taleas
a cute & quirky webcomic

Startup Life

I started my career in the 1990s - as a large number of computer programmers my age did - building websites in PHP and fixing computers for friends, family and local businesses. This passion for tinkering and endless curiosity has led me to jobs at over a dozen startups ranging from email and web hosting to an AI wearables company and even a custom guitar shop. After a couple of decades some patterns have emerged, such as the unnecessary automation of tech support, too many corny motivational posters and the proliferation of laptop stickers that I feel deserve a good mocking.
Day In The Life of a Startup Programmer

#4: Day In The Life of a Startup Programmer

A stick-figure montage of "a day in the life of a programmer" with the programmer fighting a dragon, the programmer being attacked by zombies and an asteroid hurling towards the earth with the programmer exclaiming "Seriously!?".
Ring-a-Ling

#5: Ring-a-Ling

Stick figure sitting in a cubicle across from another empty cubicle with a ringing phone.
Speak Louder

#6: Speak Louder

Two stick figures sitting in cubicles across from each other. One is on a phone call using the speaker phone, "Great! Now that we've established everyone on the call is under NDA we can start talking about the Super-Duper Secret Thing that no one else at this office knows about or has even heard of...what's that? Speak louder? NO PROBLEM!"
Phone Booth

#7: Phone Booth

A person is sitting in a toilet stall, "Oh, girl! No he didn't! ...wait I'm getting a call on the other line. Let me put you on hold...
The Cloud

#17: The Cloud

This is a cloud. It is here to mark the day that taleas was moved from a mailing list to the cloud.
Googling Google

#39: Googling Google

The Google search page is displayed with "www.google.com" entered into the search bar. "Never do this."
Think Outside the Cube

#46: Think Outside the Cube

A stick figure longingly peeks his head over the wall of a row of cubicles and looks out into blankness. "Think Outside the Cube."

Available in the taleas shop!

Outside the Cube Print
Infinite Cubicles

#59: Infinite Cubicles

A large grid of line-art stick-figure cubicles arranged in an isometric pattern. Notable ones include a character peeking over the wall at a coworker. Pin-the-tail on the donkey. A cubicle with a happy birthday sign. Two people making out in a storage room. Someone burning papers to make s'mores. A character asleep on a cot. A moose head hanging on a cubicle wall.

Available in the taleas shop!

Infinite Cubicles Print
Monopoly

#63: Monopoly

A stick figure standing on a podium proclaiming, "Good news everyone, we're a monopoly again."
Perseverance Demotivational Poster

#64: Perseverance Demotivational Poster

An iceberg. "Perseverance: impossible, buddy that was just the beginning."
Courage Demotivational Poster

#65: Courage Demotivational Poster

A stick figure jumps off a cliff into very shallow water with rocks. "Courage: easily confused with stupidity"

Available in the taleas shop!

Courage Demotivational Poster
Integrity Demotivational Poster

#67: Integrity Demotivational Poster

The Enron logo. "Integrity: optional"
Endurance Demotivational Poster

#68: Endurance Demotivational Poster

A melted snowman. "Endurance: even the best have limits."
Robot Technical Support

#69: Robot Technical Support

An angry customer responds to a string of emails with, "You keep sending me the same response. Seriously, are you a robot?". The Robot Manager along with the Supervisor Robot look on with the Supervisor Robot noting, "Sir, I think he's on to us." The Robot Manager exclaims, "crap!"
Achievement Demotivational Poster

#70: Achievement Demotivational Poster

A poster with a stick figure standing on top of a very tall mountain. Two taller mountains overshadow the very tall mountain. The stick figure exclaims, "Seriously?!". "Achievement: Sometimes it's better to just lower your standards."

Available in the taleas shop!

Achievement Demotivational Poster
Robot Shredder

#73: Robot Shredder

The Robot Manager is sitting behind his desk interviewing a shredder. "I'm sorry but we're looking for a candidate with a more diverse skillset.""
Punctuality Demotivational Poster

#74: Punctuality Demotivational Poster

A poster with a worm wearing a necktie with the sun rising in the distance. "Punctuality: as for the early worm - well, he gets eaten alive by the first hungry bird that comes along."

Available in the taleas shop!

Punctuality Demotivational Poster
Robots Learn Humans Need to be Fed

#77: Robots Learn Humans Need to be Fed

The Robot Manager along with the Supervisor Robot examine a skeletal corpse sitting at a desk; the person appears to have did while working and is still holding a pencil to paper. The Robot Manager concedes, "Well, I guess you were right. It did require sustenance.". The Robot Supervisor adds, "Yes sir, they're pretty fragile."
Ideation Demotivational Poster

#80: Ideation Demotivational Poster

A poster containing a lit candle, a tungston lightbulb and a compact fluorescent bulb. "Ideation: and you thought you were the first to have a bright idea."
Robot Urinals

#81: Robot Urinals

The Robot Manager walks into the men's restroom and notices oil slicks underneath every urinal. "Seriously!?" he exclaims.
Robot Specialized Skillset

#85: Robot Specialized Skillset

The Robot Manager is sitting behind his desk interviewing a Swiss Army Knife. There is a perseverance demotivational poster on his wall. "I'm sorry but we're looking for a candidate with a more specialized skillset."
Cog in the Machine

#86: Cog in the Machine

A machine with numerous interconnected cogs, except one. The disconnected cog asks wonders aloud, "You guys ever feel like you're not contributing?" to which the others respond, "no".
Prisoner NPS

#93: Prisoner NPS

A dark dungeon with an executioner questioning a skeleton," on a scale of one to 10 how likely are you to recommend a sweet friend or family member?
Fear and Anxiety

#94: Fear and Anxiety

A can labeled, "Fear and Anxiety now with 15% more panic attacks": I hate the taste but sometimes it's all that gets me through today.
Laptop Stickers

#96: Laptop Stickers

A laptop covered with technology themed stickers with the caption, "Laptop stickers are basically the tech equivalent of prison tattoos."