Thursday, October 07, 2010

Quote of the Week: Masterclass Goldbricking

"I sensed no resentment on the part of my fellow bull pen artists, who came in every morning at nine, and punched a time clock to prove it, and left at five -- or after five --and punched the time clock again. I however, marched to the hands of a different time clock., It didn't seem to piss anyone off. Maybe it was assumed that I was a dead duck, and my office mates were simply waiting to see how much longer it took to see me shot down.

Titillated by the success of my hustle, I began to wonder what I could do to shorten the hours between my late arrival and early departure. This blatant bending of the rules has a secret intent, one that I had in mind from my very first days at Chartmakers. It was to get myself fired.

I had been with the company for over six months, much of it on good behavior. After six months on art studio jobs, I began figuring out how to get fired. If I got fired sooner than that, New York State law said I would not be eligible for unemployment insurance. However, if I ratcheted up my misbehavior one infraction at a time after six months, then even the most generous and forgiving employer would have no choice but to let me go.

Unemployment insurance in New York State lasted six months. That was six months at home to do my artwork. After that, I would have to look for another six-month art studio job, maneuver myself into getting fired, and start the process all over again. This, in a sense, became my own person Endowment for the Arts subsidy, awarded by myself to myself at six-month intervals for a period of three years."
- Jules Feiffer, Backing Into Forward, pp.195-196

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