There I was stuck in dead end job #2 during the Decade of Dispair. An opportunity had presented itself in the help wanted section of the local fish rag that seemed to be up my alley but I was wary. After all, I had jumped from the frying pan and into the fire so many times in a row there was little of me left except for a charbroiled piece of gristle. Life is a cruel teacher and I had learned the lessons well: You may be up to your nose in shit but the next job could be worse. Much worse.
So yeah, you might say I was wary.
The one encouraging sign was the fact that the ad actually contained the word “ethics.” That caught my eye. Was that the tiniest glimmer of hope I saw there on the distant horizon? No. It turns out that cheater liars don’t have any compunction about using the word “ethics” in a deceitful way. Duh!
I skillfully and cleverly googled the scanty factual info contained in the ad and quickly had the name of the business, the address, the owner’s name, and his Facebook page and that of his wife’s. I studied it carefully, asking myself: “Is this guy an asshole? A giant douchebag? Or someone I could actually work for?” I devoured everything I could find but there were no easy answers.
I found the company website and studied it. If hired, no doubt I’d be hitching my wagon to that horse. It was a hideous piece of garbage and looked like it had been designed by a small child. I checked the source and saw it was made in Microsoft Frontpage and was probably 10 years old. Ugh. It did have some personality, most likely pompous (this was a small business after all) and I tried to get a read on how that might translate into working for them. No dice.
I studied his Facebook profile picture. It was hard to read this particular book by the cover. Asshole or nice guy? It could have gone anyway. No help there. Now that I know him, though, I estimate the picture is at least 10 years old. There’s another picture of him that I’ve seen since. He loads it on the office computers as the login avatar. If I had seen that version I would have run for the hills. He was wise to keep it far from his Facebook.
I’m not 100 percent sure what happened in the interview. It lasted two hours long and I missed dinner with my wife who sat waiting for me alone in a restaurant. Looking back I feel I must have missed a lot of warning signs during this meeting. On the other hand, he believed my (true) story about my piece of shit car not starting and why I was late. On the plus side, he’s an understanding and casual guy. Too much so as it turns out, but then again, I remain the picky one.
He called to offer the job a few days later. I took the call even though I was having dinner with my wife. (This was back in the days when I still owned a phone.) He blabbed for 45 minutes. I was starting to notice a trend.
Now it was decision time. What to do? I was torn. My current job was a bear trap. I was desperate and ready to chew off my own foot to escape. The carrot being dangled? I was trying to feel hopeful and optimistic but sensing impending doom. Desperation won out. I reluctantly accepted the job.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Ethics? Yes, thanks to me, there is some in the office now. Him? He’s closest to none at all that I’ve ever seen although he sees himself as a paragon. This is the same guy who taught his son how to photoshop a business license rather than pay a small fee. There was also the time he told his staff about the “great idea” he’d come up with. He was going to pretend to be deaf to avoid having to talk on the phone with someone he already knew when being deceitful with them. (Opening a second account because he’d been blacklisted.) This was after he asked the employees to participate in his little fraud. We all refused.
Faking a disability in order to lie? That’s classic. And he was actually proud of himself for thinking it up. He thought it was downright brilliant.
Note: This post was supposed to be about his stupid, sucky, vapid, pointless, chickenshit website project, now going on for two years, but I provided too much intro. Maybe more later. To be continued? Gee, I hope not. Ugh.
Mad props to The Mad Hatters for turning me on to this shiny video goodness.