Growing up I definitely wasn’t aware that employed people made so many mistakes. My naive brain was under the impression that the 14+ years of education I was in the midst of undergoing would be sufficient preparation for the workplace. The part-time jobs I worked were simple, re-enforcing this misunderstanding. My longest held job was as a wading pool attendant, which is the easiest job in the world 99.9% of the time. I didn’t stick around long enough to experience the 0.1%.
According to my recent experience however, the average workplace is just a cavalcade of compounding mistakes with one or two people flying around trying to fix all of them. It’s a big game of mistake broken telephone on the administrative side and a bunch of clueless, undertrained mooks just sorta guessing at what they’re supposed to do on the labour side.
I’m talking about my day job by the way. This site is well run, Daniel does bang-up work. Nonetheless, I did recently make a mistake in my writing here. I said a few weeks back that I was never going to reference anime in a column again. That was obviously a mistake, as I am about to reference an anime right now.
Shirobako is a show about the “cavalcade of compounding mistakes” I referred to above. Well, technically it’s about the process of making anime, but an anime studio differs very little from your average workplace.
The series’ protagonist works on the production desk in a job that mostly entails fixing all of the creative team’s myriad mistakes. She spends her days running around pestering people who are already overtaxed and exhausted, usually because of things that aren’t their fault. The director of the show (that’s the show within the show) gets behind on his storyboards causing an avalanche of trouble for the studio. An episode director quits out of frustration and their last-minute replacement ends up collapsing from exhaustion. The animators are so far behind schedule that scenes are dubbed using only the storyboards as reference. At one point a key animator is given mere hours to draw a set of frames that they are literally incapable of drawing.
Shirobako nonetheless ends with the creation of a successful anime. The job gets done, and done well, despite the enumerable mistakes. I’d imagine this often holds true in other jobs. I frequently feel like I’m barely hanging on by a thread at work, but I also feel like I’m really, really good at my job.
These, of course, are not our fun and good highlights. None of these plays were fun or good. They were all, in fact, mistakes. The Raptors, like you or I, make a whole bunch of mistakes whenever they go out to do their job. Against the Hornets though, they made more than usual. I only sampled the most egregious in my video, believe me, there were many, many more.
We still need to get to our fun and good highlight though, so we can’t go through all of them. I’ve embedded said highlight below.
The job got done. The Raptors may have felt like they were just barely hanging on as this game got close in the 4th quarter but this year’s Raptors are really, really good at their jobs, so hang on they did.
In past years, as Sean Woodley remarked in his game recap, their mistakes might have added up to the point of defeat. These Raptors, however, are too fun and too good to let their mistakes compound. They don’t get down, they don’t press. These Raptors just win.