“How much time have you been playing that?,” Sait Yardimci asked me as he pointed at my computer screen where he could see me controlling my Undead Shadow Priest avatar in Worlds of Warcraft.
“Today?,” I responded, “Oh since about 11am.”
He looked at his watch and tisked with his tongue the annoying disapproval that people of middle eastern and Indian descent so frequently give rather than saying no.
I already wanted to bitch slap him, as he had only been in Starbuck’s for a grand total of five minutes.
“That’s seven and a half hours today,” he said shaking his head.
“Ayup. And total is a little less than four solid 24 hour days on this character alone,” I responded.
“I would rather be making money than playing games,” he said.
The man worships the dollar more than his God he claims to believe in.
“Good for you, Sait, Good for you,” I responded, and put my headset back in.
Sait’s a good man, and while I know he means well, and I shudder to think there’s a reflection of myself in this man I once knew as I prioritized wealth accumulation above pretty much everything else in life.
He is obsessed with those little green pieces of paper that contain faces of old dead people that so many of you seem to be obsessed with.
Just two weeks, I was having a conversation with another man who owns a local financial company who’s looking for a MySQL DBA.
Michael is a pretty cool man as well, of American Descent, who I also met at Starbuck’s, who to his surprise learned I was homeless.
And promptly offered me a job as a consultant at $75 USD an hour.
Most people don’t know I am homeless here in Studio City, as I make it a fact to bathe daily and wear clean clothes.
“Thanks, Michael, but no thanks. I’m really not interested in doing that work for a living any longer,” I told him.
Sait’s mouth nearly hit the floor.
“You need to work and make money,” he said when Michael walked away.
“Sait,” I said with mild irritation that he was listening in, “I quit working on your web site because my mind just does not think like that, I thought I made that clear. I tried committing suicide because I pushed it too far by staying in a career LONG after I had burned out of it. I am not just bored with that career, but I am keeping myself open for when the right thing comes along.”
“Until then,” he responded not blinking “You need to make money.”
I don’t know why I carry extended conversations with the guy who is exceedingly frustrating to work with. He doesn’t understand English well, at all, despite his claims otherwise, and worse, he just doesn’t listen well and has convinced himself he’s making valid points that should be heeded.
“Sait. I’m looking for other paths that may not need money.”
“Ok,” he put his hands on his chubby hips, “then take me out for dinner tonight.”
“You know I can’t do that, Sait”
“Why not?,” he responded.
I knew where he was going with this, but he just wasn’t getting it.
“Because I do not have money or know anywhere I can get a free meal for both of us,” I responded.
“Exactly. You need to work until you can figure out a way,” he said smugly, like he had made a profound point.
There’s a huge cultural chasm between myself, America, and Sait, which was highlighted by a comment he made to Ray today, who had been absent a week with a nasty cold virus that’s gone around.
“Ray,” Sait said when he walked in and saw Ray Martino sitting there, “Where are you?”
Ray looked at me and then Sait, “I’m right here.”
Sait not understanding his mistake, repeated himself “No, Where are you?”
I got it right away. Ray, not so much.
“I am right here,” Ray said, asserting himself.
Sait then said “Last week.”
I wonder. Is this what I sound like to people trying to speak Spanish in Mexico?
But fast forward to today….
“Exactly. You need to work until you can figure out a way,” Sait had said smugly, as if he had made a profound point.
Talking to Sait about the subject of work and money is like chasing my own tail.
Sait wasn’t paying me because he has no money himself.
Sure, he would buy me a dinner or breakfast here and there, but I could never really count on it, despite my analogical explanation of “No fuel in the tank, no work”. His assertions that the web site’s going to make money FOR BOTH OF US and that’s why I need to work harder was increasingly falling on deaf ears.
That and Sait’s entering a saturated market and doesn’t fully understand the internet let alone internet businesses…
It all just became uninteresting to me…
Not the least of which – his business held absolutely no interest to me.
I once told him “Sait, if you include ‘Adventure Travel’,” this might motivate me to participate more with you, but as it stands, not only is this really not holding my attention, but you’re asking me do things I simply have no desire to do and stepped away from a few years ago. “
“But you need to make money,” he said at the time.
His rote, programmed response.
“This isn’t doing it,” I responded.
“How can it?,” he queried.
At the time, he seemed sincere.
So I explained at the time “Sait, you’re offering something that at least 100 web sites offer. You need something to differentiate yourself.”
“Do something someone else doesn’t. Something new. Focus your business on luxury travel and build an image around that. That’s also why I suggested adventure travel,” I told him, “something, anything that distinguishes you from the crowd.”
At the time, he did the annoying as fuck tsk thing which indicated no.
“No. I do group travel,” he responded.
And it was just after this conversation that I told Sait “Sait, I would like to put your web site behind me. Come up with a document detailing everything you want and need to consider this your web site complete. Be thorough. And include everything. Please quit sending me emails about modifications you want, and sites for me to look at, because I need this to have a definitive end. YOU need to own your web site and tell me WHAT makes it complete.”
Now mind you. I am asking nothing in the way of compensation.
And I told him this, in person, two weeks ago.
He immediately responded with a little frustration. He has since tried asking for two revisions via email, to which I said put them in an all inclusive document and I will take care of it then, to which he responded angrily with ‘nevermind’….
I suppose I have Sait and this discourse to thank for understanding myself and my needs a little better.
First, I sincerely have no desire to program in the traditional sense of the word any longer.
Now this does not mean I have no desire to program.
But just yesterday, after four years of receiving 10 to 15 emails a day of crap like this:
Unintelligent crap from beings who barely speak my language with names I can barely pronounce, crap from beings who barely understand my culture despite the time I have spent understanding theirs, and crap from beings who seem to care more about taking from me and my country than they do about providing me and other underemployed and unemployed folks with any real tangible benefit.
I suppose it is inevitable.
I took my resume off Careerbuilder today, and sincerely have Sait and the myriad of conversations with others about work I simply do not want to engage in.
18 months ago. My mom asked me ‘What is your plan for the future?”
I had gotten sincerely tired of being asked that question.
I have an answer now.
“I can say, with all sincerity, I have absolutely no plan. My goal is to snap my fingers and teleport myself instantly, anytime, anywhere, which should alleviate the financial issues with the ease of accessing bank vaults. I suppose another goal is to build a time machine to take others on tours through time and space. But how that’s all gonna happen and when, I sincerely have no idea. All I know is it will happen. Is already happening.”
Oh I know, you all mean, my plan to fit into this world…
No clue. Day by day. I might become a thief. Might hack an ATM. Might get a job as help support for Mac. I might leave the country again. I might go to the east coast. I might get a job writing.
I suppose you could say with me, anything is possible.
That shouldn’t be new to any of you.