Geeks Doing Good.

Comic


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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Teach Me

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This is a little mean, since Mindy is actually really good at anything we have her tackle. But we thought it was funny.

Jenny's still showing up for work, so it looks like we haven't driven her away (yay us!). We've all be passing on weird little nuggets of information, and Jenny just smiles, nods, and takes notes. She listens so well it's kind of scary.

For the next few days, Jenny will be learning a bunch of stuff in the Tinker's Packs, so if you order something from our online store this week, odds are pretty good Jenny picked, processed, or packed it!

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Today's Comic

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This is today's comic!

Everybody in the office enjoys reading the comic, so as soon as it's uploaded and ready to go, Brett lets everyone know. If he's running late or he's run out of the strips he wrote ahead of time, it takes a little longer to post. And everyone gets a little impatient.

Also, it's been awhile since Nicole got to do something in the comic. So: Hey everyone, the comic's up!

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Meetings with Pat

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We had an IndieGoGo planning meeting last week for the mid-season fundraiser. Maria was out with a cold, so we held the meeting without her.

During a lull in the meeting, Pat decided to text Maria all sorts of horrible things, mostly that he had talked to a bunch of people and committed Worldbuilders to produce a ton of really bizarre products. He probably composed about eight text messages, and spaced them out while we were on break (it was a long meeting) for maximum effect.

His last text was pretty outrageous, mostly to tip Maria off that he was kidding the whole time. She did not call him a jerk, but this is a family comic, so we can't say exactly which names she called him.

The best part of this prank was watching Pat grinning like a weirdo and giggling.

Yes, Pat was giggling. It was the best thing ever.

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Pocket Sized

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When we hired Jenny, the first thing we noticed (apart from her being a fast learner, fun to work with, polite, etc.) was that she wasn't very tall. In fact, Maria was the smallest for a long time, until Trina came on board, and Trina's pretty darn small. So we know small.

Of course, the first thing Trina declared when she and Jenny met was that they needed to find out who was taller. This actually happened.

In reality, Jeff wasn't involved. They just volunteered their height, and it turns out Trina really is a quarter-inch taller than Jenny, though Jenny's hair is bigger.

Brett made the crack that we're hiring based on volume, since we're seriously cramped in the current Worldbuilders office (Maria, Jenny, Rachel, and Brett share an office the size of a dorm room). And, volumetrically, Jenny and Trina don't take up a lot of valuable space while still working harder than all of us. Any way you look at it, that's a win.

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Spring Addiction

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So last week we got hit by the last gasp of Wisconsin's winter, and now that the snow is gone (again) and the temperature is finally above freezing (again), everyone's in full-on spring mode. Again.

When most folks start cleaning, redecorating, and finding all the dog poo they were too lazy to track down in the snow, crazy people like Brett who ride motorcycles start itching to get back on two wheels. This leads them to do...less than intelligent things. Things like riding to work when it's barely pushing 40 degrees (that's about 4 degrees celsius) if the weather report promises it'll at least reach 50 (10 degrees celsius) by the end of the work day.

You'd think Brett would have figured out over the years that no matter how much he bundles up, 50 degrees is waaaaay colder on the highway when there isn't an entire car wrapped around you. We're calling this comic true, even though he hasn't done this.

Yet.

This year.

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Dad Jokes

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When we hired Jeff to do our payroll and other accountant-y things, we were a little worried. He was the first person we hired to do a very business-specific thing, and we were worried that we just wouldn't be professional enough. He'd find out what a bunch of freaks we were and leave.

Jeff has a family. He moved here from out of state to do this job. He can count without using his fingers. We need him, and our random geekery was in danger of driving him away.

Then...we found out what a freak Jeff really is. He will say the most random things. He sings to himself. He'll listen thoughtfully to an entire two-hour conversation, and then crack THE WORST joke right at the end. Then he'll just start giggling at his own cleverness, which is when it gets genuinely funny. This comic literally happened last week, and we feel bad for Mindy.

TL;DR: Jeff is just as much of a freak as the rest of us, and it's the BEST.

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Photoshop Lessons

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Rachel and Brett have been giving Jenny some basic lessons in Photoshop so she can help out with photos and graphics around the office. Jenny's a fast learner and seems to enjoy doing this sort of thing. Last week, the three of them had a graphics contest for the Tinker's Packs--each of them started out with a donkey graphic and they all designed their own share image for Twitter. It was a lot of fun.

Jenny's still not super confident with her Photoshopping prowess, but so far there haven't actually been any fires.

And she does a nice share image!



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Bad Joke Nicole

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All of us in the office are pretty darn funny, if we do say so ourselves. Amanda and Rachel wield sarcasm like a keenly honed blade, Jeff is master of dad jokes, Adam excels at deadpan delivery, Mindy draws the strangest (and eerily accurate) parallels, Maria announces non-sequiturs out of the blue, and Brett...we're not sure what he does. Even "new girl" Jenny turns a wicked phrase as well, though she's still timid about it.

Then there's Nicole.

Nicole will make the worst puns. Not "worst" as in "wow, that was clever but groan-inducing," but "worst" as in, "that is the worst thing any living being has let slip from its mouth in the history of ever." She will belabor the setup, telegraph the pun, say the pun, and then give us that breathy, open-mouthed laugh as though she just delivered the most valuable gem of modern wit to grace polite society. We ignore her. Then she explains exactly what the pun was, and why it was clever. And we continue to ignore her

Our trauma is so great that we needed to share our burden with you. We are truly sorry for this.

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Rain.

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As Wisconsinites, we tend to dress for most weather conditions, since most of the conditions will kill us if we're not paying attention. This is a talent, because Wisconsin weather will fluctuate a bit. Live in Wisconsin for a couple months and you'll have at least one day where you experience every seasonal weather condition available in the span of a light afternoon.

One thing we (Worldbuilders, not Wisconsinites in general) don't take into account is rain. In the office, the only one of us who actually has a raincoat is Nicole. We're complacent, since the walk from the parking lot to the building is about five seconds. Jog, and you don't even feel weather happening around you.

Today, the rain is exactly the type of rain that will soak you to the bone within that five seconds. Adam has been watching all of us arrive in various states of drenched, and it amuses him to no end. We figured it might amuse you as well.

"Stay dry, my friends!"

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Sushi Weakness

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Last week, we decided to order out for sushi from a local restaurant we're all a little obsessed with. It's a really good sushi place (it's won awards and accolades from folks who know more than we do), but every spring they close for a month to visit relatives out of the country. So when they opened back up, we had to order. We just had to, you understand.

Mindy had brought her own lunch that day, because she's an adult. So she didn't have sushi with us. But the very next day, she just declared out of the blue: "If everyone was going to order sushi again, I wouldn't say no." And we all shouted at her and carried on, and then threw money at her and ordered sushi again. Because we had to, you understand.

Sadly, Mindy now realizes the power she has over us. It's a frightening shift in control. A frightening...delicious shift....

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