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April 2, 2009
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A Year In Waiting 1 by bigbigtruck A Year In Waiting 1 by bigbigtruck
Hasty, messy doodles, just enough to tell a story.

I don't know how many of these I'll do. Some will be funny, some will be horrifying. All of 'em will be true.

Notes on this strip:

- I live in Austin, which is (IIRC) the 7th most expensive city in the US. $320 a week would support one person in a mid-grade apartment. But for two people in a house... it doesn't even cover one mortgage payment.

- Obviously, company and restaurant names have been changed. Austinites will probably be able to guess them, but I think I've masked them pretty well otherwise.

Next Strip
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:iconjactinglim:
jactinglim Featured By Owner May 14, 2014  Professional General Artist
Holy crap I've been here T_T and there are still times when I feel I'm still here TAT
Reply
:iconxreyahx:
xReyahx Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
EFF YEAH, HEB.

That place is like a magical wonderland!! I swear, they have everything there! I didn't know they were just a Texas thing though. Is it snowing in Austin??
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
Nope, not yet anyway. Feels like it could sleet, though!
Reply
:iconxreyahx:
xReyahx Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011
Yeah it's cold in Houston too. I take showers in the morning and I walked outside and I could have sworn my hair froze solid.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2011  Professional General Artist
That happened to me once - took a shower before going hiking in ~15F weather... I kept hearing this mysterious clack-clack sound... turned out my hair had frozen into dreadcicles.
Reply
:iconevethejust:
evethejust Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010
I always find it interesting when people complain about the cost of living in Austin. My house here is palatial and cost me half of what an uninhabitable dump would have cost in my last city (Edmonton). I'm not saying that makes the min wage jobs any more reasonable, just that there are even worse places to be stuck at that income level.

Are we allowed to play guessing games with the Restaurant? I've only lived here 2 years and I think I have a notion of where it is.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2010  Professional General Artist
Oh yeah, there are a lot of cities with much worse cost of living (see also: why I moved to Austin instead of San Francisco). It just seems rather disproportionate to the actual population level/density here. Home prices "inside the box" are gradually coming down, though - I think realtors may have realized there is a finite number of lawyers and plastic surgeons in town.

If you have a notion that's along the space/alien theme, it's probably correct. I avoid naming names for obvious reasons, tho.
Reply
:iconthepixinator:
thepixinator Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2010
I just read through 15 of these when I am supposed to be doing something else, and OMG it brings back memories of the 10 years I spent waiting tables. I have done many, many other jobs since then but my feet still hurt, and the only work-related nightmares I ever have are that I have about 20 tables, they all get sat at once, and no one made the iced tea or cut any lemons. (The last time I waited tables was 1996). Sometimes I dream I forgot to check the schedule and I missed my shift. It goes on and on.
I feel panicky just thinking about it. I used to be so busy with college and work that sometimes I would double-check myself in the car, between classes and shifts, to make sure I put my pants on! At least we got to wear pants at the last places I waited at. Aaaah, the memories.
Love, love love your "A Year in Waiting" series!
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Jun 22, 2010  Professional General Artist
Oh god, I had the dreams where the ticketing system was suddenly in Russian, or my tables kept getting shuffled around, or drinks would pile up too fast for me to run them...
Reply
:iconhawkwitch:
hawkwitch Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
HAAAAAAA so good! ;D
Reply
:icondasmiere:
Dasmiere Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I have the exact same thing going on. Except I don't get unemployment...and I still don't have a job. I'm so desperate for a job now, that I've applied everywhere with nothing specific in mind. :<

Anyway, I've always liked your comics, BTW.
Reply
:icongrimwell:
Grimwell Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2009
First time I have heard anyone mention HEB in forever. I used to live in Texas.
Reply
:iconriinuka:
riinuka Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
Is it bad that I live in Austin but missed all of the references?

I'm gonna start using "Whole Paycheck" now, though. > >; That's a .. sadly true one, hah.

Seems like unemployment pays more than I make, too. T_T
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Professional General Artist
I think the general rate for UE is half what you were making at the job you lost, so it depends on your previous salary.
Reply
:iconriinuka:
riinuka Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
Ahh, that'd make a lot more sense. So, it can go under minimum wage I'm assuming?
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Professional General Artist
I believe so. I don't know if part time jobs have unemployment insurance, actually. Waitress jobs don't, AFAIK.

That's why, when things got really bad, I couldn't quit until I had something lined up.
Reply
:iconriinuka:
riinuka Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
Ended up quitting mine in any case. Ugh. Took up a few freelancing computer fixes in the area, and I'm gonna get around to copying about 3 boxes of legal docs for an office around for some cash, so that'll be relaxing (read: monotonous). Hah hah.
Reply
:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
Hey, followed you here from YG.

Yeah, my dad was a caterer. So I got to do a lot of food-service related stuff until I finished college. It's really, really, really, really no fun, and that's mostly doing kitchen assistant stuff and washing dishes and scrubbing pots.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Professional General Artist
Sometimes I think I'd have been better off as a dishwasher or runner. Way less money, but less crap from customers and management.
Reply
:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
It's more fun there too. The kitchen is where the revenge happens. Like when you're serving a prime rib dinner for 2 or 3 hundred, and some asshole sends his back asking for "well done" -- as if each dinner was cooked to order and the kitchen had nothing better to do. If my dad was in a good mood or had the time he'd slap the meat on the grill for a few minutes, but usually he'd just squeeze it between 2 paper towels to get the juice out. The resulting gray, dry slab was "well done" to all intents and purposes.

Not that I never dealt with customers. We had a deli a few years earlier, and smaller catering jobs coming from that, and I worked the counter, made sandwiches, and occasionally did short-order cooking or grilling (and dishwashing and pot scrubbing). But that was earlier.
Reply
:iconliralenli:
liralenli Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
I have to admit that this is a fairly horrifying just to start. The whole image of "fools rushing in" comes to mind. :crying:
Reply
:iconichi-tori:
ichi-tori Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
oh god, I want more XD this is a fabulous story
Reply
:iconhikarisukuru:
HikariSukuru Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
God H.E.B. is so expensive. D:
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Not as much as Whole Paycheck but yeah D:

We just get most of our groceries at the tiendita down the street :I
Reply
:iconhikarisukuru:
HikariSukuru Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2009
D: Its like Target. They hike up the prices like no other.

I'm sure it was a lot cheaper. xD
Reply
:iconshinakari:
shinakari Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
That was pretty funny. Although, I'm sure it wasn't all that fun to uh, live. Anyway, hope things are looking up for you now. ^_^
Reply
:iconalcander:
alcander Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
hahaha XD i feel sort of guilty at finding this funny. i'm so sorry you got laid off- i really am ;_;
but i love your comic style and you can tell a story beautifully!
Reply
:iconmosskat:
mosskat Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
*deep jagged breath* I think my life is entering this right now...

Gonna watch this comic...
Reply
:icondelilahdesanges:
delilahdesanges Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
Yikes. I could never waitress. I can't even do retail (I tried, I got fired after three days for sitting down during Busy Tiems). Looking forwards in a kind of worried way to seeing what stories this throws up.
Reply
:iconkiiro-chan:
Kiiro-chan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional Digital Artist
well, if you think of it this way (which it looks like you're doing)
hard life makes for interesting stories :XD:
and you've pretty much guaranteed people will want to read your autobiography :D
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
It definitely gave me some new perspectives and made me stronger, but... well, I've been out of there for 2 months and still have panic attacks.
Reply
:iconangelgunboy:
AngelGunBoy Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
i also remember this as-it-happened. i swear i've been following it like a RL soap-opera *smiles EK-Drama. i've worried for you and been angry for you, wanted to beat up your manager and come over with a bottle of wine and a pan of lasagna. i used to think "if someone THAT AWESOME has trouble, the rest of us are in really deep shit." *smiling* the relief i felt when you posted that you'd got a job and didn't have to wait tables any more was incredible.
i suppose this is all sounding really wrong and stalkery, but it isn't meant to be.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Know what's weird? Trying to recollect the period from Jan to April 2008, I remember more about developing <Epic than I do about waiting tables. (I wrote more than one scene on the backs of coasters during slow lunch shifts.)
Reply
:iconangelgunboy:
AngelGunBoy Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
that's totally understandable, i'd say. it's your mind trying to withdraw from trauma and orient itself with something you found a relief, satisfying, pleasant, productive, in the midst of all the lame shit. minds can be good like that.

or that's how GabeScience™ would explain it. i'm pretty sure all i'm going to remember about this year is the sound of the trains at night, the taste of cornbread, and all the writing i got done because it's my escape.
Reply
:iconpan2dapan:
pan2dapan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
I also equate self-worth through outside employment. XD

aw....
Reply
:iconmangsney:
Mangsney Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I remember this too. Looking forward to the funny parts and hoping the horrifying ones won't be too hard for you to retell.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Yeah, there's a lot of stuff - both good and bad - that I never mentioned online.
Reply
:iconsailor-p:
Sailor-P Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
GOD.

I remember being laid off. At the end of that, I was stuck at Y'all-Mart for a year and a half. Also, it was 2001 at the time, a little different - but the pay scales and what-all are similar to west TN, where it all happened |=/

The waiting-tables was waaaay before that. I'll never do THAT again.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Heh, yeah, I used to live in Northeast Alabama... when things were really tight, all I could think of was the 2b2ba ghetto apartment I had for a mere $235 a month... Living on minimum wage (then $5.25) was actually possible there.
Reply
:iconsailor-p:
Sailor-P Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009
It was possible in TN when I was there, too, but then I was also supporting someone else at the time. THAT made it a little harder =/
Reply
:iconbluemutantfreak:
Bluemutantfreak Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Professional General Artist
Geeze. I supposed everyone has to go through that at some point. Not the most reassuring as i'm trying to do my graphics design degree. XD This will stick with me.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
Well FWIW, I worked in design for 10 years before having to wait tables. I graduated college at the peak of the dot-com boom, though.
Reply
:iconthis-is-stan:
This-Is-Stan Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is like... my life right now. D8 I understand your pain. Minus a new house. I live in Phoenix, and jobs are not good for the getting. I'm actually thinking of moving to San Antonio with my friend to find a job. (And so I can be close to my girlfriend who coincidentally lives in Austin).

Being laid-off is painful. D8
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
I was getting job hits for San Antonio more than for Austin when I was still looking, so it might be worth your while if you can get some interviews lined up around the same time.

Good luck!!
Reply
:iconthis-is-stan:
This-Is-Stan Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks.
Reply
:iconcaffeinatedben:
caffeinatedben Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009
oh dear god lord i suddenly understand an aspect of your real life that was unknown to me until this point and now i feel for you in a whole new way.

<3 ben

[lj = crazykidben, y!gallery = artistikpunk]
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2009  Professional General Artist
That's really sweet, but I'm curious what you mean :) I haven't really touched on the crazy stuff yet.
Reply
:icontohmasuke:
Tohmasuke Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009   General Artist
Argh I know this feeling, I finally have a job now. IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS and I have always hated the restaurant business, I am in the process of looking for another job.
Reply
:iconbigbigtruck:
bigbigtruck Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009  Professional General Artist
Part of the reason I'm not naming names is juuuuust in case something happens and I have to go back.

Brett and I settled on this comparison: "Working in a restaurant is like trying to jump through hoops to avoid humiliation. But the hoops are 7 feet off the ground. And on fire. And invisible. And they keep getting moved around with no notice. Also your manager has tied your ankles together."
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:icontohmasuke:
Tohmasuke Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2009   General Artist
LOL YES, That is so true D:!!
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