31 thoughts on “May 16, 2017

  1. Marla needs to stop getting mad at Val.

    She gave up. No one’s willing to pussyfoot around her because of it anymore.

    • Marla’s not convinced she gave up. Life changed for her and forced her to make decisions she didn’t plan on. That’s different.

      And that’s the difference between Marla and Val. Marla is adapting or at least deferring, trying to find a way to still open her own store one day. Val is taking a live or die approach, which unfortunately has a high attrition rate when it comes to things like dreams.

    • The problem is that Vallacks tact. If you’ve been reading for the past few years you can see that Marla has not given up on her dream. She continues to pursue it, but like an adult where you put your family in your finances as a very high contributor to that dream. Unfortunately Val has a lot of growing up to do

      • I think it just comes down to Val’s outlook on life and her dreams being different. Her phrasing there was way harsher than it needed to be however.

        • Val doesn’t want to admit she’s given up on her dream even after her dad stopped paying her bills & she moved in with Cooper.
          She *should*, however, appreciate the difficulty of Marla’s choice – giving up her dream to provide for her daughter.

        • That’s right. I mean who actually wants career advancement, and new opportunities that would put her into different positions, This would actually entice her Work harder towards her dreams.. Val has gotten far too complacent.

    • Really? You would take a soul destroying job that would bring you down, wring you dry and leave you no time to do the things you really want to do just so your friend doesn’t have to hire someone like Crystal?

      • I have turned down a supervisor position no less than three times at my current job. It’s a $2/hr wage increase but there’s like DOUBLE the stress, it’s absolutely not an improvement.

        • Yup. I’ve never had the illusion that I was management material. I’ve seen what the job entails, and I want no part of it. To be a manager you either have to essentially ‘adopt’ a huge pile of stress, as Marla has) or completely ignore reality (as Stuart has). There doesn’t seem to be a happy medium, and I won’t do either.

    • Almost every retail manager that I know, or knew, used it as inspiration to go after their dreams. Everyone of them has a PhD now. Everyone of them is teaching or researching or at the forefront of their chosen field. The problem is that Val has gotten complacent. And she’s absolutely no clue whatsoever what it is to have something that drives you to do something else. And that’s a failing on her part

      • How long ago was it they were retail managers? These days with 60-80 hour work weeks and being constantly on call, there is very little time for things like classwork. If you already have all your degrees and are just working on finishing your dissertation, then it can be possible. For the most part, retail management are not graduate students just looking for work until they get into their field.

        • Val isn’t pursuing a degree. She just wants to be a writer.

          I think her drive to become one is actually what’s wanting. She’s not a manager now, and at last check, she’s barely written anything. Refusing the assistant manager rig is just an excuse now.

          I’ve worked those amount of hours…not in retail jobs, but in technical editing jobs, that destroy any desire to sit in front of a computer and work with words, even if they’re my own. And I’ve still written more than Val.

          • Actually, we have no idea how mech Val is writing. It isn’t mentioned anymore, but that prove it isn’t happening. Unless it relates to a story arc, it probably won’t come up.

            Although the current one would be a good place to bring it up. Or not.

  2. Most if not all jobs are soul destroying. At least Val and Marla are on a similar wavelength and know what to do/how to so it. If Marla had to babysit/mould Crystal on top of running the store it would damn near kill them both.

  3. 8 years ago I worked at the big “W” store. I was a Cashier. One of the Assistant Manager’s liked me so much that he was going to skip a couple of steps and put me in the Assistant Manager in Training Program the following January. I ended up getting fired before January. So there went that. If I ever had the opportunity to go in a Management in Training Program again I don’t know if I’d want to do it this time around.

  4. Well there’s something to be said for honesty but this was brutal. Val could’ve showed a bit more tact in how she declined the offer. A simple “Thanks but no thanks” would’ve done fine.

    • I always add something like ‘I feel I’m already in the position I can do best and to the most of my abilities. Moving me up would give you an OK ___ and cost you a fantastic ____.’ It makes the higher ups feel better about the search when they feel there’s still some stability in the ranks.

      • Same here. I don’t want to be a manager, never have been. Though the first time someone offered me a managerial job, as opposed to telling me that the manager had quit and I was now an assistant manager, it involved 10% more hours with a 10% pay cut. That was sooooooo tempting, especially since I was applying for a sales clerk position to supplement my full-time job. It took me at least a tenth of a second to decline. Graciously, I hope.

  5. Alright so Val doesn’t want it (not really a surprise but Marla had to ask). Obviously Val has someone in mind. I’m guessing she’s going to suggest Cooper again. If so, and Marla goes to Stuart with it, could make an interesting story line.

  6. It’s been so long since the comic addressed Marla wanting to start her own business that even I forgot about that for a moment. I think Val did too.

    I also honestly forgot that Val is/wants to be a writer. I’m not suggesting the comic needs to go back to including her short stories but it feels like it’s been ages since anything outside of work has been mentioned in the strip (sans holidays).

  7. Val is nice but she isn’t driven to write. she isn’t driven to work she isn’t driven to be nice to cooper until things hit her over the head. Marla wasn’t planning to be in retail forever but she also wasn’t planning on Fiona. I bet she doesn’t regret ‘settleing’

  8. I think Val should take the job. She can pursue her dreams AND make a bit more money as a manager. Such things are not unheard of.

    I used to think like Val, but then I got older and wiser.

    • Kinda the same thought here.
      I can see how she thinks ‘settling’ for AM would mean an end to her dream, but seriously, why now?
      If she’d just started out at Grumbel’s, taking on more duties could be seen as giving up too early. But the way it is, she’s been on a much lower rung of the totem pole for YEARS now. Taking the AM position would at least mean: a raise, possibly health care / benefits (I don’t know how it works in the US), and a better position in title. Whether she keeps writing on the side is up to her own motivation… and all those perks are actually useful for someone who hopes to become self-employed someday. Raise = more money for savings, which you will need once you go solo. Health insurance = make sure you’re checked out while you have it, so once you can’t afford it anymore you’ve at least got a few years of good check-ups at your back.

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