Wednesday, July 12, 2006


One of my favorite comics in the newspaper is Frazz. The central character is well-read, thoughtful, a mentor to kids, athletic, and appears to have a nice ongoing friendship/romance with a school teacher. He's also the school janitor. I think this guy's job is what drew me into the comic in the first place--it is a contradiction to the rest of the personality and intelligence of the comic strip, but one that makes for some very funny situations. I am not intending to demean school janitors here--to be honest I haven't known any personally, though I can recall seeing grizzly men with greasy hair and coveralls pushing trash cans through the hallway--not the image you otherwise get of Frazz.

What I can't help but wonder is why someone like the character in the comic strip is portrayed would be the janitor and not one of the teachers. He doesn't appear to be paying his way through school or any other circumstance that would make a smart guy "settle" for a blue-collar job. So my best guess is that he enjoys it. He sometimes helps the kids do silly things, like sitting on blocks of ice to go down the slide, and frequently has to clean up after their pranks. He has interesting philisophical discussions with the kids and his school teacher girlfriend that are designed to make the reader think or smile. I guess life's not so bad for a janitor.

Strange as it sounds to my own ears, the Sunday Comics have made me stop and take a good look at my own career. No, I have no interest in Janitorial Engineering. I don't really dislike my job most of the time. Neither do I really look forward to going lately. There's nothing wrong with it, but I'm just not excited to be here. I don't know if there's a different career or different job that would be any better. So for now I guess I sit back, keep thinking, and try not to be envious of a comic strip.

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