Posts Tagged ‘opportunities’

Postscript On Skills, Puppy Mills, And Petitioning For Redress of Grievances


17 May

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He’s Got Skills

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We had decid­ed to launch a web design busi­ness. I had shown ini­tia­tive and a cer­tain lev­el of flair as a design­er in these ear­ly days of low band­width and high expec­ta­tions. I need­ed a sales force. The always debonair Steve Tay­lor was indeed a force of nature, but the loom­ing ques­tion was would he find this busi­ness part­ner­ship some­thing he would take seri­ous­ly enough to apply some of those “look­ing good sell­ing ice to Eski­mo” skills.

My own broth­er Clyde, a home and com­mer­cial roof­ing mag­nate in Atlanta, after six months of prep­ping me to run a new satel­lite office he want­ed to open in the DC area, went silent, just a few weeks before, and I had sensed some­thing was fishy, and that this “oppor­tu­ni­ty” was not going to hap­pen for me. Clyde final­ly answered his phone that morn­ing, and act­ed as if noth­ing was sup­posed to be going on between us although just a few weeks before this was to be a life-chang­ing tran­si­tion for both of us. Final­ly, I pressed, only to hear him say to me, wry­ly, with­out apol­o­gy or irony, that he had just bought a boat. Yep, I knew it. Clyde is the type of per­son who obsess­es and is always churn­ing over the details of a new finan­cial strat­e­gy, and was doing just that for months on end with me until the tell-tale silence two to three weeks before.

Steve, my clos­est friend at the time, was also giv­en to sim­i­lar mys­ti­fy­ing behav­ior. I knew Clyde’s to be pure self­ish­ness, down to the last atom in a Heisen­berg count like any achieve­ment ori­ent­ed Amer­i­can busi­ness­man because that’s what it takes in today’s gut­ter­snipe envi­ron­ment. Mr. Tay­lor how­ev­er, was apt to opt for degen­er­a­tive spi­ral­ing for what seemed it’s own sake, a nasty habit I knew salt­ed my own bas­ket of fries from time to time.

That back­ground bring us to this rather mut­ed exchange between Steve and myself, though the poi­son of past expe­ri­ences was bub­bling just below the sur­face ten­sion of events real and imag­ined, trad­ed calm­ly via email on Sat­ur­day, 17 May 1997.

GT: I know we can do this web design thing with great rewards, but there are things to work out and fol­low through upon. With the three of us want­i­ng the same thing at the same time, the world does­n’t stand a chance deny­ing us. I am ready. BUT IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE? (Moody Blues 1971), So your ear­ly morn­ing enthu­si­am about get­ting togeth­er ear­ly this after­noon is already wan­ing?

What usu­al­ly hap­pens is that I’m mak­ing a joke from frus­tra­tion in try­ing to reach you, a joke you would prob­a­bly vol­ley in infi­nite jest if we were face to face or even voice con­nect­ed, but be assured I’m fright­ful­ly aware the prob­lem is mine, and that I need to improve my voice machine skills to a more Steve­like lev­el since I do tend to puz­zle you, or rather griz­zle you with my sour mes­sages from time to time.
[Tay­lorS] If I men­tioned get­ting togeth­er ear­ly this after­noon, that was at a point when I thought that the Help Desk would pull me off Sat­ur­day cov­er­age (a pre­vi­ous, months-ago com­mit­ment.) As is, I was required to work until at least 5pm today as you hint about games in the park, and sug­gest we can’t brain­storm if I drink.

GT: Whoa! That would be a first. SET drop­ping by to pow wow with­out drink­ing.

[Tay­lorS]—Point with­drawn.

GT: But I’ve been needy all after­noon think­ing it would be great to have a con­fi­dence builder named Steve Tay­lor in my orbit, but as typ­i­cal, I seem to be on my own with every per­son­al tragedy always in some queue, while oth­ers seek out me as a close ear over and over again. Per­haps you feel I let you down the oth­er day, but I did­n’t.

[Tay­lorS]—I don’t feel let down. Your work helped solid­i­fy a rep­u­ta­tion I was already build­ing with a rep­utable media con­tact. Max­i­mum respect to you. Every thing you do at Howrey or wher­ev­er is your own autonomous call, but not every thing you do is self-edi­fy­ing, grat­i­fy­ing maybe, edi­fy­ing no, and that’s all I tried to point out.

GT: Sue just called, and rushed in with con­sol­ing voice to com­fort me in what she knew was an ago­niz­ing after­noon after that Clyde bomb. Very sweet of her. She was there this morn­ing. She heard my side of the con­ver­sa­tion and she knows Clyde first hand and why I had to final­ly tell him what I told him.

[Tay­lorS]—To hell with Clyde.

GT: But I under­stand, Steve. If you don’t want to come by, sim­ply don’t. You know, I’m too cyn­i­cal to beg. Do drop by when you feel it con­ve­nient. Blah, blah, blah.

[Tay­lorS]—My main con­cern with stop­ping by is bike time. I would rather not put my [cur­rent­ly] less self in the line of traf­fic fire for too long.

We all have to eat and blow great wads of mon­ey in places we think make us feel man­i­fest, moxy, and max­i­mized car­bon-based life­forms, but I am sim­ply say­ing, let’s get seri­ous, or else just sim­ply quit this shad­ow­box­ing shit. It’s wear­ing me out, and going nowhere fast, uh slow? And now that the Clyde and Ricky show is float­ing bel­ly-up, I’m feel­ing a lit­tle, no, a lot­ta sick inside.
GT: Okay I got that garbage out of the way. Uh, where does that leave me? Oh yeah, stand­ing smack dab in the mid­dle of your maybe. Bot­tom line? I think we can dis­cuss for­mu­la­tive details if you leave you own neu­roses at the back door, and I leave mine there too, and we talk real talk and real turkey with­out bom­bast.

[Tay­lorS]—That could hap­pen.

GT: This Clyde thing is syn­chro­nis­tic fatal­ism at its most time­ly. Let us learn from that fias­co, and invent our­selves prop­er­ly. And anoth­er thing. Answer­ing machines (despis­ing my own voice) some­what intim­i­date me, as does writ­ing e‑mail seems to intim­i­date not a few oth­ers. I know I come off rather sar­cas­tic at times on the box, but I don’t real­ly mean to sound that way, nor do I wish to impugn your work habits, espe­cial­ly at the job­place. What usu­al­ly hap­pens is that I’m mak­ing a joke from frus­tra­tion in try­ing to reach you, a joke you would prob­a­bly vol­ley in infi­nite jest if we were face to face or even voice con­nect­ed, but be assured I’m fright­ful­ly aware the prob­lem is mine, and that I need to improve my voice machine skills to a more Steve­like lev­el since I do tend to puz­zle you, or rather griz­zle you with my sour mes­sages from time to time. I apol­o­gize for any and all.

[Tay­lorS]—Thanks for clear­ing that up. under­stood.

GT: Okay you just called and it seems we are on for this after­noon. Great! Let’s make it mean some­thing. With all this defeat in the air, I feel like shit, real nasty run down my leg and up again shit…

[Tay­lorS]—We’re on.

GT: And I also real­ize I grow a lit­tle short and dis­repect­ful of you at times, and real­ly don’t want to con­tin­ue down that path, but indeed you should start mea­sur­ing up at the plate, and I think all will be just dandy between. Let it be said you and I are not my broth­er’s broth­er…

[Tay­lorS]—Hey, I’ve cer­tain­ly start­ed to scorn youth­ful hubris in ear­ly-twen­ty-some­things, so I can see from where you are com­ing.

Ear­li­er, this is what I post­ed to Sue:

What was not men­tioned in that note to Peter was, no, I am not expect­ing SET to stop every­thing to focus on OUR project. We all have to eat and blow great wads of mon­ey in places we think make us feel man­i­fest, moxy, and max­i­mized car­bon-based life­forms, but I am sim­ply say­ing, let’s get seri­ous, or else just sim­ply quit this shad­ow­box­ing shit. It’s wear­ing me out, and going nowhere fast, uh slow? And now that the Clyde and Ricky show is float­ing bel­ly-up, I’m feel­ing a lit­tle, no, a lot­ta sick inside.

S A M P L E X

"Ignorance and virtue suck on the same straw. Souls grow on bones, but die beneath bankers' hours.""


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