My friend, “Piccolo,” called me up. He asked if I wanted to make some extra dosh for six months or so doing some data crunching.
I crunch data like nobody’s business. I like doing it. And I like Pic. I also have a group of friends there. (Luekemia friend was one of them, till she died two days ago, way ahead of the 14 months her doctor promised. The funeral is this weekend. Carpe diem, people. Carpe diem!)
So, why not say yes? Because you don’t know Piccolo’s business or his business model.
Things start out deceptively normal and friendly, with a small group of people that have known each other forever. As things go on, craigslist becomes the HR department.
Then work escalates to the point one could be working round the clock for weeks straight and finds oneself considering duct taping one’s Monster-chugging totally high coworker to a wall.
It’s not for the faint of heart.
Last time I helped Pic out, the building manager went ballistic over the number of people smoking (and hotboxing) near the shared entrance with the gym/ health clinic. Among many, many other things.
Things got worse when people began sleeping in their cars so they could work a 72-hour shift (for which they were paid time and a half over 8, but not the legally required double time after 12).
How does a building manager let one know one’s lease is up? By turning off one’s HVAC in a building where none of the windows open.
Some days the office was 40 degrees, others it was 90. Pic didn’t care because OSHA has no rules about temperatures. It was totally psycho.
Because working conditions sucked, lots of people began to fall sick (four people got pneumonia). However, since no one had health insurance . . . and no one could afford to miss work . . . they came in anyway. And they made other people sick (including me).
In the end, I referred a bunch of people to the local free clinic so no one died (although one guy came very, very close). There were more pills floating around that place than Eli Lilly.
I also took to spraying the entire office (and any paperwork that touched my desk) with Lysol, twice a day, to keep ahead of the epidemic. And I am the most immune, least germophobic person on earth. So, it was bad.
I could say more, but you get it. I like Pic and I like the work, but I worry about ending end up in court or before the Labour Board having to give damaging testimony about . . . anyone.
But a couple grand a month extra? That won’t hurt the “move” coffers any. So, I said yes.
But I also said, I’m just sitting in a corner office crunching numbers for a few hours a day, while wearing headphones. I don’t want to see or hear anything. That way, I don’t ever have to say anything.
Except on my blog.