Astro Gator Number 1

Matthew Thiele
2 min readAug 28, 2023
Original Art by Matthew Thiele

I have been dissatisfied with my employment for most of my adult life. Having bad leaders can make work unbearable, and most of the leaders I have had have been truly awful.

I began writing Astro Gator out of a deep dissatisfaction with my work at the time. 2002 had been a good year. I was making good money out of college, and I had a leader and a team that respected me and gave me the freedom I needed to do my job well.

That all changed completely in 2003, when I rotated from the Marketing office to a contract team for a large government contract. I was part of a leadership development program, and we were required to rotate into different jobs in the company to get a sense of what the entire business was like. I became a very small part of a very large team overnight, and my new leaders, well, they couldn’t lead their way out of a wet paper bag. It was one of the hardest years of my life. Eventually, I decided to leave that job and go to graduate school.

I started Astro Gator twenty years ago because the job I was doing involved working with an astrogator, an instrument for navigating through space, and I was lonely and unhappy at work. As you can see, it started out rough. But I got better fast, and I learned a lot about art by just making it. Enjoy.

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Matthew Thiele

Teacher. Satirist. Scholar. Published in Slackjaw, Points in Case, McSweeney’s, Ben Jonson Journal, and elsewhere. Definitely not a robot. Or an alien.