Working in a call-center with a clean policy can be tough for someone who likes to doodle as I often do, especially to relieve stress after a difficult or long interaction, which tends to tax me mentally, since outside of my job I tend to be a rather quiet person by nature unless sparked or goaded by something that is going on in my immediate surroundings. Fortunately, whiteboards are provided which, albeit small in stature, provide a creative outlet for breaks and during lunch. While they were originally provided to be used for taking notes, I have found that they are almost the perfect size for either quick or small doodles, with extended periods of downtime used to make more elaborate drawings. The following are black and white due to media limitations – I only had one marker at the time, which came with the board – and were done either for my own desk or those who requested them. I have since moved onto using color markers with a steady measure of success, with more and more of my coworkers asking for them as time goes on. I don’t mind drawing them at all, as it is a steady outlet for post-call stress and I enjoy seeing the smiles they bring not only once finished, but of passer-bys when I have enough time to look up from my desk. The future promises not only bigger boards (I have an 18×24″ I do not only drawings but other tidbits of information currently) but also more colors to start with, as my current palette of nine makes me just want for a wider variety of colors.
Pictures and descriptions after the break!
The Tree That Started it All
Drawn on my second day or so of taking actual calls from actually (upset) customers, my mood was less than pleasant, and my whiteboard drawings reflected that, with a frustrated piece of fruit expressing my frustration about not doing very well or multiple, nameless Anti-Virus programs causing problems that the customer would not believe could have been caused by their often-dominating presence. “What do you mean, my anti-virus/security program settings could be causing this issue? It worked before!” customers sometimes say. Well, it isn’t working now, is it?
Seeing this and wanting to cheer me up, a coworker suggested I draw something more pleasant and happy in appearance. This started out simple enough, resembling a smiling head of broccoli more than the tree it is supposed to be, with some still adamant that a head of broccoli it is indeed. Took me about two days of off and on doodling, requiring the use of an old, old metal-body Expo I had lying around to provide the grey values and texture that straight black just would not have. To this day, while the original may be gone, I still think it looks more like a tree from Kirby’s Dreamland than a thing of broccoli, because while tasty, broccoli does not have bark on its stalks. That would just be nasty.
“Something About a ‘Support Pancake'”
My first requested doodle came from the same source that pushed me to create the Smiling Tree. While I don’t remember exactly the sentence which inspired this handsome flapjack, I do remember it having the phrase “support pancake” within its borders, which struck me as funny and more than worthy of coming to life on a whiteboard. Note: pouring syrup will not fix any errors with your QuickBooks company file, Windows Server issues or anything aside from fixing that niggling budget crisis that your place of employment seems to be having short-term when they fire your butt and set them back long term when they have to drop the money on either a new server, which probably needed to be replaced anyway, or switch to cloud-based hosting, which is very resilient to syrup-based technology solutions.
With the Tree of Eternal Smiles and now the support pancake visible for all the world to see, others began to place their requests. Unfortunately, many of them we sacrificed to workplace necessity in one form or another, but Mr. Meowington III lives on to this day. Drawn for a woman who loves her cats and liked the earlier doodle I did of a fluffy kitten, she wanted a “cat with class.” How much classier can one get than a cat with not only a sophisticated meow, but a top hat and monocle to boot to go with his subtle yet chic collar? I can’t think of much, unless he were to put a bow tie and/or tuxedo on…
Fortunately, I can draw in color now, which will only get better as I expand the palette in the near future. Also, the larger whiteboard means that in addition to being colorful, these drawings can only get more elaborate and awe-inspiring as time goes on, though soon I will get around to photographing other works that I have done for my colleagues.