are we done?

I think I’ve been abandoned by my boss. The situation is partly my fault. I should never have gotten myself into a position to depend so entirely on this guy. But I work for this chap as sort of an independent contractor. I handle all of his web domains and do a bunch of web design work as his needs arise. And his needs are mercurial. The projects range in complexity from simple webpages, like this one to help him round up Herbalife customers, to complex, multi-page, media-streaming sites like this one, which represents a film festival he founded. But like all his projects, even that one seems to be drying up.

Most recently, he asks me to build a storefront website to sell Herbalife products, and he asks if it could be done in a month, meaning he’d be getting a fully-functioning commercial site for a tiny fraction of what it would cost using a real web designer. So I do as much as I can, but there is only so much I could put together without some kind of capital investment from him to set up some of the site’s more complex features. He balks at this point, deciding after all that work that he’s now interested in putting together promotional websites for a pair of “screenplays” he’s working on, one about Icelandic poet Stein Steinarr and one about Leif Eriksson (he’s from Iceland himself.) No problem, I tell him. I’d build a website that catalogues his navel lint collection as long as he pays me with some regularity.

But it’s the tenth and he seems to have bailed on me completely. It’s not the record. Once it took him eleven days to pay me, but I was in contact with him much of that time. “I forgot my checkbook,” was a typical excuse, or “I can’t make it out to Rocket. Can I get you the check tomorrow?”

Oh, also, he co-owns Rocket Video, which is own set of nightmares. And it’s also how I happen to know that he’s around, that he’s not dead or in exile. There is a staff meeting on Wednesday. I do not attend because earlier that day I’d sat down with Jeff, the manager, and turned in my long-expected resignation. He is there. I am not. He just refuses to return my phone calls or emails. Am I to infer that we’re done?

If so, what do I do now? Should I hold all his websites hostage? Should I start looking for another job? I can’t support myself on Amoeba alone, even if I work full time (which I’m going to try and do anyway.) I happen to have some cash left over from the birthday month, so September rent’s taken care of. But what about October? And how about those bills?

My only response thus far has been the least practical, yet most emotionally satisfying. I’m writing. I’m finishing up Blood & Mist. I’m tackling the rewrite of Strange Angels. I’m doing stuff that I hope will pay off. Problem is, my happy-go-lucky landlord won’t except a check written on hope. So the writing takes on a desperate edge.

I’ll post updates, but if a couple weeks go by and there have been no posts, call the authorities.

Just kidding. Sort of.

P.S. I encourage you to check out that Herbalife link above. The story is fascinating. Who hasn’t seen those “Get Rich From Home” flyers out and about the world’s streets?

About the author: will

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