What could possibly go wrong? (transcript)

Published March 3rd, 2018

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Oh my babies, my dears, my lovely lovers of audio downloads of people talking about things or themselves or how to get rich without any effort at all, it’s good to see you. And I can see you, but you can’t see me, which is a good thing, because I haven’t had time to take any dresses to the cleaners and my eyebrows – well, the less said about them the better. But here we are, all of good cheer and vibrating vibes, and the world, as they say, is our oyster. You’re listening to THIS IS NOT A TEST, and I’m pretty sure I’m still Michael Phillips, or some acceptable version thereof.

I know I’ve been talking about moving a lot lately, and there’s the very real risk of this becoming the official podcast of U-Haul or something, but the move is finished, and we’re settling in to the new place. But it was so much fun that I’d be remiss if I didn’t tell you how it went. Feel free to laugh at my misfortune, because we’re friends, and, hey, I’d laugh too. If we can’t take joy in someone slipping on a banana peel – which is about the only thing that didn’t happen in the last few weeks – then what are we? What have we become? Animals? Are we not men, after all? And women? Remember, I can see you.

Okay, it all starts with coming down with bronchitis 10 or 11 days before move. And as fun as 45 minute spasmodic coughing fits are, I couldn’t do what I usually do when I get something like that – which is go to bed for 2 or 3 days and then wake up cured – so I just kept going to work and packing when I wasn’t at work. If you think that sounds like a good way to get over something, spoiler alert: it’s not. It wasn’t until 3 days after we had moved that I contacted a doctor and got some antibiotics, and it’s been, oh, I don’t know, a month, and I think I may finally be over it. So remember, a few days in bed is your friend. That’s the official word from doctor Phillips, and I’ll be sending you a bill.

About a week before the move I called AT&T – because why do these things too far in advance, am I right? AT&T supplied us with our wonderful fiber Internet connection at the old place, so I called and asked them what I could get at the new address. I figured there wouldn’t be fiber, but I need something. I need some hook up, baby, a connection, as we all do. So I call and the guy looks up the address and says, “Hmm…well…the best we can do there is 768 K.” I said, “K?! Like in 1996, that K?” And he laughed and said, “Yeah, all we have in that area is DSL, and the address is really far from the central office.” The K is for Kbps, and Internet these days is measured in megabits, as I’m sure you know, so he was saying that for $40 a month, AT&T could give us blazing Internet of less than 1 megabit. Probably way less, since 768 K was the maximum speed. And what we’ve had for the past few months was 1,000 megabits, or, if you’re keeping score, a gigabit. So he was tempting me with an offer of service that was a couple thousand times slower. Then he, the phone company guy, said, “You should really call the cable company over there.”

So I did, and as a result I had to make a deal with the devil known as Charter – sorry, Speculum, I mean, Spectrum, so I got a 100 meg connection from them. I don’t even know how much it costs, I was so freaked out about the 768 K thing I just said, 100 megs, thank you lord, please hook it up, so they did, the day after we moved in. As the guy was finishing up he said, “Do you have a router?” Do I have a router? Uh, no. I said, you know, the company usually provides the router here in the 21st century, and he said, “Yeah, no, all I have here for you is a modem. The router’s not included. I can get you a router, but it’s $10 to install it and then $5 a month.” $10 to what? Take the router out of the box and plug it in? Then five dollars a month? Jesus Christ. So I had to go buy a router, which probably was for the best, since their $5 a month router is probably the lowest end piece of shit available from China. So I went out and bought the best one from China instead, and now everything is fine.

Speaking of China, 6 days before we moved, I got fired from my job of almost 13 years. Put a pin in that, as the kids say, we’ll come back to it. Two days before the move I was at the new place and noticed there was no hot water. I went over to the stove and turned it on, but nope, no gas service. The owner said she’d keep it going until we moved in and took over and all that, so the gas should have been on, but no gas. No gas, no flame no heat. I called the gas company – because again, why do these things a month in advance? – and they tell me that the service has been off for months, and it will take more than a week to hook up. Meaning we’re looking at 6 days without heat or hot water after we move in. We called the house owner and asked her why she cut off the gas and she says she didn’t, she’s been paying the bill. So after a convoluted series of calls and scheduling, we got the gas turned back on the day before we moved in.

So the day of the moves comes, and Carol and I are both exhausted and worn down and wiped out from somehow almost packing all of our shit – and incidentally, it’s a lot of shit. I don’t know what it all means or what it’s all for, but it all had to go into boxes, hundreds of boxes and now it all has to come out of those boxes, and well, you’ve moved, you know. But the morning of the move, it started to rain. You have to understand that Los Angeles has been as dry as a dry bone for a long time. There was one big rainstorm in January, but that’s been about it as far as water falling from the sky. Until, of course, the morning we’re moving hundreds of cardboard boxes full of our precious shit, which, I still don’t know what half of it’s for, but then, on that very day, the skies decide to open up and bleed.

In a confusing and confounding bit of luck, the rain stopped about an hour before the movers were due to show up. The movers – now…first of all, you didn’t think we were going to move all that shit ourselves, did you? I am far too old and delicate and frankly, important for that. Indeed. So we found these movers. My expectation of movers is they are going to come in, move your shit to the new place, break 5 or 10 percent of it, then leave. So when this guy, William, came to the house to give us an estimate, I was a little taken aback. He saw all the art – hundreds of pieces of art, all individually wrapped, and he said, “Oh, I’ve moved a lot of art. I moved art for the Getty, I’ve been in their vault,” blah blah blah, and he was talking a damn good game, about how careful they would be, how they’d wrap the furniture, “All my guys love furniture, they appreciate it,” he said. Then when he said they would take apart the bed and put it back together at the new place, I said, “You’re hired!” because that’s about my least favorite thing to do of all the things in the world that have to be done.

Anyway, William was at our house for an hour and a half, though he barely looked at our stuff, most of the time he was telling us stories of moving Sylvester Stallone or Ariana Grande and million dollar artworks, and growing up in east LA, in the middle of gang territory and how his family was so feared that all you had to do was mention their name to get out of a jam. It was all quite something, and when he gave us an estimate it was low. I said, “That’s low,” and he looked confused, but tapped on his calculator and upped it $78 to make it an even number. Then we talked about the art as a separate move, because art ain’t furniture, and again he assured us that he was an art moving expert, and for another $400 he would bring a second truck and pack all of the art separately. So I said again, “You’re hired!”

I wonder what you’re thinking right about now? You’re probably thinking, “He wouldn’t be telling us all of this if the mover was all he said he was.” And you’re right! So when he quoted us a price he said, four guys, plus him, and two trucks for 8 hours. The big truck for all the house shit, and a smaller box truck just for art. It seemed like a move made in heaven. Carol even called him the night before to verify everything, and he was reassuring. “I’m getting up at 4:30 to put my crew together, we’ll be there, don’t worry.” So the next morning, a half hour before the time they said they’d show up, and a half hour after the rain stopped, he showed up with two guys and one small truck. “They rented my truck!” he said, “I was so mad.” Wait, you’re renting trucks? I guess a lot of freelance movers rent trucks rather than owning trucks, but the way William talked, I assumed he had his own trucks. Did he rent trucks to move Sylvester Stallone and the Getty art? Did he even really move Sylvester Stallone and the Getty art? I suspect not.

So the 8 hour move became a 12 hour move, in three trips. And his “crew” of 2 guys handled the art in the last trip the same way they handled the refrigerator in the second trip. Carol had to keep telling them to stop grabbing five paintings at a time and carrying them like they were god damned apes. I will say that those 3 guys worked their asses off, but they were just movers. We were sold a bill of goods, and when people tell you that if something seems to good to be true, it’s always too god damned good to be true – believe that. And don’t believe William at Flat Great Rates, despite his 87 almost all five star ratings on Yelp. He was so consumed with Yelp, asking us a thousand times to leave them a good review. We didn’t. Or we haven’t. because like I said, he didn’t deliver what he promised. But also like I said, they worked hard for 12 hours. But then so did we, including two trips back and forth to the new place that would have been unnecessary if he showed up with the right god damned trucks and the number of people he promised. I tipped each of his guys $100, but nothing for William. He got the envelope full of hundred dollar bills, and a couple shots of Wild Turkey. Hey it was a long day, and I’m not made of stone.

I noticed a couple days before the move that my phone didn’t really work at the new place. I figured I’d just call the phone company and get one of those booster things you can put in your house, but no such luck on that front. And we let our landline go when we left the old place, because, really, why? What do I need a landline for? My DSL connection? So it was really, hmm, I’ll say inconvenient to be stuck with a useless phone in your new home on top of the hill and apparently too far from every kind of modern technology. Carol’s phone worked great, even though they’re both Motos, but mine was first generation and hers is new. After a call that went nowhere with Consumer Cellular – who by the way, I highly recommend, unlike William’s Flat Great Rates moving company – I said, fuck it, I’ll just get a phone like Carol’s so I did. Woman on the phone said, “Just pop out the SIM from your old phone, stick it in the new one, and you’ll be good to go.” But naturally the new phone uses something called a Nano SIM card, so I couldn’t fit the non-Nano SIM card from my crusty old phone into it, so I had to start from scratch. New phone, who dis?

Which, as you no doubt know – I mean, shit, we keep so much on our phones. The things are great, but they’re also simultaneously and at the same time, quite horrible and awful. Not to mention that they get bigger every month, so you can’t get a phone that just fits in your hand or your pocket anymore. I guess if you use those little Apple things, what are they called, iPhones? Ha iPhone. Remember when everything had a i or an e in front of the name? In the 90s? Ha, iPhone. Anyway. Jesus Christ, I’m still loopy from the move. Still a little batty. Off the hook, to use an old phone analogy. We can’t even take the phone off the hook anymore. Sure, you can turn it off, but I don’t think anyone has ever turned off their phone. So yes, still loopy. But it’s not over. This moving story. You can take a break if you want to. Go to the bathroom or get that can of Pringles out of the car. Whatever you need to do. I’ll wait.

Okay, I lied, I’m not going to wait. I’m going to carry on. We can’t have “dead air,” can we. We can’t just sit here and say nothing. No one would know what to do with the silence. I’ll show you, watch: … See, that was really uncomfortable, wasn’t it. We were all looking around, shifting from foot to foot, looking at the ceiling, whistling – anything to avoid confronting the silence. The awful silence.

Anyway, the day after we moved in to the new place, we were weaving in and out of boxes and trying to get everything together, when, at 2 in the afternoon, the power went out. Well, the power didn’t go out on the block or anything, it wasn’t an outage. Our power service got cut off. Just like the gas service, I’d transferred service from the old place to the new place, and I left a few days of overlap so there would be service in both places, because we moved on the 14th, but our last day in the old house was the 18th, so we needed everything working in both places for clean up and all the various shit you have to do back and forth until you walk out the door of the old place forever. So we called Edison, and they said, “Yeah, your transfer was okay, but someone called to disconnect service on the 15th.” That someone was the new landlord, who, rather than changing the billing, chose to cut off the service. I know, but this is kind of par for the course for her. She’s a little…scattered, you could say.

So Carol and I both got on the phone with Edison. She didn’t know I was calling, but maybe you should always start two calls with any kind of customer service, because my call eventually got cut off. The woman was very quiet, and I’d say, “You still there?” and she would say, “Yes, just working on it.” I did that twice and she responded, then after about 10 minutes of silence I said it again, “You still there?” and she wasn’t. Either she just gave up or my phone dropped the call. Probably my phone, since I was still on the old phone that didn’t get a signal here, unless I stood in one place out behind the house. I was standing there, in that one place where I could kind of get a signal, but I guess a breeze blew through or something and the call was dropped. Luckily Carol was half an hour into a call with someone else, and we eventually got it worked out and they turned the power back on a few hours later.

But while I was standing behind the house talking to Edison, or listening to silence from Edison, Carol came out and said, “I’m just getting some candles ready,” and she handed me a candle that said on the glass: “Stress Relief.” So that was pretty funny. If you can’t laugh in the face of never ending problems, you’re in trouble. One of the reasons I wanted to have electric service in the old place was so we could have a cleaning company come in and clean up our 10 years of dust and general living schmutz, so the old landlord – who, if I haven’t mentioned it before, though I’m pretty sure I have, is batshit crazy – but I paid for cleaners so she wouldn’t have any excuses to hold back any of our deposit.

So the power was scheduled to go off the day after the cleaners came, and a woman had come to the house and looked at everything and talked to Carol for half an hour, and she and her crew of four were going to come in and sandblast the place. Only they didn’t. They were supposed to come in on Friday and do the job, Friday was the last day for electricity, but she messaged Carol with some sob story about locking her keys in her car on a job far from home, etc, etc, and said, “Can we do it on Saturday?” Well. What are our options? Okay, come and do it Saturday. Then a few hours later she started sending Carol weird text messages saying she “needed more information,” and saying, “It’s a bigger job than I thought,” blah, blah, blah. A bigger job than you thought? You walked through the fucking house! You saw it, you quoted it. Now it sounded like she wanted to bail.

So I started concocting a plan B, but calling house cleaning services on a Friday night for a job you need done on a Saturday – well, I wouldn’t recommended it as a viable strategy, even as a plan B or C. No one was available, and when they heard it was a “move out,” that we were leaving the house after being there for a long time, they really weren’t available. You’d think cleaning an empty house would be a lot easier than cleaning a house full of shit, but apparently it’s not. What with the 10 years of dust and general living schmutz. I suppose that makes sense. Finally I got someone on the phone, Fannie was her name, and cleaning was her game. I told her the situation, and she said, “No, no, all my crews are booked. Aye! But I guess I suppose I might be able to possibly see if I can maybe get someone for the afternoon, but I don’t know…” I said yes please, that would be great, and she called back half an hour later and said she could get a 2 person crew in at 2 p.m.

Which was great news for us, but probably not so much for the cleaners that came, when I told them, oh, by the way, there’s no electricity in the house. They looked at me like they wanted to get back in the car and leave, but to their credit and pluck and bravery, they stayed and did the job. A 5 hour job, that ended when it was dark. So I went to pay them and we looked through the house with flashlights and phone lights and it seemed okay, as far as I could tell in the dark. Really, I don’t know how they did it without vacuums or any kind of electric gadgets, but they did. I tip my hat to Fannie’s crew. If you’re in Los Angeles, look her up an Yelp and throw her some business.

The next day I did the walk through with the old landlord. She was expecting Carol, because she hates me, but I told Carol I wanted to do it. I just wanted to be the one to explain to her why this was broken, or why that was tattered, and for the love of Christ woman, it’s been 10 years! You can’t ding us for wear and tear or paint or anything, really, after 10 god damned years, you fucking creep. Aside from her general lack of intelligence or compassion, she hated me not because I was ever mean to her, on the contrary, I was always charming and congenial and convivial and all those things every time I saw her of wrote to her, even when most of time I wanted to tell her to pound sand up her ass and piss up a rope. So why did she hate me? because when we told her about the roof collapsing, she had no idea what to do, and sent the clowns that I talked about previously through the house to annoy and inconvenience us.

Had even one of them been a competent or qualified or semi-conscious builder or contractor of any kind, it wouldn’t have been an issue. But it was just one idiot after another, each with a more ridiculous and unworkable “solution” that would just put a band aid on an axe wound. So in December she sent us an email saying we had to move all of our shit out of the living room to make way for construction that would start “sometime” around the first of the year, and go for an undetermined length of time, because no one knew what would really be involved in the job until they started digging. Which was more than a little mind boggling, considering we brought in our own contractor who knew within 90 seconds what needed to be done and what was involved and how long it would take.

Okay, I’ve gone over all of that before. Anyway, what turned the landlord on me, what made her lose her mind and start hating me and taping vacate notices all over the house and our cars, was me responding to that December email saying I wanted to explore what our right were as tenants, maybe talk to an attorney, you know? Because you can’t just say, “Hey, I know you’re paying me 28 thousand dollars a year to live in the house, but you have to vacate a quarter of it for who knows how long.” That couldn’t be right, it seemed to me, we had to have some rights and some say in what was going to happen. But regardless of all of that – and you do have rights as a tenant, but they are limited – but regardless of that, she didn’t like me saying I was going to find out what our rights were. She couldn’t cotton to that. She flipped her wig which was already flipped, but it flipped some more. Imagine her wig is like a pancake and it just keeps flipping. It was like that.

Talking to Carol on the phone after it was decided that we were moving, she was saying – to Carol, mind you – “That Michael, he’s not a very peaceful person. He’s not a problem solver. He’s very violent, he’s this, he’s that, he’s mostly gorilla.” She was saying those things to Carol, and Carol was like, hold on lady, don’t say things like that to me. And that’s when I decided I wanted to do the walk through with her. I wanted to do it with a baseball bat in my hands, and when she pointed out something she thought was damaged, I was going to beat it with the bat and say, “There. Now it’s damaged.” Okay, not really. Well, I did consider that, and if I hadn’t lost my job a few days earlier and could have just waved goodbye to the two grand deposit, I probably would have. Just for the insane joy of it, and to see the look on her face.

But I didn’t. Instead I attacked her with a devastating and unsurpassed charm offensive. You should have seen me. It was the greatest performance of my life. I should win a tenant Oscar. They should have those. I was distracting her so much she barely looked at the house, I had her reminiscing and talking about everything but the house, and when I went to shake her hand as I was leaving, she said, “No shakes, it’s been 10 years, I’m going to give you a hug,” and she did. It was really something to see. Of course, I don’t have that deposit back yet, so she could have been the one conning me. But she didn’t specify or point out anything during that walk through, so if she tries to hold back anything I’ll see her in court, and when I say, “Your honor, we did a final walk through and she didn’t point out anything she wanted me to remedy, and we were there for 10 years…she hugged me, your honor!” the gavel is going to come down and the judge is going to tell her to pay me. So one way or another, I will have that deposit, and she’s left with a crumbling house that’s going to cost her $60,000 to fix. Good. Fuck her. I hope the whole place crumbles when they pull the first nail. Not that I hold a grudge or anything.

What is it about most landlords? I think it’s the “lord” part of the name. I think that gets to them and they start to believe it. Who wants to do that anyway, be a landlord? Who wants to give their house over to some strangers and have to deal with their complaints? Hey, the garbage disposal doesn’t work. The roof is leaking. The beams in the living room are about to fall on our heads. Who wants that aggravation? What kind of person? Why not sell the house and walk away? I’ll tell you what kind of person wants to be a landlord, a lunatic. Because every landlord I’ve ever encountered has absolutely and unquestionably been a lunatic. And cheap lunatics. How can I fix that garbage disposal for $3? How can I patch the roof for $50? How can I prop up those falling beams for $200? And it’s their house that they’re cheaping out on. That’s why I can’t understand it. If you live in my house and tell me something’s busted, I’m fixing that busted thing the best way it can be fixed, so it lasts for another 50 years. It’s my house!

Okay, fuck that, enough about landlords. Call me at (628) 333-4860 and leave your landlord story. Maybe we’ll all just commiserate and talk shit. Hmm, what else, what else… Oh yeah, getting fired from my job. How did that slip my mind? It didn’t. I was lucky enough or in the right place at the right time enough, back in the mid 90s to get in on the ground floor of the website hosting business. It was lucky because before that I was a small job printer, and that industry was killed by computers, so if I hadn’t inserted myself into the Internet, I don’t know what I’d be doing now. I’d probably be in prison or painting houses, which is kind of the same as prison, if you’ve ever done it. So I was fortunate, yes, and for 22 years it worked.

But website hosting is becoming much less of a thing. In 2008 when the economy took a giant shit, our business started to decline because people were re-evaluating what they spent their dwindling money on, and if they didn’t absolutely need their websites or if those sites weren’t making any money, they let them go. A lot of that happened in those few years. Then the next nail in the website hosting coffin was joints like Squarespace and Wix, who said to people, “Hey, why pay some nerd to make you a website and maintain it? Nerds are gross and they smell like Taco Bell! You can do it yourself!” So millions of people did it themselves. Those aren’t real websites, they’re very basic templates, but for most people, a basic template is enough. Why struggle with all that code and markup language that seems to change every six months? Who needs that shit? Pretty much no one, as it turns out.

Anyway, there’s still a market for people who build their own sites or build sites for other people, for sites that need more than lowest common denominator cookie-cutter design or functionality, but the market is a lot smaller than it used to be. And to make matters worse, the company I was with for the past almost 13 years specialized in Microsoft technology website hosting, which was a narrow market to begin with, and one that became pretty much unsustainable when Microsoft started offering free website hosting on their own platform, Azure. But that happened a few years ago, and while I could see the writing on the wall, I am fundamentally lazy, so I stayed where I was and watched everything crumble. Well, I didn’t watch it crumble, I tried to drag the company into things that would help, but they weren’t listening.

My fatal mistake was probably inventing my own job – which turned in to Communications Director – and moving to the marketing side of the company away from the technical side. All the people on the technical side are still employed, and I’m not. But that job I invented, they weren’t really even into that, and as the company got smaller and smaller, as we needed more communications strategies, I got pushed further and further into website development, and that’s what I did pretty much every day for the past couple of years. It wasn’t what I wanted to be doing, but again, I’m lazy, so if they were going to pay me a Communications Director salary to do social media and website development, who was I to argue. Like I may have mentioned here before, I was probably the highest paid web developer in Los Angeles.

In December, I was having a weekly meeting with the head of marketing, and he said, “Just a heads-up, after Q1 of 2018 things are going to change. The other owners want to re-evaluate if we can’t pick up sales, and one of them is pushing to sell the company.” So I knew that Q1 was probably the end, but I thought, well, I have this house move in February, I can get that out of the way and hit the streets for a job during March, that should be enough time. Then on February 7th I had the same meeting with the same head of marketing and he said, “Remember that thing about Q1? Yeah, that timeline has been accelerated and your position has been eliminated. The 15th is your last day. Sales didn’t pick up in January. Sorry.”

It’s a funny thing, working. After you’ve been fired a few times or had a company sold out from under you or whatever, you start to think that every time you sit down in a meeting with someone who owns or runs the company, that there’s a good possibility that you’ll be fired. Seriously. I’ll bet for the past 5 or 6 years I’ve always thought that, every time. And it doesn’t happen and it doesn’t happen, and then it does. But expecting it to happen every time doesn’t prevent that roller coaster downward plunge stomach feeling that you get when they tell you to hit the road. There’s nothing that can stop that, even when you know it’s coming, as you’re slowly creaking up the roller coaster hill and getting toward the top, peaking that summit, and you know the big drop is on the other side, you know it’s coming, but your body still reacts the way your body wants to react.

And what a shit excuse for firing me, lousy sales. Sales have always been soft in January, even when things were going well. It’s the slowest month. And every advertising, or frankly most any other idea I came up with, was ignored, rejected or de-fanged, so how they justified giving me the axe for the advertising failing was kind of unexplainable. Well, there is an explanation, and that is it had nothing to do with sales, it had to do with my salary being the biggest one on the marketing side, so if they eliminate that, they save money. What’s funny is for more than a year I’d been telling that head of marketing that we needed to start using schema microdata on the websites to goose our Google search rankings, which were already good, but there were ways to improve that visibility. He kept saying, “Don’t spend time on that, do this instead,” whatever “this” was, and whether “this” had any point or effect.

Finally I just started adding the microdata myself, without telling them, and during one of those weekly meetings he said, “This brand,” I won’t name the brand, we ran a few of them, but “this brand jumped way up in the search results and we can’t figure out why.” I told him I added microdata to a lot of pages for that brand, and he said, “Do that for the other brands!” Suddenly it was a good idea. So that’s what I was doing when they cut me out. The only thing for a long time that anyone could point to and say, look, here’s a demonstrable positive effect. And they said, let’s cut the guy who did that. Okay. But that should give you some idea of what I was dealing with.

I think the reality is they’ve already decided to sell or bail and they just haven’t told anyone yet. Cutting my salary makes the numbers look better to potential buyers. I can’t think of any other reason, but they haven’t always made the greatest decisions. On the advertising side they were always followers, and that used to drive me crazy. I’d say, hey, let’s – I don’t know, whatever, whatever idea I had, they’d say, “Boy, I don’t know about that, no other host does that…” Yeah, no shit, that’s why it’s a good idea, a new idea. That’s why doing it will differentiate us from all the other unimaginative followers that call themselves website hosts. But these guys weren’t about that. They weren’t about being different, but I don’t know man, seems to me if you’re in a declining market where everyone offers the same service, you god damned well better be different, or you’re doomed.

The week before they told me I was getting fired, a bunch of test emails came through the helpdesk for one of the new brands they were trying to get off the ground, and I saw a URL at the bottom of the emails for some domain I’d never heard of. I thought, that’s weird, I’m, like, you know, the de facto web developer, why didn’t I know about this site? I probably didn’t know about it because they already knew they were going to get rid of me, but I went to the site and thought, “What the hell – they didn’t make this. Who made this?” And I looked at the source code and it was a Wix site. How funny is that? Not funny ha ha, funny strange.

They’re trying to get an IT management company off the ground using a website that they didn’t build and that they don’t host. What company that’s looking for infrastructure help or management is going to pay thousands of dollars a month to a company that can’t even build and host their own website? I guess they think no one is going to know their site is a point and click template living on a template service. That no one will look deep enough to see that. That someone is just going to start writing them big monthly checks without doing a little digging first. Sure.

Ah well, I left on a good note, I think. I certainly bear them no ill will. Business is business. I can’t take it personally. I’m pretty sure that no one over there took any joy in firing me. Well, maybe the accountants did. But most of the people there were cool. It does me no good to grudge on them, and I’m not. I am talking some shit here, I know that, but that’s related to me losing my god damned job, so I think that’s my right, for at least 30 days. Or longer if I still haven’t found a job. Otherwise, if they need any information or need my help with anything that only I knew how to do over there, which is more than a few things, I told them to call me. Why not. They haven’t, and they probably won’t, but that’s probably also not surprising.

Now what? I don’t know, man. The future is unwritten, right? All I know is I just signed a five year lease, so it’s kind of in my best interest to get another gig going as soon as possible. It’s only now that I’ve shaken that bronchitis and we’re just closing in on some kind of end in sight to the moving chaos, so it looks like my timeline is still “look for a job in March.” It’s just a little more…pressing now, if you feel me. If you’re picking up what I’m putting down. Gotta work, gotta work. Everyone has to work. I mean, we don’t have to, there’s a way the world could be set up to prevent us all from wasting our lives doing what, for most of us, is ultimately useless shit, but the world ain’t set up that way.

So that’s the dull and uneventful start to my year, I trust that yours has been going better. I mean it has to be, doesn’t it? Keep the positive vibes flowing, brothers and sisters, better must come. Sayonara and so long!