people's needs before our own, usually to a fault. It gets a little absurd sometimes, though, like when Jenny and Brett fight over which one of them gets to relinquish control over the office stereo.

Jenny likes jazz, classical, and world music, and Brett tends to favor garage punk and power pop (and, through no fault of his own, the odd Hank Green tune). When we get to the office in the morning, Jenny's usually had her jazz on for an hour or two. Then suddenly but discreetly, it just stops playing, and the argument in the comic above happens without fail. We've gone entire days without music because neither of them will budge.

And we really do like Rachel's music, she just doesn't want to add a third front to this passive-aggressive war.

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Distractible

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Maria likes to take what she calls "mental breaks" every so often. Usually that means she stalks someone on Facebook or grabs a quick nap. We don't mind, because she juggles a lot of stuff throughout the day, and it's great that she found a way to keep her head clear.

However.

Since she had her baby, we've noticed that her mental breaks have become shorter but more frequent. She doesn't grab naps any more, and her Facebook stalking has gone down in frequency, but randomly we'll hear "...ooooh, lookit the cute baby!" drift across the office. Since Brett is the most vocal about rolling his eyes (vocal eye rolling is a skill he's perfected over the years), Maria will often shout "BABY!" and shove her phone in his face. Guess what her lock screen photo is? We think she needs help, but whenever we try to stage an intervention, we're distracted by cute baby photos and forget what we originally had planned. At that point...um...

What were we talking about? Oh look--baby!

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Bag's Opinion

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Okay, so a while ago, we announced our first (and to date, only) employee of the month. We sang the praises of Bag, our hardworking, reliable co-worker who's always there when we need him. And while he doesn't appear in many promotional photos, a lot of you have been asking about him. Since we're all about sharing our day-to-day with you guys, we're proud to introduce Bag into the comic this week, doing what he does with his signature grace and wit.

Also, Bag is apparently a Ravenclaw.

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Pedants

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If you'll forgive us, we're gonna go a little Wisconsin this week. The love of the Green Bay Packers is strong here, though most Packers fans will admit the team isn't perfect. However, we tend to love them for all their merits and flaws, and there are certain flavors, like the Lambeau Leap, that unite us and delight us, pretty much across the board.

In Stevens Point, we have something besides the Packers to rile us up: the annual 90FM Trivia Contest! We've mentioned it before, but Point hosts the world's largest trivia contest (seriously) every April, where hundreds of teams compete for 54 non-stop hours, answering an average of 8 ridiculously difficult trivia questions each hour, running on town-spanning scavenger hunts, and trying to identify badly photocopied, obscure photographs of celebrities and company logos. It's what we call fun around here, and as it happens, Mary is one of the lovely folks who helps organize the contest, which is a large-scale fundraiser for our campus radio station. She's been playing for years, and it really is difficult to get trivia out of your veins, even during the off season. Her shirt is from the 33rd annual contest in 2002--this year is the 48th contest!

Amanda would like to clarify that she does, in fact, know that LeRoy Butler was the first player to do the Lambeau Leap, which was actually grandfathered in as an exception to the NFL's "excessive celebration" rule.

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Transporter Test

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Last week we got to see what Chris was up to. This week we'll catch up with Lisa to see how far along she is on programming a transporter system. Apparently, she can code an actual, physical transporter pad into existence. She's good!

It's not public knowledge...well, now it is...but we pretty much just hired Brett to experiment on. He's designed to take quite a bit of abuse, and we like to believe it makes him sad when we don't abuse him. We won't ask him directly, but we like to believe that.

If you're interested, Lisa's book this time is "Harry Potter and the Dangerous Experiment," and the design on her tee shirt is equal parts fun and heartbreaking:

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Rivalry

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Remember Chris? This isn't the Chris who brought us doughnuts, but the Chris who agreed to join us to help install an AV system in our conference room! Looks like the cables are run, the network is ready, and the head-to-head between Chris and Rachel has begun! We're not sure why he needs so many CAT-6 cables for one conference room (or why he's capping them with RCA tips), but he's the professional. We just work here.

This is actually a joke Chris made when he was emailing back and forth with Brett about his interests and so on. It looks like Brett decided to use Chris's joke to avoid writing his own punchline. He will be dealt with. (We're kidding.)

Tune in over the next couple weeks to see how Lisa is coming with the Star Trek transporter Pat wanted, and how Mary's doing while she helps the store do some Tak fulfillment!

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Hole Punch

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Okay, we work in an office. Office environments tend to have office supplies. But Mindy had zero luck last week finding a hole punch. She needed to punch three holes. Just three. And everyone was pretty sure we had a single-hole punch lying around somewhere, but nobody could agree on exactly where it was. Eventually, Mindy just went out and bought one (which she has secreted away in her desk somewhere), but not before Brett decided to not be helpful at all.

There's a long-running question in the office about who has the market cornered on dad jokes. Jeff is ahead only because he's an actual dad, but Brett does his best to offend our sensibilities, and that's not nothing.

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Watching Weight

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We're claiming accurate artistic liberty on this. The doughnuts were actually brought in by Chris, who volunteered for us a couple times earlier in the 2016 fundraiser. He showed up with two boxes of beautiful doughnuts made of and decorated with all sorts of delightful things. Unfortunately, half the office had just started Weight Watchers to keep themselves in check through the holiday season. This did not stop anybody from eating the doughnuts, they just disappeared in smaller increments.

The "accurate" part of the artistic liberty here is that Jeff would TOTALLY DO THIS TO US.

JEFF.

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Artistic License

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There's a lot to do around here with the fundraiser in full swing, so Brett couldn't spend as much time on the comic as usual. When Amanda called him on cutting some obvious corners, he got unapologetically artistic at her. She called him on that, too.

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Con Zombies!

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We had a blast at GenCon 2015! You guys were awesome (as usual). It was great meeting the folks who stopped by to say hi, Brett & Rachel loved hanging out with Marc, Molly, and all the awesome folks at the Writer's Symposium, Maria talked to a few potential sponsors, and Nicole sent a ton of work back to Adam, who stayed behind to hold the fort with Jeff while we were away. It was great catching up with our friends at iEllo and Badali Jewelry, much food was consumed, we got to hang out with the lovely & horrible people at Cards Against Humanity, Dungeons were Trued...






With Janelle from Badali Jewelry no less!

...and we all came home with new games we can't wait to play.






Also, Anton Strout isn't the flesh-rending demon of flatulent despair that Pat led us to believe.

Who knew? But all this will happen Later. Right now, we're really, really tired. Having fun really takes it out of you! Thanks to everyone who went out of their way to chat, all the folks who were excited to hop on board as new sponsors, and all the Con organizers who kept on top of our many questions. Y'all rock!

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Appropriate Response

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We're not even exaggerating here. This really happened.

Maybe Amanda didn't say all these things, but when Jeff opened the invoice for the 2016 Karen Hallion calendars, all he said was, "Oh, that's not right." The rest of us watched Amanda's eyes widen and all manner of different kinds of anxiety flicker across her face. She may not have said all this out loud, but she really really thought it. All she actually said was a very measured, very delicate, "Um. Jeff? What...Um, what's going on?"

The bill was lower than we expected. Not by a lot, but by enough that Jeff noticed the numbers were off. That was all that concerned him--the possibility that the math may be wrong. But in Amanda's mind, we were already on fire and sinking.

That makes Amanda the best personal assistant ever, and it also makes us all really glad we're not her.

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Post It's 4: the Betrayal

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 A few weeks ago, Nicole had a crisis of conscience. She walked into Maria's office specifically to get it off her chest: she was a bad person.

Nicole explained that, with no other option, she used a (more expensive) accordion-folded Post-It Note to dispose of her gum. She felt really really bad about it, and was worried that we would all judge her mercilessly for it.

She was right. We made a comic out of it. Consider yourself judged, Nicole! JUDGED!!

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Trina the Cyclone...Still Spinning

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This happens a lot around here. We'll all break for lunch, and we'll pretty much take our entire half hour. We'll have our employee meeting between bites, then let the conversation devolve into geeky discussions (we had a 45-minute argument about the Oxford comma once).

Everyone except Trina. She'll eat something, then get right back to work. Her lunches last about five minutes. We have to force her to sit back down and take a break.

In reality, these conversations happened. The Blade Runner conversation actually happened last Friday, since Trina had finally watched it for the first time and everyone was comparing notes. To be fair, Trina did participate in the conversation. But this strip is usually how things go--we'll be deep into a discussion about how realiable a narrator Kvothe really is, and we'll realize that Trina is actually getting stuff done without us.

Our IndieGoGo guest strips start next week--don't miss 'em!

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The Volunteers are Here!

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Please welcome Hans, Donny, and Hunter! They’ll be with us every day this week as they help us send out everyone’s perks from the IndieGoGo campaign! As for their own perks, the comics are one of ‘em!

We want to thank these guys for being good sports and basically letting Brett poke fun at them with very little supervision. That was pretty brave. We also want to once again thank all our IndieGoGo supporters for making this year our best one so far!

In “real life,” we’re making good headway on the perks, with our poor UPS guy picking up a few hundred packages every day. Maria, Rachel, and Trina are heading up a revolving door of volunteers and the rest of the Worldbuilders team to get everything sorted, wrapped, packed, and properly labeled. Updates can be found about every other week on the Worldbuilders blog, but we'll tell you right now, things are going swimmingly.

And now we have three virtual volunteers to help! Woo-hoo!

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Talk with the Hands

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As someone who also talks with his hands, Brett was happy to hear that Donny and Hunter also suffer from that speech habit. Brett has been drawing nonstop to get these comics done while Rachel, Maria, and Trina bust out perk fulfillment.

He keeps asking them if they need help, and they keep reminding him that, technically, he is doing perk fulfillment.

We’ve been careful to remind him every couple hours to take a break, and maybe help load the UPS truck or re-palletize boxes. It’s usually when we catch him rubbing his eyes and letting blood flow back into his drawing arm. We can kind of tell it’s time to pull him away from the Cintiq and reconnect him with the real world...

More and more of you should start receiving your perks pretty soon. Feel free to share photos on our Facebook page and Twitter feed! We're super happy with how they all turned out, and we're excited to see how you guys like 'em!

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That's my Favorite Line!

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Since it’s not possible to introduce Pat to our “volunteers” in person, we figured we’d at least do it virtually. And maybe get another Trina joke in.

This is pretty much what the office looks like right now: everyone running around, hauling boxes of perks upstairs or downstairs as needed, restocking boxes and poly mailers, sorting and double-checking UPS labels, and juggling spreadsheets. A lot of that is still Rachel, Maria, and Trina, and with Pat out of town, Amanda’s been deputized as well.

Trivia:
Maria really does lift that much. Really.
The Chinese line is from the Firefly episode “Our Mrs. Reynolds”, and apparently translates as, “My god and all her crazy nephews" (according to the script), or more accurately, "My mom and all her crazy nephews." Thanks Crispina!
Donny’s shirt says “Mal Shot First.”
We’re worried we’re giving Trina a complex. She’s really very sweet in real life.

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