I’m going to bombard you with text, but this is only for the hardcore fan. I don’t typically foreshadow, or give away spoilers, but there will be a few in the following synopsis.
In review of a story arc that’s been going on for months now, Ellie maintaining a job responsibly is important to the growth of the character. Ellie is of course the archetype of impressionable, youthful self indulgence. She’s sheltered thus far to real life responsibilities and relationships. The latter is probably the hardest to learn. To realize you have to build and maintain coexistence with people or coworkers you otherwise wouldn’t. The “people” includes Quinn. But more to the point with her current and previous occupation: the customer.
Get-Mart was the first throw away job most of us have had. It’s a job Ellie didn’t take seriously, got with ease, and believed was completely expendable. She has a niche for learning her position quickly (not that any of them were heavy-machinery) but not the maturity to be successful in the role. The first critique she received from a harsh manager was met with her own resignation. Her pride made sure this job was short lived. Typical childish retaliation for reprimand.
O’Jacks (following suit that O’ symbolizes a knock-off franchise) is the obvious move from one low-income career to another. Ellie has now quickly reentered the workforce with what she thinks is another dismissible job. She knows she needs to work. She most certainly does not want to do it.
She’s eager to start the job, but as soon as it’s uncomfortable, wants to give up. She’s quickly met with scorn again, this time by multiple coworkers, and in closer quarters. So with that, let’s review the archetypes I’ve created for this restaurant’s payroll.
Day Shift Manager
Barrel suffers from what 95% of all managers do after multiple years in the position with no room to further move up: Manager Fatigue. His tolerance for issues is low. His adaptability to employees working below the “extremely competent” level is weak. He has a set crew that typically doesn’t change. He works with an older age demographic that is more dependable, and takes their work more seriously.
Barrel is ACTUALLY on the Cast Page for anyone constantly checking it. I have not removed his shroud of war since we’re not at a point his character is reoccurring, nor did I want to give readers the impression Ellie would be stuck working in fast food for the remainder of the strip with his induction, (nor confuse anyone since he’s not in managerial-wear.) So yea… SPOILER…
Drive Thru Bitch
Noel is no-nonsense. She doesn’t have time for you. So hurry the F$%@ up and stop making everything harder for her. She is an excellent employee, with no interpersonal skills. She the chick who’s shell you won’t crack.
Ernesto’s probably been working since this place was built 20 years ago. Back when it was O’Jack Bros. Diner and Malt. His loyalty is to the day manager, since he won’t bite the hand that feeds him. But he’ll assuredly bite the others feeding from the same hand. Everything and everyone is conspiring against him since he’s getting older. He’s the old guard, and will not be replaced.
Restaurant Gossip Queen
She preps the food. Has no life. If you’re not doing anything wrong, she’ll just make something up.
Senile Old Bat Well Past Retirement
Oblivious to the world around her. She’d rather be playing a rousing game of mahjong with people she secretly hates.
The whole nightshift segment we’re in was actually added at the last minute versus a different story arc I previously planned. I found it more important for Ellie to have a horribly long day where she’s forced to suffer through it and deal with what she’s fled from previously. Blind Guy was always planned, as he’s there speaking on behalf of a normal person’s conscience, or substituting for Ellie’s. He has other motives for being there as I’ve alluded to. (And to dispel past assumptions, no Ellie did not kill the children in the trashcans. They’re just subdued.)
On day shift, Ellie’s been scorned, demoted, insulted, ignored, and talked about behind her back. Each character on night shift is there to specifically resolve these issues for her. Subtly of course, by me. =P
KK is the “fun manager” in relative terms. This manager class has some compassion for the employees and will reluctantly play the surrogate mother whether she chooses to or not. She probably can’t get too much of her own work down due to constant employee wrangling and customer appeasement. Her staff is constantly in flux and missing. She has evolved her patience to that of a saint. She doesn’t have the luxury of a veteran crew, she has to develop them herself. She’s never sure what she’s walking into each night, but most likely, it’s not going to be good.
Indifferent Distracted Teen
Ashliii Torii is a fun character to write, because she’s so constrained. She can’t leave her digital world, so she’s always looking down. She’s adept at being one handed (or involving aerobics.) She’s also, in some respects, a more perfect Ellie. We learned from her: “There’s always a younger teenager.”
I’ve stated before to any of the long term readers, that I’ve already written the end of the comic. I don’t know every caveat of the story. I know the destination, just not all the roads we’re going to take there. Ashliii will be a character that takes us to the end of the comic (we have a long time to get there, don’t worry.)
Indifferent Promiscuous Teen
Megan is the amalgamation of a few teenagers I’ve worked with. The things the night manager could tell this character’s mother…
As been stated, Tommy would be a lawsuit nightmare, other than the sole fact he’s gay. If he were straight, he’d be a felon in 5 states.
As we saw, Caz is the one who elicited the first smile from Ellie. He’s the icebreaker that shows her it’s not exactly a Nazi camp. He sees the humor in everything that’s asked of him. He and Tommy show the best way to pass the time is obviously to have fun with it.
Or country star. If your place of business doesn’t already have him, I certainly hope it invests in one. He is like many friends and coworkers I’ve come to know over the years who aspire to be international hip-hop success stories. They work at all times, on the job, at a party, or in their sleep. Like Caz with a sarcastic remark, he finds inspiration in anything.
Don’t get too attached..
..as we’re moving on from this part of Ellie’s life and her “job” will idle along in the background after the next few strips. Some of these characters may reoccur, but not all. Goal one is to fix her work ethic. Now we move on to fixing her relationship with Quinn in the next arc. Can’t wait. Thanks for reading.