Friday, June 28, 2013

License Request: Sentai School

Back in the early 2000s when Manga began to take enough of a serious handhold of the French market to the point where they became less of a niche publication that grew large enough to dominate a comfortable cliff for themselves on the massive mountain that makes up the BD market did other artists begin to stand up and take notice of this interpretation on their medium that was diverting attention from their usual readers and decided that they wanted in on that action.  (How's that for a run-on sentence?)  This led to several rather embarrassing Euro-Manga projects that were just as hastily cobbled-together attempts at cashing in on the new big thing and were just as bad as some Ani-Comics produced over here.  Fortunately, for every 100 failed attempts, there's at least an exception to the rule.  That answer to Sturgeon's Law found home within the pages of a French anime magazine, Coyote, and was one of the most ambitious interpretations of Anime and Manga; Sentai School.
That taunting voice is one of his "friends" BTW.
As you can guess, the school is basically a collection of every genre cliche that could be found within a typical school setting.  What really sells it is the amount of detail packed within each page, which is filled with references to multiple popular Mangas.  There are spoofs ranging from Yu-Gi-Oh! to Great Teacher Onizuka in the first volume alone.  Enough material was done to make up five volumes total.  The main cast (shamelessly ripped from the TVtropes page) from left to right consists of:
They beat up on the Vice Principal as soon as he walked in
because he looked like a villain.
1: Toa Girara: The fat guy, Big Eater and accomplished cook. His French name is "Toi" (you). So everytime somebody says "you", he answers "Me?"
2: Keiji Jasper: The effeminate and cute guy. Very gentle, loves animals, real and stuffed, children's cartoons, can do Puppy Eyes and wears a pink jacket. That cute side hides a evil personality called dark Keiji, unlocked via a cursed rubik cube.  When present, he's always in a bad mood and dresses in black.
3: Hongo Wing: The dark and badass guy. He loses his temper very quickly and wears his collars up.  Is also related to his uncle's Villain school across the street.
4: Ken Eraclor: The Hero and coldest one. He hides the fact that he's an unfinished Artificial Human and lives alone with his Robot Dog, Nonos 2 ("Bony 2"), since his builder abandoned him. He's very dense, never smiles, and understands things verbatim.  He's fascinated by mysteries and their solving, and explain solutions while wearing typical Detective Conan glasses. Problem is, Ken is always wrong.  A good reason could be that he mistakes fairy tales books with method ones.
5: Duke: ( Only One Name ) Spoof of Duke Fleed from UFO Robo Grendizer and resembles him physically. The cool guy, he plays the guitar and has a cute pet, Chibi Goldo ("Chibi Grendi", a spoof of Grendizer).

While this is a fairly typical setup for the Superhero school that's emblematic of the X-men, this is a MANGA Superhero school we're talking about here.  As is typical with these things, hardly any valuable teaching time takes place.  Their gym teacher is none other than Kinnikuman  of Ultimate Muscle fame.  In the above scan, Kinnikuman briefly mentions Kenshiro who's none other than the same uber-serious protagonist of Fist of the North Star fame. Only here, he's regulated to being the school janitor, which automatically makes him an Almighty Janitor.  His distinctive face is visible on the Detective Conan cover in the penultimate panel below.
It's all fun and games until someone takes away a pipe.
In addition to the chibified versions of popular and old-school Manga veterans, there are also chibified versions of American heroes.  Spider-Man is an exchange student at the school, and there are frequent appearances of a dark cloaked figure named Matt Ban as opposed to a Batman who was an assistant to military aircraft gun turrets during the war.  This Batman expy is touring the halls of Sentai School in order to gather research for his personal Superhero school back home.
"Roy Bean" makes more sense if you say it
with a French accent.
For the uninitiated, Judo Boy is a 60's Anime featuring a wandering Kung-Fu like protagonist who is well-known for his stiff stock pose, as seen above.  It's something of a running gag that every time he shows up, he takes up that exact same stance.  Just check out the Anime opening and take a look at the 1:15 mark.  There's all kinds of inside humour involving Anime that was broadcast in France, so some of the subtleties might be lost without some annotations.  For the most part, figuring out some of the 70's character designs is something more of a challenge, while others are easier to find out via reputation alone.  Care to guess who their school doctor is?
Sadly, that's probably how I would've pronounced Cyrogenics as well.
Considering the relative obscurity of some of the characters and the potential copyright infringement issues, it's understandable that this hasn't been translated over here.  Amazingly enough, this series hasn't even been scanlated.  This English version present is my attempt at transcribing the interiors via Google, so any mistakes made is on my head.  From these select pages, I've made it seem like that attention is focused more on the Principal, Ultra Sama and his staff rather than the students in a kind of Boston Public way, but they're just as much involved with the relative craziness that generally goes on around the school.  It just happened that the most noteworthy scenes just happened to have them front and center.
Can you identify all the gang members on the left?
In short, it's basically the Manga equivalent of Mini Marvels and Tiny Titans.  The difference being that while those titles summarize up company-wide crossovers to a young audience, Sentai School takes place in an imaginary universe where clashing realities exist together in harmony.  (Love Hina lives across the street from Maison Ikkoku)  In fact, it'd be easier to say that portrayal of romantic comedies just happen to focus on the relationship between people while ignoring the humongous fistfight taking place a few blocks away.  Parodies of different titles that don't interfere with each other is easier than forcing all stories to adhere to a single narrative.  It's all about perspective, I guess.  People are more likely to prioritize their favorite newssites from one topic over another.  Some people prefer to go straight to sports while others prefer to go to politics and financials.  The rest of us go to the Funnies.

In light of how ultra serious portrayal of American S-heroes with never-ending storylines have become, and how those attempts at reflecting "reality" have overshadowed the lighter funnier stuff, it seems apparent that  Marvel and DC simply aren't interested in producing comics that aren't heavily male-centric with a cynical worldview.  Being unable to immediately duplicate the sales successes of popular comic overseas probably has something to do with it.  Their loss.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Canadian Heroes?

There was a recent article about why there aren't as many Canadian S-heroes as compared to American ones.  Obvious exceptions such as Wolverine, Northstar and Deadpool came to mind from Superhero enthusiastics, but as pointed out on a forum, those are more American creations than actual Canadian ones.  Even the Canadian Superteam Alpha Flight is more popular in the States than the country it's supposed to appeal to.  Other than the name of their home location, they display no traits that could be considered essentially "Canadian", save for Wolverine's love of beer.  But that's such a generic cliched interpretation of Canadian ruggedness that it could be considered mildly insulting if culturally insensitive.  Otherwise, it just looks like playing fun against perceived notions of WHAT a Canadian hero might be.  And that's approaching the slippery slope of just what IS Canadian that's such a baffling enigma to wrap around.

If we're going by easily recognizable iconic traits, that would include Mounties, beavers, moose, Canada geese, the Maple Leaf, Maple syrup, extreme cold, etc.  Popular foodstuff such as poutine and bagels are surprisingly left out.  There are various anthropomorphic interpretations of Canada that show Canada as either the younger weaker brother to the US, or a rugged lumberjack outback.  (Incidentally, I wouldn't mind seeing an anthropomorphic representation of our country from a Canadian perspective similar to Scandinavia and the World and Hetalia)  In terms of cultural identity, it's often said that the United States is the Masculine and Canada is the Femenine.  Rather suitable since the earliest iconic representations were Uncle Sam and Mother Canada.

Part of this oversight is that Americans simply have a stranglehold over this genre to the exclusion of all else, that whenever any other country tries to ape their jingoistic patriotic style, they come off as clumsy rip-offs based on long-running archetypes rather than new characters growing up organically.  When that idealism is transferred over, it comes off looking patently ridiculous.  Draping a whole body in the Canadian flag isn't grounds for pride in the same sense that it is for Americans, and is somewhat embarrassing.  While Americans revel in their identity, Canadians tend to be more laid-back, and their identifying notion can be simply summarized up as "Anything that's not American.  And not British either."  The closest equivalent to a jingoist hero wearing their patriotic heart on their sleeve would be the caricature Canada!Man (Jean Chretien) from the satrical pages of AngloMan.  We're probably closer to Australia in terms of identity.

Furthermore, the first Canadian Superhero comics were not exactly what you would call consumer friendly.
They were closer to Indy comics since they were available only in black and white.  Compared to the more attractive colour versions from our southern cousins, we never really stood a chance.  The lack of marketability of our cultural sensibilities basically scared us off.  We simply couldn't compete in that field, so why bother?  The only way to contribute was to join their ever-increasing numbers by joining their comic companies.

If a Canadian wanted to contribute to the Superhero genre, the only way they could be noticed would be if they contributed to the widely known commercial heroes already populating the magazine racks.  It eventually became a vicious circle of attention and attrition.  Either they attempt their own take which would become overshadowed by the competition in their own country, or they join the ranks of the larger comic companies in public view.  Considering the competition, the results of actual Canadian S-heroes is rather small.

The closest equivalent to actual Canadian heroes is forever emblemed on the Mountie, whose daring deeds done during the Gold Rush, when keeping law and order amongst hundreds of opportunists in a hostile cold climate were the stuff of legend.  S-heroes are basically glorified policemen in colourful garbs, and the Mountie follows that trait perfectly.  This also brings up the question of WHY there aren't more comics based on Mounties?  One possible reason is that the legend of Sam Steele's accounts of keeping law and order during the Gold Rush with nothing but simple graces and never firing his gun while on the job would make the whole concept somewhat unbelievable.  Another is that on the other end of the spectrum is that today's Mounties are responsible for just as much outrageous scandals as they are responsible for remarkable accomplishments.  A better reason is that much like the Zorros and Tarzans and Buck Rogers of the ages, Mounties just fell out of favor when appearances eventually saturated the market.  But maybe after a long hiatus, they're due for a comeback.  I prefer to think of the rambling speech from the pilot episode of Due South where the ineffective Canadian ambassador tells Benson Fraser that their greatest strength comes from being thought as less effective than they really are.  Underestimate us at your own risk.

We may be considered a second-rate country compared to the grandeur that's the United States, which proudly proclaims itself as number one in pretty much everything, from the largest cities to the best sandwiches to the biggest monuments, while Canadians are more reserved in their accomplishments.  We may be seen as a second-rate country, but we're going to be the BEST second-rate country out there!  Of course, this brings up the inheirent danger of displaying the traits of the Ugly Canadian, where we proudly dismiss the faults of the United States for their foolishness while overlooking our faults on similar grounds.

Until the advent of Manga showed that there were alternatives other than superteams relying on shared universes  that'd been built on for decades, the idea of alternate S-heroes that could be popular without relying on the pulp upbringings that made them popular seemed like a pipe dream.  Particularly with the trend of plainclothes heroes who use ordinary household items such as fishing poles, yoyos and even their bare hands in contorted combinations to go on adventures, the same way that a child with imagination will take their favorite toy and run wild with it.

If this post sounds a little rambling, it's because I'm not that fully versed in Superhero comics.  I could've mentioned the creator of Angloman's Northguard, about a Quebec socialist wanting to prevent a hostile conspiracy takeover to combine both Canada and the U.S., but given the obscurity of the subject, I doubt anyone would've known what I was talking about, and their eyes would've glazed over.  Using comics to tackle home topics is pretty typical in repressed dictatorships and open societies.  The only problem is that they can be regionally and subjectively specific, leading to in-jokes that won't make any sense to someone not subscribing a newspaper and getting facts that'll give the plot more sense in context.  These manifestos are not necessary universal truths that can be spread to a world market.  Sometimes they're just highly personal to an extent.

Mostly, I just really wanted an excuse to show the most amusing part of Seth's Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists.  (The G.N.B. Double-C for short)  It's a comprehensive look at Canadian cartoonists and their lesser-known works.  For those of you hoping to see more pages of the elusive Canada Jack, you're going to be disappointed.  The actual Canada Jack was closer in theme to Johnny Canuck, and unlike his counterpart who tended to go about in his usual flying ace wardrobe or barechested, Canada Jack wore a Maple Leaf logo on his shirt.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Calendar Pin-up Special

Dear Diary... today, Pooky invited me to his slumber party.
If you're wondering why these calendars haven't been collected into a definitive Garfield collection yet, these fold-outs sandwiched between the months of June and July may be a good reason.  They're much larger than
even accounting for the full-length page designs for the 1990 calendar, which could add to the printing costs, even with fold-in sheets added to the interior.

At the time, I thought it would be suiting to show these sometime during the middle of June.  Then I thought about it some more, and thought it would be more fitting to present these on June 19th, Garfield's birthday.  I kept putting it off, figuring I had plenty of time to whip up something worth writing about, and before I knew it, the deadline had already passed without an editor screaming at me for not keeping up with the deadline.

The only exception to the double-page spread is for the year 1993, which is presumably when these fold-outs stopped.  Whether this was a good or bad thing is entirely judgemental.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Forgotten Characters: Grampa Snake

In light of Father's Day, it seems fitting to show the second half of the other famous counterpart to the Wizard of Id, the (slightly) better comic, BC.  In a civilization of cavemen that may or may not be based on circular history starting from the beginning of time or the remains of the future rebuilding itself from a dystopian catastrophic disaster, there are very few father figures abound.  (Guru notwithstanding)  The sole exception to a reoccurring character would be the grandfather to the anthropomorphic representation of Job itself, the snake.

His early appearances had him lamenting the follies of youth, and being the straight man to his son's antics. Not that much different from the other residents of the world of BC.

Cartoon grandpas are either kindly, knowledgeable, crotchety or senile, and Grampa Snake embodied pretty much every cliched trait they're known for...

...including being a dirty old man.  (Or as dirty as a Newspaper comic would allow)  But somewhere along the way, his personality took a significantly darker turn.

Grampa Snake became someone who existed solely to express undisguised venomous disgust towards the children who left him someplace where he no longer could be independent.  This resentment possibly could've stemmed from some unresolved issues between Johnny Hart and his father.  (Cartoonists tend to vent their innermost feelings in their work)  That's the only possible explanation for what's the most painful farewell message from a family member here:

It seems that there are some characters out there that are better off not remembered.

His last appearance years later showed a remarkably different snake who'd gotten his last wish granted, which seems to imply that the cartoonist himself might've had some regrets about how this figure was portrayed, and decided to make up for that oversight by at least granting him one last favor.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Most Unflattering Resume

This has not been a good year for my library.  They've been assuaged by twin floodings that damaged some of their priceless historical ancient books that they were in the process of scanning.  Furthermore, the building continued to receive leaks from bad plumbing through the roof.  It got so bad that plastic coverings had to be added to the main floor, and the microwave was relocated to a drier place.  And just as they were getting ready to make restocked and organized books available to the public, it was discovered that the building was developing mold in the walls, and the owner wouldn't go out of his way to fumigate the area.  So the decision was made to pack up all the stuff we'd spent the past year organizing and move them to a new location, making all our efforts a Sisyphean ordeal.

To add to my woes, I've been suspended for behaving inappropriately at their new address.  The new place is markedly different from what I'm used to.  Unlike the previous location which had the majority of their archive in a storeroom that was cave-dark (no light other than fluorescent), the new place had open windows from all directions, making me feel rather nervous.  Even though I tried to concentrate on my task of putting the books back on the shelves, I still displayed actions that though rational to me, was considered rebellious and off-putting to everyone else.  The staff eventually grew tiresome of my antics, and had me sent home early.  Their confusion was understandable - they've never seen me when I'm nervous, so they had no idea how to react.  I'm perfectly fine when in a stable work environment, the key word being a "stable".  When I can adhere to a normal routine, there's no problem, but my schedule falls apart when things go slightly off kilter, and thus my co-workers become uneasy around my antics, and I've had to be let go because of these incidents.

Sadly this isn't the first time that I've been put on suspended leave.  All my past jobs have had instances where I've been fired or let go once my contract reached their end of term, despite my work ethics.  It wasn't pointed out until recently that there were little... HABITS of mine that were counterproductive to working in a work environment.  The thing was, I had NO IDEA that what I was doing was disruptive, simply because everybody was too polite (or scared) to tell me. Hence, I kept getting laid off with no understanding why, while people who were more sociable kept staying around, because they were less trouble.  Like a puppy diddling on the rug, I have to be caught and told what I'm doing is wrong, otherwise the lesson won't sink in.  Since then, I've been doing some intense training to try to wean myself off these reoccurring problems so that I won’t scare off any potential hiring clients who would be willing to keep me on the job.

But even with these programs in place, I still tend to make silly mistakes, simply because I have no inkling that I'm doing anything wrong.  Before that, I used to do the following behaviors that made me undesirable for repeat business.  It would've been helpful to know these facts beforehand, otherwise I might've not gotten me laid off so often.  Hopefully, these horror examples can prevent someone else from going down the path I did.

Getting Upset about being Shown my Mistakes

Pretty much no one likes to make a mistake, let alone admit that they'd made one.  However, my fault was that I would get visibly upset whenever anything I'd done wasn't done satisfactory, or to my employer's request.  Like if I'd done a spreadsheet with five layers, and I'd erroneously filled in four of them, I would get VERY MAD and actually scream and hit myself for allowing such a transgression for taking place to ensure that it wouldn't happen again.  While this cathartic behavior helped ensure some physical muscle memory in punishing myself to ensure that this wouldn't happen again, it played havoc with my employer's sensibilities, since they became shocked at my reaction and felt less inclined to give me more work.  Because of my harsh reaction to criticism, my productivity dropped to zero, since they couldn't find anything they'd want to give me without fear of a bad reaction.

Being a perfectionist, I would also be visibly upset whenever any mistakes were pointed out to me, and I would always lash out and yell at myself for overlooking such an obvious oversight.  This constant barrage of self-criticism meant that the people I was working with didn't like showing me the error of my ways, and eventually started giving me less and less work for me to do so I wouldn't be too upset.  Eventually, my work output was reduced to zero because my employers were worried about how I would react.  I've been taking lessons to restrain myself when receiving critical feedback.  It’s not easy resisting the impulse to instantly want to correct what little mishap I've done without listening to every little thing that I did wrong.  Also, I have a tendency to not wait until the speaker’s finished talking, and barrel along with my assumptions without hearing the end of their sentences.  It’s easier for me to receive written criticisms, because I can know when the conversation ends, and can go back and reread any passages I've skipped over, and not worry about having to memorize every single word I’m being told.

My tendency to be Bluntly Honest

I once said to a supervisor who was on a smoke break "YOU STINK".  At the time, I'd been told that so many times when I didn't feel like changing my clothes or taking a shower that I thought it was typical conversational fare.  That, and I was told I could talk to them about anything.  Not to mention that the smell of coffee and cigarettes drive me crazy.  (I'm no addict to the twin stimulants that's the fuel to every writer - give me a good chocolate bar any day)  Every instinct in my body tells me to "GET OUT", and the fact that I couldn't leave weighed heavily on me.

In addition, I’m notoriously honest about when I’m feeling upset, and make no bare bones to hide my disgust if my boss doesn't show the kind of intellect I expect them to be capable of.  I don’t like the idea of having to hide my feelings just to make people feel comfortable, and will shy away from saying “hello” first thing in the morning, when I’d rather be working.  One such instance was where I instantly jumped on my boss asking for advice on how they wanted the material done, THEN once I got my answer, I remembered the rules of civility and said “good morning”.

Personal Preferences Impeding upon Work Situations

When I was assigned to do some fact-checking, I argued against how they wanted me to do the job.  They didn't want me to use a pen for checking, because mistakes couldn't be easily erased.  Whereas, I tried to reassure them that I would be careful and not do any mistakes.  The conversation kept going in circles because I wouldn't back down from my position.  Truth was, I didn't want to use pencils, because I didn't like the feel of pencils, because the sensation of rubbing lead against paper always sent shivers down my spine,  very much like running fingernails on a chalkboard.  (Even the very thought of running my fingernails on a chalkboard makes my whole body in goosebumps, because I can't imagine how hard it would be on my fingertips)  Ironically enough, in Grade school, I was perfectly fine using pencils, and was reluctant to use pens, because I was worried about making mistakes.  Now that I've crossed over to the sleek use of pens, it's hard for me to switch back.  (I've now compensated by using soft lead pencils my sister uses for rough art drafts)

Mind Blindness

I have a tendency to be totally mindblind and open to the rookiest of rookie mistakes.  There was the time there was a fire drill, and everybody had to evacucate the building.  Naturally, I was claustrophobic being crowded around so many people, and didn't like being out in the sun, so while everybody was grouped together out in the open, I got on a bus far away from the maddening crowd and got off near a park in the shade.  Soon afterwards when I saw everybody getting back into the building from a distance, I made my way back and resumed working.  Only, the people in the office thought I went home, because they saw me getting on the bus, and I neglected to tell anybody that I did so to put myself at ease.  I suppose I should've re-introduced myself upon re-entering the office, but I didn't want to make too much of a fuss as I got back to work.

Dealing with Small Talk

If you ask me about the weather, I’ll easily give you an opinionated answer.  But ask me an open-ended question, such as how I’m feeling, a TV episode I saw, or what I had for breakfast, I’ll flounder around trying to summarize every single element of what I've experienced into a concise answer.  Part of the problem is that I have trouble remembering events that happened to me in my life that I was witness to.  Oftentimes, the very procedure of memorizing everything that happens to me is so painful that I willfully blank it out until the relevancy comes up later.  Oftentimes when I’ll be criticized for losing my temper at certain times, I’ll be agonized over the fact that I suffered a momentary lapse of judgement.  If it happened a long time ago, I’ll be surprised that such a thing happened to me back when I was still young and foolish.  (Now I’m older, but still make foolish mistakes)

Clarifying my Problems

On a related topic, I also have trouble telling people what I'm having personal problems with, since I'm likely to be hyped up on inner turmoil, and may not be able to get my message across clearly.  This is further amplified by my speech, which is exacerbated by my excitement, which results in me talking faster, and may sound confusing to the listener.  Usually it takes retreating to a calmer environment and writing down whatever's bothering me in the first place to clarify things, since I'm more eloquent in prose than speech.  This can only be achieved once the problem's dealt with.  This Catch-22 situation has oftentimes caught me unawares because I'm constantly thrust into situations I've never been before.

The good news is that for every instance that I get stressed over, I acquire an immunity for, and won't be so stressed out the next time.  The bad news is that I haven't been in enough unique situations that would qualify for dealing with different scenarios, and I still wind up freaking out anybody in my vicinity.  Oftentimes, I feel more comfortable by attempting to solve my problem myself without involving outsiders.

Long Work Hours

After a strenuous day of work, it takes me a long time to wind down.  Doing activities, such as reading, watching TV, playing V-games, and other fun stuff helps relax me.  And having to worry about getting up on time the next day just compounds to the stress.  It also doesn't help that I'm a night owl, and get my greatest creative juices in the middle of the night, when there's minimal distractions abound.

I'm normally claustrophobic around people, especially when I have to be surrounded by a large crowd in the bus, and do my uttermost best to avoid being in these situations.  So it's important for me to have a job where I can arrive early to beat the mad rush of civilians on their way to their workplace, and also avoid the glare of the sunrise.  Following that logic, I don't like spending more time than necessary on needless breaks, because the longer I spend at work, the higher the chance that I'll be stuck in traffic on the way home, and it'll take me more time to wind down for the next day.  The flip side of this is that while I'm able to work a long time on a specific task, I'm not capable of keeping up this routine on a regular basis, and need some serious downtime in order to revive myself for the next day.  Otherwise, I'd wind up more stressed out at work before the week was out.  This leads into my next problem:

Inability to take breaks

I find it almost impossible to take a break.  Taking break times mean that I'm not working; ergo, I'm not getting paid, and I have to stay longer to finish the hours I'm due.  Not to mention that the longer I stay, the higher the chances are that I'll get stuck in a traffic jam on the way home.  That's more stress I don't need.

Normally, when I say that I prefer to work on my own without prying eyes interfering with my work ethic, I get the impression that I'm really using my employer's absence as an excuse to goof off while they're not looking.  (Of course, I still need to be coached on what I'm doing)  While that's true up to a point, my work ethic prevents me from actually wasting the full working hours in doing so.  I simply can't conceive of taking a break while I'm in the midst of a working streak and don't want anything that'll impede my ongoing progress.

This has led to some problematic scenarios where I have trouble taking breaks for an extended amount of time.  I can't take a lunch hour that lasts longer than five minutes.  It takes that long to finish my meal, and once I'm done, I'm hard pressed to find anything else to do to fill in the rest of the time.  I'm loath to pass the time by reading a book of mine, since I reserve my reading material for when I'm on the bus or toilet.  (Taking bathroom breaks is another problem I have, since I'm never quiet sure how long I should stay in the can and get back to work, discomfort at constipation be damned)  Talking to people is another hurdle, since I run out of conversational material faster than a Sports car runs out of oil.

Dressing in casual clothes

I'm overly sensitive to sights and sensations that normal people would ignore, such as bright light and constant movement, such as people going back and forth in front of a door entrance.  If I'm not comfortable, I can't concentrate and focus on the job, which becomes detrimental to my work production.  While I can wear a shirt with a collar, it needs to be a cotton shirt, soft, and my pants have to be heavy-duty corduroy pants that are slightly baggy, and fits firmly around the waist without a belt.  I HATE wearing ties, and have never even bothered tried to memorize the knotty pattern required to twist the clothing noose into its particular shape.  I have ONE special tie reserved for special occasions, and it's left perpetually slightly loose, for easy slipping inside and out of the neck.  No need to bother redoing the tie when I've got my own singular reliable system on hand.

Also, I'm extremely sensitive to overhead light, and need to relieve myself of any external stimuli that might cause me undue stress, and I go out of my way to avoid such stimuli by beating the rush of traffic jams and crowded pedestrians by arriving at work early before the sun gets up.  One of the most reliable ways to avoid bright light is to wear a baseball cap that helps block out the overhead lights.  However, wearing caps isn't exactly conductive to an office environment, but that's fine, since I'm more comfortable working behind the scenes in the background where there's less interaction with the public and employees.  If I didn't have to handle dealing with people on a regular basis, working would be almost tolerable.  Sadly, a human-free environment doesn't exist yet.

Not double-checking / Lack of Judgement
When given a task I'm told to do, I'll say "Right, I'm on it", and turn around to get started without even bothering to listen to the rest of the description, and get it wrong, because I assumed I knew what my employer wanted.  Thing is, I have a terrible auditory memory, and can't retain what I'm told without taking notes.  I can't cope dealing with a long list of verbal instructions without knowing when they'll end.  It's easier for me to follow instructions if they're written beforehand so I can analyze them at my leisure, and not get caught in the trap of "trick" questions, such as after a long list of instructions, I'm only supposed to follow #2 on the list.  But bosses are generally used to telling employees what to do rather than do a bullet point form of the job description, so this method doesn't quite work very well.

Oftentimes, I don't bother to double-check to make sure that I understood my orders.  This has led to instances where my co-workers are upset that I didn't do the job properly, because I neglected to listen to a vital piece of information, and wound up doing it the wrong way for hours without stopping to check whether it was done right or not.  Nevermind doing my job without a single mistake - if the prospect of the job is shaky from the start, then the whole foundation collapses underneath the structure.  This lack of foresight results in wasted time for both of us.  Me, in having to redo everything all over again the right way, and my boss having to double-check the work I should've caught the first time around.

Leaving a Mess and not Putting Stuff away

I have a compulsive need to have my work area organized in a specific manner that’s “just so”, and will remain consistent even after I leave.  I don’t like the idea of having to constantly put all my workstuff out in the open, only to have to put them away at the end of the day, when I’ll just come back and do it all over again.  I'm somewhat absent-minded, and can leave dozens of reminders I've jotted down taken from inspiration or sources that I'll claim to use later, and then forget about them until I find them again.  And this same principle applies to work.  I'm loath to changing my workplace desk if I'm in the process of organizing something, and have to put away all the files and folders before I'm ready.  I prefer to leave the workstation as it is until the next day when I'll have more time to complete the job.  Trouble is, people apparently frown down on leaving a messy workplace, even if the employee is highly efficient.

Doing things MY way

This is a major issue of mine, and ties in with some of the previous problems mentioned.  I'm not satisfied with doing something unless I feel comfortable doing it.  Oftentimes, the intents of my boss and mine clash, and are very different from what I'm used to.  If there's a personal conflict between how the job should be done, and how I feel it should be done, I'm called out for not following instructions to the letter.  This results in me thinking my boss is an idiot, and my boss thinking I'm an idiot.  This can be attributed to the Cowboy Cop who plays against the rules, but manages to save the day in the end.  I've spent so much time identifying with the lone rebel archetype that when it comes to actually knowing when to obey, I fail to tell the difference.  Thus in a battle of priorities, I wind up bringing the molehill to the mountain.

Ironically enough, some of the jobs I've been let go of were part of a job-seeking organization designed to find work for people with disabilities, and they were totally unaccustomed to deal with a client of theirs working from the inside.  Apparently, their ability at being able to find working environments for disabled people met a blind spot when it came to me.