Still on the clock? How you gone act?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Some of us have to work. We can’t all be running our internet business from our home or some exotic island. I can feel you fixing your face to say it, so you might as well let it out. That’s a very pessimistic thing to say, Zuri. I thought you were a dreamer. Listen. I am without-a-doubt a dreamer. Some days I dream about getting my car washed by a professional. Other days I need someone to come change the light bulbs over my desk in the office. Most days I need 24/7 roadside assistance standing by just in case I need them. None of these needs are being met if we are all out living our best life and working from our iPhones.
I know that sucks to hear, but it sucks for me too. I still get up Monday through Friday and head to my job that someone needs me to do as well. I know what it’s like to be an artist on the clock, and it can be painful. The only thing that has eased that pain has been connecting with other artists in the office. Over the years I realized that we have all have the same goal, but we all have a different modus operandi.
Through my observation, I’ve learned that there are four different kinds of on-the-clock artists trying to make the day-job thing work. Do you fit the description of any of these shifty characters?
The Daydreamer walks into work pissed, and everybody knows it. He hates the thought of being at work so much that it plagues him even when he isn’t in the office. When he is on the clock he either finishes his work speedily (because just looking at it turns his stomach) or he sluggishly completes his tasks in hopes that they will magically disappear. At any pace, his finished product is piss poor because he’s hardly paying attention. All day he has been thinking about what he will do when he finally walks out those doors forever.
The Time Thief
The Time Thief looks a lot like the model employee. They are always hard at work and sometimes, even stay late to complete complex tasks. Don’t be fooled. On Tuesdays, she waits for everyone in the office to leave before she uses the company-licensed Adobe InDesign software to create her album artwork. Remember when she showed up late to a meeting because she had to take a call from her daughter’s school? She wanted to make you feel guilty for giving her dirty looks, but she really just finished securing the venue for her next event. You’re saying to yourself, “No, she can’t be stealing time, she’s been working hard at her desk since early this morning.” In reality, that conniving urchin has been digitizing her rhyme book in Microsoft Word all day.
The Crowd Sourcer
Although also a bit of a tricky bastard, the Crowd Sourcer is the friendliest of all the on-the-clock artists. As far as he’s concerned, everyone in the office is a potential customer.
Don’t be surprised when he blasts your email with a link to where you can buy a new t-shirt or dad hat from his fall line. It doesn’t matter if you never inquired. He’s known for showing up extra early to desk drop info about a fashion and entertainment event he’ll be at this weekend. He paid the Time Thief $40 to design the flier. He’s also nice enough to send a second “Happy Friday” email with a 10% OFF coupon you can use on his website. Use promo code: WORKBUDDY.
The Tunnel Vision Warrior
She’s the woman we all admire. She comes to work with a smile on her face every day and completes all her work without complaint. You can’t help but wonder where she buys her weed. Nobody in accounting is that happy. If it weren’t for the 3rd round of drinks at the company’s happy hour, she would have never slipped up and invited you to the stage play she’s starring in next month. She stays up all night practicing her lines but didn’t miss a beat when she gave that presentation the other day. You’re not hating, but she’s a good one.
No judgment here!
If you’re a creative and you have a day job, you have definitely worn at least one of these hats. I’ll admit that I’ve probably worn them all at different times in my life. That being said, I’m not here to judge. Just know; self-awareness is important. Now that you’re feeling all convicted, drop a comment and spill the beans. What kind of on-the-clock artist are you?