Last Of Us Player Wonders Why Joel Was Working So Late On His Birthday

Someone on the Resetera forums is reflecting on the first Last of Us game, and came to one conclusion: it sure is weird that Joel was working until midnight. What resulted was a fun (once you get past the depressing reality) chain of comments reflecting on the nature of American capitalism and single parenting.

It all started when user Gigglepoo posted a thread called The Last of Us’ prologue: Why was Joel working? In it, they recall the prologue where Joel comes home after midnight from a contract job. He apparently missed celebrating his birthday with his daughter. Gigglepoo found Joel to be a bit of a negligent parent here, not being able to justify working a later shift if it meant leaving his daughter alone.

This accusation of negligence apparently stems from the fact that Joel could have spent his birthday with his kid, but chose to work late instead. Gigglepoo also questions what type of contract would keep the employee working all the way to midnight. The comments were quick to correct Gigglepoo’s interpretation of events.

User Mullet2000 summed it up with “OP you are a lucky person if you are this bewildered by this.” After all, a mullet is business in the front, and thus knows the tribulations of working for a living.

Other commenters didn’t find it weird at all, and added that their single parents often put in 10-12 hours over two jobs just to make ends meet in their small apartments. Joel has a whole house The Last of Us’ prologue, so he probably had to bring in some good money. Others noted that construction workers on second shift can go quite late, and that could explain what type of contract work Joel was doing.

That leaves the question of Joel’s birthday, which is easily summed up by Rosebud’s comment, “Companies don’t care if it’s your bday lol.” Indeed, most employers aren’t going to give you the day off just because it’s your birthday. You could request the day off, but Joel doesn’t seem the type.


The thread continues for eight pages of comments, most of them hammering home the points above. There’s also a sidebar about if birthdays actually have any meaning, but we’ll leave you explore those at your own leisure. Just be sure to make time for your kids if you have any – the zombies could come any day now.

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