Geeks Doing Good.

Comic


Hi Mindy

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It seems we hire people right at the beginning of the fundraiser. Rachel started the week before last year's fundraiser, and for some reason, she didn't rage quit. Mindy seems pretty laid back amid all our running around, panicking, and general hair-pulling, so we're confident she'll flourish!

Mindy's here to help Amanda do all the Amanda things she does. As Pat's personal assistant (sometimes known as "The Amanda"), she tends to get pulled in a bunch of different directions at once, sometimes by the core Worldbuilders team. It's really not her job to help us with Worldbuilders things, but she does anyway, because she's awesome.

So far, Mindy has also been awesome. The worst thing about having her around the office is the temptation to call her Junior The Amanda, but we're above that.

Except for just now. Temptation is soooo tempting.

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Fundraiser Chaos

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The 2015 Annual Fundraiser is officially on!

There's been a lot of running around, coordinating, and mind-changing leading up to our launch this year, and as such, there's been a little friction. We're not gonna lie, we're human, and there's a lot of plates to spin for a group of only four-plus-Pat. It ain't easy, but it's SO worth it!

Luckily, we have a way to relieve stress. And it does wonders.

*no Mindy's were harmed in the making of this comic.

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Delightfully Lost

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While we're not technically in the exact middle of the fundraiser, we're hard at work keeping up with all the brilliant stuff going on around us!

Maria has been running the show, coordinating with friends and creators to get stretch goals together, keeping everybody and everything organized, and generally making sure we all stay on top of things.  Rachel has been taking photos, helping Brett with auctions, answering email questions, unpacking boxes and boxes of donated books, and taking over when Maria has to step out. Both of them probably get this image in their heads every time they come up for air.

It seems like every year we get a little better at running a fundraiser, and that confidence inspires us to try a bunch of new things, which once again gets overwhelming. When will we learn? Heh...hopefully never.

Thank you everyone for joining us again to support Heifer International!

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Power's Out

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This happened last week. We were all in the kitchen/breakroom for lunch, and everyone was using all the appliances so we could sit down and eat/hold our employee meeting. At the time, we had the garbage disposal running, two toasters going, two microwaves on, the fridge open, and then Amanda tried using the electric start for the stove burner. And that's when the lights went out.

Brett and Adam checked the breakers, but nothing showed as tripped. They flipped a couple (nothing was expressly labeled "kitchen"), but the lights didn't come back on. It was really weird. Then Rachel struck fear into everybody by announcing that we couldn't have lunch. Like, stark fear. The sort of fear that you feel to the core of your being.

We're talking "that wasn't a fart" fear.

But Maria did some weird little dance, and the lights came back on, and we had lunch. We love a happy ending. And food. Mostly food, because the happy ending just sort of follows

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Let's Get this Finished

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Everybody here wears a lot of hats (sometimes literally, but in this case, no). During the fundraiser, Brett gets to wrangle auctions while Rachel takes the photos and Mindy does shipping and updates all the databases with Rachel. Maria has to stay on top of everything--she organizes and coordinates stretch goals, handles donation requests, and keeps Pat and the rest of us on task. Amanda does a little of everything (usually while on fire), like helping organize blogs, troubleshoot livestreams, and handle press and publicity requests.

With all of us running around trying to stay on top of things, sacrifices are made. It usually falls to Maria to decide what goes, and Brett just has too much video editing and overall content-generation to get done. Ironically, the comic is content, but consider it mostly generated.

Side note: Pat has always had a fondness for sketches. He will request that Brett not finish illustrations sometimes, just because he likes that hands-on feel. Don't tell him this comic was still drawn entirely in Photoshop.

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Mindy's Day

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We hired Mindy mostly to help Amanda with all the Amanda things she does, but during the fundraiser everyone's been leaning on her a little too much. Whenever we have another thing to tackle, the default plan is, "Mindy can do that." And Mindy never told us no, so on any given day, she does a random grab bag of tasks. And she's always cheerful.

It's really weird...

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Second Wind

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We always forget how draining our annual fundraiser is, with all the running around, juggling multiple tasks from all directions, and just keeping up with this huge ball we got rolling. We really were looking forward to today being our last day of the fundraiser.

Then over the weekend, we got the call from Heifer International: they had $200,000 of matching funds to use, and were we interested?

We'll admit, we kind of saw that big relief escape our grasp and fly to the horizon. But we also saw the opportunity to help more families become self-sufficient, and $200,000 alone ($400,000 when you consider it's matching the incoming donations) will help a TON of people.

It was a no-brainer: one more week of our time is nothing compared to what we can accomplish. If you've got an extra $10, not only can you squeeze one more entry into our prize drawing, but Heifer will bump it up to $20, and that's a flock of ducks. We love ducks.

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Happy Dances 3: Thanks a Million!

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We don't have anything else to say that we haven't already told you guys: You are the BEST. Thanks to you, we raised $1,275,170.00 for Heifer International during this year's fundraiser. There was a lot of happy dancing around the office! So one more time, because we never get sick of saying it--thank you all so much for donating to Worldbuilders. Happy dances all around!

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Amanda's Computer

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Last week, Amanda was having some issues--she had a Skype call with Pat, and Skype wasn't updating. It wouldn't open until it updated, but her computer was being a punk and things were just not working. Usually the call of "Jeeeeffffffff!" would ring out, but he was busy, so Amanda got Brett instead.

Literally, Brett was just trying to open the Services panel to restart the Skype updater. Amanda's computer didn't respond when he clicked the Search bar. He was halfway through typing "services" before he realized it. So he clicked again. And again. Amanda told him to be patient while her computer caught up, and he started to get that horrifying realization that Amanda was used to a disturbingly slow computer.

Everything worked out--Skype updated and Amanda didn't miss the call. But we're thinking her computer might be an unnecessary stressor in her life, since it certainly gave Brett some nightmares. Steps may need to be taken.

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Teamwork

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We don't have a loading dock in our current building, so when UPS comes to pick up over a hundred "gold bags" for a bulk shipment, this is how we get 'em out the door. Someone (usually Rachel) runs through the office like Paul Revere to tell everyone UPS is here, and it's all hands on deck.

We've gotten depressingly good at this over the years...

One thing that kind of warmed our hearts was when our UPS driver (we've had the same guy since we moved in here, and he's super nice) told us he really appreciated that we were the only stop that actually helped him load packages. We thought he was kidding. So of course, that just makes us work harder to get him loaded and on his way, because now we've set a precedent!

...and also, because we have a ridiculous number of packages sometimes, and there's no way one guy can get all that done in the time he has.

But all the lottery prizes are now in the mail, due to a few daisy-chains like this one. Thank you all for a wonderful fundraiser!

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Post Office Run

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On their way out the door to the post office, Adam and Nicole are in the habit of asking everyone if we need any last minute supplies. The post office is downtown, so it makes sense. In the past, they've brought back emergency toilet paper and copy paper. Most of the time we don't need anything, but they always ask.

While this specific thing didn't actually happen, Adam tends to pull the comic switcheroo like this all the time. And what's worse is he keeps a straight face. It's horrible. We seriously can't trust anything he says. He'll say something out of the blue, and we'll say, "Really?" and he'll say, "No." But he might be lying. In protest, Amanda has stopped listening to him altogether.

Side note: Radio KAOS Records is the local record shop. A few of us still buy physical media instead of downloads, so Radio KAOS is our one-stop shop for that sort of thing. If you're in town, he's in a corner shop on main street, across from the library.

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Cold Enough For Ya?

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Winter this year was great until about January. Now we've hit the negative temperatures (fourteen below is -26 celsius, and no, we're not kidding), Maria and Brett have had to deal with frozen water pipes, half of our cars don't start any more, and the air makes everything seem brittle.

Why do we live here, again?

We make fun of Jeff a lot for being from the south, even though his family is originally from Wisconsin. But he's been down south long enough to have an accent, so we tend to be mean sometimes. And what's meaner than trotting out the age-old Wisconsin-ism, "Cold enough for ya?" If it was in the middle of one of our horrible, so-humid-you-can't-breathe summers, all the old folks would say, "Hot enough for ya?"

....WHY do we live here, again?

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Slow Down

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Now that the fundraiser's over, we don't know what to do with ourselves. We got used to doing everything as quickly as possible because there was just so much to get done, and now suddenly it's over. We don't have to update the Lottery Library. We don't have to get auctions together. Mindy can actually breathe instead of update the Pat-O-Matic every fifteen minutes.

Amanda still catches herself refreshing the Worldbuilders home page to see if the thermometer has moved, but we've fitted her with a shock collar to curb those impulses (don't worry, it's purple, so she likes it).

Thanks to you guys, this year was far and away the best fundraiser ever! Together we raised over $1,275,000 for Heifer International, and once again, you guys absolutely knocked it out of the park. Now we can all slow down and chew our food, knowing that we've helped feed thousands of people who needed it. Y'all are the best!

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Happy Dances 3: Thanks a Million!

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We don't have anything else to say that we haven't already told you guys: You are the BEST.

Thanks to you, we raised $1,275,170.00 for Heifer International during this year's fundraiser. There was a lot of happy dancing around the office!

So one more time, because we never get sick of saying it--thank you all so much for donating to Worldbuilders. Happy dances all around!

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Start the Year Right!

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We're not sure exactly how he rang in the new year, but Brett has a cold, and the rest of us want none of that action. So he's spending the day working from home. He did send us this comic, though, so we think we might know his feelings on the whole "Stay home until you're better" situation...

Aww....he misses us! We miss him too, but--and we say this out of love:

PLAGUE MONKEYS STAY OUT!

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Instructions Unclear

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We use a bunch of different packing material in the store and during fundraiser fulfillment, but the bane of all our existence is the fitted boxes. These are little plus-shaped boxes with scored flaps that we can wrap (tightly) around a bubble-wrapped book all snug and cozy and horrible.

The fitted boxes require no less than five arms to keep control of, since you have to keep them pressed closed as you tape around them. And you can't just tape down a couple flaps--you have to wrap tape around the middle, then the long end, then the edges (so rain and debris can't get in)...and by the time you're done packing one book, your hands are worn down to little nubs and very likely taped to the outside of the box.

But fitted boxes offer the same protection and cost waaaay less to ship, so that's what we use. And if you should ever receive your package in a fitted box, please wear eye protection when opening it.

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Countdown to Baby

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Maria's excited to finally become a mother (she's had the baby rabies for a couple years now), and has a counter on the chalkboard in the Worldbuilders office to keep track of the number of days before her due date. The counter was counting down pretty undisturbed for a while, and none of us thought anything about it until Amanda reminded us that Maria isn't going to be here until her actual due date--her maternity leave starts way before then.

This caused a small amount of panic, since we're not sure what's going to happen without a Maria at the wheel. We figure nothing short of the end of the world. (We're being a little facetious--we're already planning the mid-season fundraiser, and everyone's cross-training....but still. Maria is the beating heart of Worldbuilders, and we'll miss her.)

Maria also has an adorable habit of smugly denying reality when she's happy with her own version of it. Amanda has the equally adorable habit of not letting her.

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You Can't Leave!

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It's not all falling on Rachel, but it feels like it. Maria's got about a month left to get everything sorted, then she's off to become a mom and the rest of us have to deal with it.

The office has been filled with well wishes, like, "Good luck" and "You'll make such a great mom" and "You ARE coming back, right? Right??"

Luckily for us, Maria's a workaholic, so she'll be back in the office before we know it. And we're pretty sure that even before her maternity leave ends, she'll be Skyping in, yelling at us to get our act together.

In the meantime: Rachel! Rachel, lead us! Share with us your epic vision! Why are you cowering under your desk?

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Use Your Words

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Maria juggles a lot of different projects, delegating as she sees fit. This means that at any given time, Brett and Rachel have a dozen or so projects at different steps of development, just waiting for Maria to authorize the next step or pass along more information.

Maria will sit in silence, reading email, following links, making phone calls, and generally making things happen, then she'll suddenly say something out of the blue.

However, she will not:

  • Specify which of us she's talking to
  • Mention which project it is
  • Indicate what prompted her to speak
  • Use proper nouns for context


This means she says some of the most puzzling, random things sometimes, and we have no chance of figuring it out. She has already caught herself up on the project, and is adding new information so we know what's up. But she forgets that we're not thinking the exact same thing she is.

We love Maria, so it's kind of become a thing. Rachel's reaction in the strip is exactly how it plays out.

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Clothes are Important

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As we've increased the number of charities we work with and the number of projects we take on, we kind of needed to increase our staff. We got Mindy before the annual fundraiser, and she's been awesome, but her priority is helping Pat and Amanda. We needed more people on the Worldbuilders side of things, and we haven't been able to hire anybody until now.

Say hi to Jenny! Jenny's going to be helping out with the nuts and bolts of the fundraisers: keeping them organized, working with donors and sponsors, keeping on top of orders, and handling fulfillment.

It's her first week on the job, so she's still very nice and polite. We hope she unleashes the full potential of her sarcasm and rapier wit soon. In the mean time, at least she wears pants.

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