What it feels like to not show up for work, or what I learned from Whiplash


A trembling cymbal and fine motor control of a rhythmic iteration have brought me to my senses.

I’ve realised what it feels like not to have been showing up to work.

Possibly for years.

I put more time and effort into my transitory job, than into the reasons I took this low paid but commitment-lite work in the first place.

I know what “bone tired” feels like, but it’s not a sensation I’ve had for years. I’ve not poured my heart and soul into anything, and it’s killing me.

Whiplash is a raw film about the demands and exhilaration of excellence.

I have a moderate life and I detest myself for it.

I fear late nights, when I am at my most productive, for feeling tired and raw the next day. I think, better go to sleep, and have that lie-in anyway because I’m really not at my best then anyway.

This year, my aimless existence has even been subsidised by a sibling, so I can’t even claim self sufficiency.

I feel deeply uncomfortable in my high level of comfort.

Before I slept: 2 drawings. An attempt at Terence Fletcher’s concentrated but at once contemplative face (a justly oscar worthy performance from JK Simmons), and a scribblier Miles Teller in a relatively neutral pose from the final scene. Expressions and likenesses are obviously a challenge. In particular with regard to Teller, I’ve learned from this to choose a stronger facial expression to give the thing some life!

On looking at these images again this morning, I made some adjustments – but my international adaptor is currently in Seville, so better to upload these now than later.

2 thoughts on “What it feels like to not show up for work, or what I learned from Whiplash

  1. Beautiful work inspired by such a beautiful movie! Whiplash had me at the edge of my seat, pulling my hair the whole time and kept me there well after the credits rolled and lights came on. I can also relate to the disquiet you feel in your comfortable life- I too moved for a drop in hours and to enjoy life and be more creative but find myself yearning again for that feeling of working more or at least feeling more invested in it. You’re not alone! Keep up the great stories and Art.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many thanks Christian! I’m heartened to hear I’m not alone! – I’ve realised that I’m not behaving like I’m grateful for the extra time I have, because I’m not putting it to good use, I feel overall a bit more inspired to push myself now!


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