Tag Archives: professional classes

Just As Quickly As It Came Whistling In

skism
Language Is A Poor Substitute
samplex

Date: Tuesday, March 14, 2000

Peter Burris, in a splendid mood, relishing the prospect of breaking back into the world of solids, propositions the nearest and most competent accountant at hand, "Sue, are you interested in helping me get my consulting firm's finances in audit-worthy shape? I am on the brinnk of three multi-thousand dollar contracts and i want to open a bank account and do things strictly by the book, so when we seek financing from investors, everything looks good. I don't know what you would charge, but if I'm correct, we should have no problems paying you what you think you're worth; if I'm wrong, we'll offer equity and incrementally more as our prospects improve. Is this an attractive notion to you? Please let me know what you think."

"What do you think? I am inclined to help him, but I want to charge a going rate...will you help me with this...I can set it up in Quickbooks Pro for Windows. Of course we will need lots of pertinent information, but I think Peter will be forthright." The scarlet dress she is wearing has my attention, but Sue is no less in a propositional mood. Of course her propositions and even her prepositions, influenced by her being the heir apparent to the family breadwinner role, are less concerned with what's casually placated inside her scarlet dress than how many greenbacks she might pocket today.

Questioning the who, what, where, how, why, and when of the organizing principle of life itself—now that, my friends, is a topic worthy of deep black seas, buried and lost civilizations, the 90% of brain power just sitting there waiting for you and me.
"Sure, I'll help," explains Gabriel, "And yes, you should charge a good rate. He's asked me to design a GORGED.COM logo with a pomegranate fruit imposed upon the "O" in gorged. He said he thought that I charged $35/hour for this kind of work. I wrote back that no I didn't but since I am hardly in business these days, I'll certainly treat him right, but as for the accounting thing, you are swamped, and command a high dollar for your services, and besides, Peter talks a good game but as scatterbrained and addicted to grandiose thinking (birds of a feather) as he seems to be at times, I wouldn't want to waste a lot of time hemming and hawing over his accounts (re: Shipman), particularly with all the househunting and sales prepping we already have on our plate. But he was good for us financially for eighteen months when we really needed it, and I like to return favors when I can, so if he seems to have himself in order, I would like to accept his work.

"Bottom line, if he is getting all these high dollar freelance jobs, why should we expect peanuts for participating in that Tom Howellesque of all things—negotiations. Peter does like to farm out a lot of stuff since his critical skills are limited mostly to linguistic and server side elbow grease, but nevertheless he does seem to GET the jobs (or the promise of, but if I recall, a lot of those promises fail to materialize, so he's not much that different from us in that latter regard)."

Geez. Talk about the inability to stand firmly and deliver. Just a whiff of work, money, success, a mere taste to the senses, then it's gone, just as quickly as it came whistling in...
A time, a time, and half a time later, Sue has heard back from Peter with the following results. "Baby, sounds like the same 'ole Peter...sorry, I thought he was ready to play ball now."

What did he say? Unfortunately, my assessment had been correct again. Peter and Tim shared this knack for long range tomorrow plans that often fell by the wayside because of their inability to strike when the irons where hot. We would soon pay nearly $5K to a Jersey mafia moving company to reconsign all our stuff less what they plenty broke or stole to a condo all the way across the city, from the ghetto bounces of hapless SE to the nose-jointed professional classes of upper NW in a couple of months, and Peter would suddenly feel a resurgence of hatred, according to Tim, that we had asked with two months free rent to vacate the room he kept in shambles last spring when Mother was graduating from Oglethorpe, and we began the last push for ultimate household order so as to best prepare the dear old rowhouse for sale this spring. Geez. Talk about the inability to stand firmly and deliver. Just a whiff of work, money, success, a mere taste to the senses, then it's gone, just as quickly as it came whistling in...

"Everything sounds good to me; I need to take a look at which Quickbooks product will suit better. I am aware of your housing situation and I automatically assume you are swamped at all times; in that vein, I will line up all my ducks and get the data you stated that I need. I anticipate I will be ready to play ball in four to six weeks. I need to reincorporate...mine expired during a bad time (ie, Michelle's visits and phone calls were devouring my income and I let a deadline pass OUCH!), but I have an eye on the next step. Talk to you really soon," assured the always pedantic Peter Harper Burris, professorial, punk, and predicated upon the principle of perfecting an argument. I was never quite sure however, where his catholicism began or where it ended. I always wanted to ask him that question, but I knew I'd never have enough time to register whatever he might call a full response.

That I would meet a painter named Peter Harper who would become my best friend for a season or two in 2007—when we both kept studios at the 52 O Street Studios building in DC—is irrelevant to this Burris segment. Questioning the who, what, where, how, why, and when of the organizing principle of life itself—now that, my friends, is a topic worthy of deep black seas, buried and lost civilizations, the 90% of brain power just sitting there waiting for you and me to take the next step. They tried it with poisons. They tried it with rules regulated by carrots and sticks. Those didn't seem to do it. What's next? I don't know, but it's always the poets, the philosophers, the artists, the inventors, the truthtellers who prep the soil, lay in the brickwork, and take the first few steps.

For you slow learner's in the mix, that's what we, he, and thee are doing here in SAMPLEX. May God light our way.