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by Kevin Pease
"Ask The Characters"
Wednesday, April 23, 2003
April 23, 2003

Thursday, April 24, 2003
Jay: what was your least successful object d'art? --Wikkit
Jay Well, there are always pieces that don't sell, and others that I just abandon and throw away because they're not working.
But to recall a significant disappointment that stands out in my mind, let's set the wayback machine to third grade. I entered a school art contest for Earth Day, and I did my absolute best for what I could do at the time, which wasn't half bad. I wouldn't call it unsuccessful from an artistic standpoint, but that was the problem. The judges sent it back to me saying it was disqualified, and they didn't even say why. Yikes. Obviously they thought I had copied it or gotten someone older to do it for me; you know how American public schools are, nobody is willing to believe an eight-year-old can do anything better than they can.
The winner was some typical crayon mess that said "Happy Erth Day;" I think it even had stickers on it. That's what they want, something cute that looks like a kid drew it. I felt cheated, but I learned an important lesson from it, which is the importance of knowing your target and dumbing down the work for them when necessary. I don't know where that old picture is now; I'd have to look for it.

Friday, April 25, 2003
Warren: Remember that 5-foot snowfall (with 9-foot drifts)? Two questions about that: How'd the waterproofing in the server room hold up, and how was the free pizza? --Vorn

Do I ever. Actually, the servers were 100% protected. We'd had a water problem once before, and as soon as Garry fully realized how much was lost, he dug deep into the treasury to make sure it wouldn't happen again. That room is sealed up good. Friday, April 25, 2003 Which is not to say it's safe from catastrophe, only water. Other dangers like fire still haven't been adequately accounted for to my satisfaction, and, of course, I don't think it will ever be Colin-proof. But now, I think that if anything else like that ever befalls NitNet, this location would be scrapped altogether and the whole operation would be run from within Vitameatamegacom. That might happen anyway.

As for Pythagoras' Pizza Palace, I'll be damned if they didn't give me a free, fresh pizza when I showed up that day. Unsurprisingly, they are clearly making truckloads of money, such that they can afford to attract and keep loyal customers with the occasional free pizza. Man, I love that pizza joint more than I love myself. I think it will save the world someday.

Monday, April 28, 2003
Warren: do you play chess, as suggested by the picture of you in the 'Smart Move' page? And have you considered becoming an evil mastermind, since you have both the skills and personnality? --Sun Tzu

Monday, April 28, 2003

Thursday, May 1, 2003
Warren: I know it's hard to pick just one, but what's the most blatant act of stupidity you've ever encountered (and had to deal with, presumably) in your professional life? --Darth Paradox

Warren: We've seen how bad Garry can be, but what about Barry? Obviously he has a hard time accepting reality as far as your employment is concerned, but why did you feel the need to carve your letter of resignation into his door? --F'n'M

Thursday, May 1, 2003 I can take these two together.

About an half-hour before I'm due to be at work, Barry phones me while I'm in the shower. "Warren, I'm here with some very important clients and I'm showing them our state-of-the-art server backbone" (I long ago stopped asking him not to use words he doesn't know the meanings of) "and I need you to unlock this server right now!"
Un-what? I ask him what it is he intends to do.
"I just want them to see it running! Why won't it turn on? This is inexcusable blah blah blah"
Turn on? It should be on... Oh crap. "Barry, did you push the big red button?"
"Yes! And it won't start up!"
Sigh. "Okay, push it again, and then don't touch anything until I get there."
"blah blah insubordinate blah on your head blah"

I was not prepared for what I found when I showed up. The server room was filled with magic capacitor smoke, and there, surrounded by increasingly wary-looking stuffed suits, was Barry, with his finger on the button, cycling the power about five times a second. "It still won't boot on!" I think he was thinking it was like an elevator, or a crossing signal, and would respond more quickly the more times he pressed the button...

When I explained what he had done, he made a show of blaming me, but the clients didn't buy it. He tried to blame me for losing the clients too. I quit not long after that. It wasn't the last straw, but it was definitely the biggest.

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