How to Maintain a Low Profile


The positive spin on this item (and it is unquestionably positive) is that the economy seems to be bouncing back, and the company I work for in my day job is seeing increased business, resulting in me experiencing a state of “over-employment.” The term the company uses is “mandatory overtime.” In practical terms it translates to “if you want to keep your health insurance, you’ll be working six days a week until further notice.”

I’m not complaining. This is the ultimate first world problem. I just want you to know why you’ll be seeing reruns on Fridays for a few weeks. I’ll try to get back to my normal schedule ASAP.



You can still get in on the free signed book contest. Just leave a comment on Monday’s comic before midnight, February 8th, 2012.

Thanks for your time.



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Reader Comments (32)

I'm not sure what you do for a living (other than the comic, I mean) but, if you're any good at it, take heart in knowing that the economy is up all over. This offers you the empowering chance to tell your employer "actually, I made plans for the weekend, so I'll be working 5 days this (and next, and next) week, =and= keeping my health insurance." (Optional: "thanks for asking, though! :)")

Other career advice that you might not want to follow <G>:

After you get over the shock of being fired the first time, you realize that it's actually not that big of a deal. This is incredibly liberating when it comes to future employment decisions/attitude. :)

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterOlie

Hahaha, a call back to the Sabotage button! Now I can feel smug for remembering it.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrGuy

why is Scott dressed as Eazy E?

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaribethann65

Scott, the third panel is brilliant.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCybergranola

-What'd you do?
-Pressed the insert key.

Hell is too good for you.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmin Rainmaker

Man, when I saw the picture of Scott in a hoodie, shades, and a crouch, I just started laughing. I didn't even have to read anything.

February 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEric Phillips

So it all comes together in panel 4.... reminds me of Bill Cosby talking about how it takes a genius to appear so dumb.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPatrick

Actually, in the first world everyone has health insurance regardless of employment status. In much of the second world, too. Lack of access to free or inexpensive health care is really a third world problem. Why ... really ... seriously ... the USA ... leader of the free world ... I don't get it ?!

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBonzo

Scott in the first panel should be on a T-Shirt!

I sabotage computers by pressing the Num-lock key... Seriously I get abusive phone calls from my clients after I've worked on their PCs about the keyboard no longer working (I turn numlock off for fast navigation and cut/copy/paste).

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJawfin

Guest cartoonist? Same person from the Rocket Hat cover? Looks good, anyway.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterByron Black

So many cool things in the comic. Unibomber flashback and a new pose in one!

Panel 3 reminds me of "the Sphinx" from Mystery Men.

And what a twist: obviously trying not to be obvious to draw attention away from the casually executed sabotage. Brilliant! I bet when they look back on this it will be "good times."

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMikey

I'm noticing that in my area, bread, milk, gasoline, and a lot of other things that I regularly buy cost about twice as much as they did 5 years ago. While my paycheck is still more than adequate to deal with it, I can't help but notice that it's not twice as big as it was 5 years ago.

I propose that the economy still sucks, but we're so excited by overtime and new jobs that we're not willing or able to recognize that it's totally normal for companies to hire more labor when they get it for a lower price, and that this situation has nothing to do with an improved economy. We're being bamboozled by stealthy inflation.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDrowlord

The economy is bouncing back? Woo hoo! I'll tell Obama the good news the next time I see him.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentercfg

I respectfully submit that John Wayne Gacy was the murderous psychopath with the most recognizable signature look.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

I cannot tell you how many times that I've tried to explain to people why a Mac doesn't have an insert key. The short version is that it (A) doesn't need one, and (B) terminal emulation programs are perfectly capable of mapping any key to insert if you are on a legacy system.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

@Jawfin: I must know. I use keyboard shortcuts all the time. Someone once told me "the mouse just slows you down" and it stuck with me. I can't figure out what Numlock and the keypad have to do with cut/copy/paste.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

Does anybody else notice "Old Rick" in panel 3?
I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it.

I'm not even sure why he's there, but I like "Old Rick" better than "New Rick" and I'm happy to see him make a guest appearance.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian

As usual, the comic was pure awesome & I have nothing insightful to say & am only posting this "comment" because I saw Jawfin's post about the NumLock key & am now very puzzled as while I usually have my NumLock "on" I have toggled it "off" on many occasions & have yet to notice any difference in ease of navigation or speed in the world of copy/paste.

So either this "faster navigation" thing is another urban legend (like "compassionate Republicans") or maybe my computer is operating in another dimension where the laws of this universe do not apply?

Anyway as to the "Insert" key, I agree 100% with Amin Rainmaker. Hell is far to good for anyone who does such a thing on purpose!

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZirconia Wolf

Is it just me, or does the search link just take you to an ad company's main page, with no visible search feature?

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoshua

I gotta admit I did not foresee this consequence of economic recovery.

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

you mean to say that the illustrious title of basic instructions artist/writer/genius doesn't cover all of your financial needs? my good man, i must say that i am utterly shocked

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentersteve

Hit numlock to turn it off. Then place input cursor at end of line of text hit hold shift and press 7 or whichever key in your number pad has Home on it. Voila the entire line is selected. From the start of a line end can be used for selection.

If you have keys dedicated to home, end, page up and page down they allow quick navigation without use of the mouse as well as text selection capabilities for home and end. Home and end should work flawlessly in any productivity program.

Their actions in some applications are slightly different and may produce unexpected results when used for text selection.


February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSerne

I've heard of "Old World", "New World" and "Third World".

"First world"? What / where is that?

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimes

@Zirconia Wolf: Turning numlock off doesn't speed anything up by itself, it just enables you to use the keypad as arrow keys, home/end, page up/down, delete, insert, etc. Having them all together makes it easier, and therefore potentially faster, to navigate.

As for copy/cut/paste, I'm not sure how you can do that using the numeric keypad. I know the Insert and Del keys, in combination with Shift or Alt, can often do:

Shift-Arrow keys = Select text
Shift-Delete = Cut
Ctrl-Insert = Copy
Shift-Insert = Paste

I use those combinations all the time, much more convenient for me than Ctrl-C, Ctrl-X, Ctrl-Z since I can do it with the same hand that's on the arrow keys, thumb selecting the Shift or Ctrl, but that's only using the dedicated arrow and Insert/Delete keys, not using the ones on the numeric keypad. On the numeric keypad, Shift just selects the alternate function on the key (i.e. if numlock is on 8 does an 8, but Shift-8 does arrow up), so I don't know what Jawfin was thinking about in terms of cut/copy/paste.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob

@Soul of Wit: "why a Mac doesn't have an insert key. ... (A) doesn't need one"

Well, that depends on the definition of need. If a person needs efficient editing capabilities, the ability to easily overwrite text is indeed needed. Does the Mac have an overwrite mode, so that if I'm entering text and I want to replace text that's already there I don't need to do it in two operations -- i.e. delete, then type? I agree the Insert key can be annoying to those who don't know what it's for, but for the rest of us it can be a real time saver, depending on the type of editing we are doing.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBob

@simes first world is consists of rich, usually democratic capitalist nations, which is basically a legacy name from the cold war. The "second world" is communist countries, while the third world was everything else. These days, you never hear anything about "second world countries," but the terms first world and third world still remain in common use.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbobo

First World has to exist in order for Third World to exist, yes? First World is what you probably know as 'developed countries', or possible 'overdeveloped countries': most European countries including the British commonwealth, segments of the Chinese Megaempire, the USA, and some small bits I can't remember right now. You also probably know the Second World as The Developing Nations. Old World is of course everything except North, Central & South America. An assortment of islands, large and small, would like to know what the heck they are since they are neither New World nor Old World, and there is resentment about the most obvious label: Otherworld. India? India is ... India.

February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergobbler

I like Panel One Scott's Emperor Palpatine-esque pose.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNot THE Scott

@Bob: A Mac doesn't need an insert key, because it was only NEEDED before the Mac was invented.

Overwriting mode could be implemented in a program, of course. As for overwriting in general, there is no need to delete first. Just select the text to replace and start typing. Voila! Automatic delete. Text selection on a Mac is slightly different than in Windows, but the effect is the same. You also don't need an insert key in Windows.

Character-by-character overwriting should only be needed in a legacy situation, using a terminal emulation program.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

I hate to post again, but first world is technically not about the level of development. The 1st/2nd/3rd world is obsolete terminology, since the end of the cold war. 1st = traditional west powers (think NATO & other US allies). 2nd = traditional east powers (think Soviet bloc, China & their allies). 3rd = every other country. Do a wiki search on first world.

A more modern approach to development is the Human Development Index. Do another wiki search on HDI for a handy map and criteria used. The top ten HDI for 2011 (1-10): Norway, Australia, Netherlands, US, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Germany and Sweden. Interestingly, if the HDI is adjusted to be that of the average citizen then the US drops out of the top 20. Inequality is on the increase here in the good old US of A.

February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSoul of Wit

True, it's a first world problem. In the third world, it's "You will work seven days a week, if you want to not get stabbed by my goons."

February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrady Kj

@Serne Thanks for answering. My keyboards have all had the "control keys" (page up, dn, insert, del, home, end, and the arrows), so i never much needed the keypad for those functions. However I would love a keyboard with a "0x" key and a A,B,C,D,E,F in the keypad.

February 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeter
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