Episode 348: We’ve Got a Runner!

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Zombie Cliche Lookout: Hunter Becomes the Hunted

If you think about it, zombie stories are basically made of this trope. Mankind is, for all intents and purposes, the apex predator of the world. We enjoy our position at the top of the food chain, so when we become the prey, it’s a tough adjustment. Of course, zombie stories often take this to another level, with hostile living people making things very difficult for our heroes. At some point in the story – unless it’s really dark – the heroes get the upper hand and turn the tables on the aggressors. That could be a lot of dead bad guys (or something less violent, but usually not).

About this Episode:

Like I mentioned last week, this batch of episodes is going to have some timeline overlap. There’s simply a lot going on in a short period of time. To help make this clear, I tried to use the action in the background to roughly mirror the previous episodes. I think it works pretty well, but sometimes it’s hard to judge yourself.

Discussion Question: Job Skills

Okay everyone, take your current job (being a student counts), and tell me ways that it would help you survive the zombie apocalypse, and ways that it would hinder you.

I’ll start.

I’m a manager of a tech support center at a web development company. My department is responsible for both technical assistance and working with out clients to build out their sites. On the surface, there’s not a lot in my job that would be useful in a zombie-survival situation. Like it or not, the demand for websites is going to be very, very low in the post-apocalyptic world.

However, there are other little skills baked into the job, particularly two: troubleshooting and people reading.

A big part of my job is examining issues, breaking them down to their core components, and finding ways of working around the problem to still achieve the desired outcome. You don’t need to be  rocket surgeon to figure out how that could apply in a survival situation.

The other half is being able to figure out people, and this comes into play in a couple interesting ways. As a manager, I have to figure out peoples’ strengths and weaknesses and work with those to make the most of the employee. That’s pretty important for team building. I also work in tech support, so I have to work with customers, many of whom aren’t happy. Over the years I’ve developed the ability to work through their frustration and have them leave more or less happy. This could be extremely useful in negotiation and talking my way out of problems with other people.

With zombies? Well, that’s another story.

60 thoughts on “Episode 348: We’ve Got a Runner!”

  1. Hah, you sound like a decent post-apocalypse leader, Dave. Problem solving and people skills is the foundation of being a good one.

    I hope Clark goes for the revolver, things are gonna go downhill fast if he’s trying to take the musclebound prisoner on in a fistfight.

    • Well, those are the skills. I never say whether I’m actually good at my job or not 🙂

    • Dave, didn’t Barb kill that convict in the background?

      • She did; but we’re playing around with time a bit here. I’m trying to show a lot of stuff happening at the same time.

  2. No one wants to find out about what I do, I just crawl around a school avoiding people so it’s not very useful skill. I’d like to do some first aid training and later be a UK EMT, but that’s probably not going to happen as you need to be good at science and things like that. Someone called Lee commented a while ago who had this job. Skills in First Aid would be very useful in any situation.

    • Being invisible in crowds in a great skill. A skill usually well honed through High School. Just look at Glen from TWD

      • Excellent point, Brickthrone.

    • Yeah, being an EMT would be very useful. However, it would also put you in a lot of danger at the outset.

    • TheBeefThief – everyone has something. Invisible is really good and I bet you have skills you don;t even realize would be awesome in a catastrophe.

  3. I love how on this comic you replayed the last comic (where Barb kills one of the prisoners with the shotgun) in the background. Nice touch.

    • Yeah, I really wanted to link these two episodes together.

    • I’m so glad you pointed that out. I missed it the first time and now it’s just a thrilling little detail.

      • Awesome! I love when I catch new things on a second reading/viewing.

    • LOL! I get where you found the name! From Calvin and Hobbes when they play scrabble!

      • Hah

      • Yep, you got it. You’re probably the first person to ever get it right the first time. Most people just know its from the comic, but not which one.

  4. Love El Hercules the bad, Shirts vs Skins.
    Work with a lot of Media, my job would only be good as long as there was some stability in the system. Initially my job is the perfect place but if I were to stay here until all he77 broke loose My family and I would not survive. I’m 45 minutes from home with mostly freeway driving on a good day. I used to be a bouncer and do personal security so I can handle my own plus I can BS very well

    • BSing is an incredibly useful skill, Brickthrone.

      • totally!

  5. I’m a telephone customer service rep, so my skill is meat-shield 🙂 I believe I’d be toast in relatively short order.

    • Don’t sell yourself short. You should have pretty good people skills. Tension diffusion and the like.

  6. I work customer service at an arts center and most of the time I am bored due to the requirement of sitting in my assigned window waiting for some unsuspecting visitor then they get the “Mandy tour”. My version of I’ll show you behind the scenes if you pretend to enjoy it so I can escape my monotony LOL! I think my skill of sitting like dead weight all day would be an amazing camoflauge tactic in the event of Zombies. Ahh it’s 9:10am I’ve had my excitement of Bricks of Dead for the week, going to have to practice my living dead skills for another week. Well first I’ll make some instant porriage, now eating that daily has to be a useful skill in tolerating ughhh food lol

    • Custom service builds patience and people skills.

  7. Night shift at a hotel here. I can … clean really good? If you have a breakfast room that needs to be set up, I’m your man.
    Otherwise… ehhhrm. I dunno, I’m efficient I guess; I know how to multitask and can teach others how to do it. Setting up the continental breakfast used to take me over an hour, but I managed to whittle that time down to about 40 minutes. Same for the night audit, used to take me 30-40 minutes, but I’ve gotten it down to 20.
    It’s not a job-related skill, but I’m really good at packing cars, so that combined with the efficiency means I would probably be best used helping to set up and break down camps very quickly, just as long as everyone else cooperates and listens to me.

    • I’m guessing organization and time management skills. You find efficiencies.

    • This is way important. Especially in putting together contingency plans. Go Darg!

  8. I work as a Security Officer. So off hand one of the things that would be useful is the observation skills, looking for things out of place, something’s wrong or broken, ect.

    As my boss told me with this current job, our job as Security is to observe, report and run like hell. We’re not paid enough to put ourselves at risk. Grant he said that to those of us that were in the hiring crew who mentioned military training backgrounds, martial arts training ect, those of us who’d step in to do something to help. So basically, bad enough trouble, don’t stick around.

    I have obtained First Aid training and certification. So I have something.

    The downside would be where I was located at for a security position in a given week and what the escape exits are. I’m sure there’s other things that could hinder me.

    • I did the security thing my senior year of college. Not a fun job as far as I’m concerned.

  9. I admit it took me a second to catch on to the background action, but Barb pointing the shotgun n the 3rd panel makes it all pretty clear. I do have a question though. Zombie Gene has attacked (and most likely killed) convict Smiley. We have all witnessed how fast people in BOTD land turn once they die, it seems to take less then a minute. Now, if a zed attacks and kills one of a group of living humans, will that zed immediately move on and attack the next warm body or simply be content to feed on its kill even if the other humans dont run off and just stand there like a herd of zebras watching a lion eat one of ther slower buddies? Will the, for- the- moment-dead Smiley re-animate to find zombie Gene still munching on him? At what point during the whole die/turn process will Smiley become uninteresting to zombie Gene? Makes me wonder if the whole “Brain Eating” angle in some zombie stories was designed to address this issue. If the zeds eat your brain first, then you arent re-animating period. BTW I hate my job at the moment and do not wish to discuss it.

    • One of the big tropes in zombie stories is that the time it takes to reanimate varies depending on what the plot calls for. Sometimes it’s super quick, other times it takes ages.

  10. Another fun question! I have multiple jobs so I’ll try to keep this brief.

    My main trade is as an engineer so I can fix a wide multitude of computers and electronics and build some basics (radio, flashlight) out of scraps if it came down to it. Of course, this all assumes I have some sort of stable location that I can keep a few basic tools/supplies. This becomes less useful if you’re on the run. The downside is that I have a desk job so I’m not in super great shape for running away.

    I also teach part time. I primarily teach computer courses but I also teach emergency preparedness (yes, zombie) courses. The great benefit here is that I have some useful knowledge plus a stash of course materials and demos to break into in case of a real emergency. I could also help train up other survivors and share my knowledge.

    • You sound like a damn good member of a survival group.

      • *blush* Thanks! I sure hope so. 🙂

  11. I am really enjoying watching how this scene plays out. In movies we often see scenes where they show multiple angles of the same action. I think you are “doing it right”.

    As to the discussion question, I am active duty military. Which means my senior commanders would probably pull a Battle of Yonkers and get me zombified.
    If I did survive however, I have had extensive training in weapons, survival skills, first aid as well as more advanced medical training and strategy and tactics, not to mention the physical portions, physical training, ruck marching, etc. I also grew up in the backwoods of Maine, so I learned to hunt and fish and live off the land from a very young age. I would like to think those skills would get me by, but I also try to help people and that would probably get me killed by some random group of buttheads.

    • Thank you, Duncan!

      What do you do in the military? What branch?

      • I am US Army. I am currently a Reserve Officer Training Corps intstructor at a university. As to my branch, I have had a varied career having been infantry, medical, Field Artillery, Cavalry and most recently Military Intelligence.

        • Quite an interesting career, Duncan. I want you on my survival team.

  12. Well, assuming I somehow made it out of my office and past the 2 malls between me and my home, I too am a supervisor. So like Dave, I’ve learned how to spot peoples skills and utilize them as best as possible. But then I’m also at a desk job. Desk job = stationary = not so quick at running/evading.

    I’m also a quick learner, or at least I think I am. So I would be able to learn new skills, again assuming I survived the gauntlet that’s around my office. But then I guess if I became a zombie, I’d learn how to shamble, moan, and attack pretty quickly. 🙂

    • Isn’t a desk job brutal? When I first got my job I’ll bet I put on twenty pounds. Ugh.

  13. I was a student.. Now I’m unemployed and trying to figure out what I want to do with my life.. So umm.. Skills.. Umm..

    • What are you hoping to get into?

      • Honestly don’t know.. I’d like to pick up a craftsman skill that is considerably a lost art. Something that I can become passionate about but I can’t seem to figure it out.

        • Craftsman skills are super useful.

      • What I really want to do isn’t something people can make money off of any more, so it’s a shame really.

        • What’s that?

  14. I work at a Shooting Range.
    Pretty awesome if the zombie threat arises! The building is right next to a gas station and a small grocery store. My house is only a 5 minute drive away, and I live on a farm that harvests carrots and corn. I would say I have it pretty nice.

    • So what’s the downside?

    • Superblok2 – need a roommate? I can cook! lol

  15. I’m glad you clarified. When I saw this one I was all like “wait… what about the nurse and gun?”

    • Episode notes were a great idea. I think Brickvoid suggested that one.

  16. Dave’s job skills are a mirror of mine. I am great under pressure and actually do a better job when I am on a deadline. Usually.

    Also, as the AP for our office, I need to collect all documentation before I can process anything. I’ve been called relentless, a bulldog and (my personal favorite) the receipt Nazi. I think that “get the job done” attitude will really come in handy. If I don’t get eaten within the first 10 minutes or so. lol

    • I spend so much time doing reports it’s not even funny. I’m working on one right now (taking a little break) as a matter of fact.

  17. I’m a high school student with a Minecraft addiction, so I have no real job-related benefits, however,there is an upside in being the only nice guy in a group of teenage jerks. I can tell pretty easily who has decent character and who doesn’t. My people skills aren’t the greatest, but at the very least they’ll keep me alive if I run into a group of gun-toting baddies.

    Other than that, I’m not half bad at melee combat. I became pretty good at hitting important stuff while not getting hit as a kid. If ten-year-old me could avoid an angry teenager with a Nerf sword, I’m sure sixteen-year-old me could avoid an unarmed shambling corpse. Unless they’re runners, in which case I’m royally screwed.

    • I think, if they were runners, we’d all be screwwd. lol

      • Well, there’s that. 😀

    • Minecraft is crazy addictive, I can certainly appreciate that kind of addition.

  18. I don’t have a job….. So ya I’m screwed when the apocolypse comes.

    • How do you make ends meet?

      • Jk I work at mcdonalds

  19. IDK