6 a.m. and all’s … well iffy

Forgive me if I slip and use the word “today” I’ve been up all night trying to move all sites off all systems related to Metrotime Business Systems except for metrotimecomm.com and moving them to Infinite, the server in San Jose. Why am I doing this? Well tod… er yesterday I lost my job. It started on Monday. I had been up late the night before, ever notice how my bad days seem to start with late nights? When I woke up there was not 1 but 5 voicemails on my phone, I made a decision to take a shower before dealing with them, while I was in the shower yet another voicemail came through.

I did what I could to fix the problem for the customer who couldn’t get on the internet, which really had nothing to do with me, their ISP was acting up on them, but they complain to me anyway and I had to try and fix it. Then there was a nasty message on the voicemail from Harold about having to provide maintenance on the customers that I work on. He made it sound like I ASKED for that customer in the first place, when in actuality I didn’t. I had specifically asked NOT to deal with any new consulting customers under his banner but Harold had given me another customer to do anyway and I did it, and then when they have problems, ANY problems, it’s up to me to fix them, even when they have nothing to do with me or my work, free of charge. Anyway, after dealing with these things I was feeling stressed again and I didn’t want to let myself continue the stress pattern until the point of breakdown again so I decided, if I’m going to continue to work for nothing, there were a few things I was going to have to make clear with my boss/partner until what point as I could get paid.

Actually getting paid releives stress cause then I don’t have financial troubles adding to my stress, I simply cannot handle the stress of financial problems AND work problems at the same time, so I wrote Harold an email expressing my concerns, here is the contents of that letter:

Dear Harold,

I am writing you this in e-mail because I find many things easier to handle in written form then in conversation. There are things that I need to make clear in order for us to continue to have a decent working relationship. If I don’t make these things clear, I might seethe over them personally and hold resentment against you, and I do not wish that.< If I were to try to tell you these things over the phone or in person, I would most likely, as I have done in the past, clam up and not tell them to you and blow off the conversation with some relatively insignificant quarrel to avoid the real issues.

I feel that these items are necessary in order for us to continue working together, so here they are. Please remember that these are not meant to be spiteful or angry although reading some of them they may appear that way, that was not my intention.

  1. First and foremost, I cannot work for Metrotime Business Systems. I know this sounds odd after my previous statement in the opening paragraphs about continuing to work together but let me explain. I cannot continue to work for Metrotime Business Systems as a consultant. I cannot take any future jobs you throw my way from your telephone clients who need computer work and here is why.
    • Computers and the Internet are not like your telephone business. I cannot guarantee them and continually answer absolutely everyone’s questions whenever something goes wrong with them for nothing as part of a “warranty”. Think of it from this perspective:
      • If one of your customers were to pick up one of the phones you sold them and throw it against the wall, would you cover that under your “warranty”? No of course not.
      • Computers are very easily broken. “OOps I deleted windows, well Harold said Nick would stand behind what he did on this computer so I’ll force him to come fix it for nothing” That’s not fair.
    • I cannot provide 24/7 tech support to people who call wanting help. I can’t deal with you and them calling me 6 times in the morning because of lack of patience. I’m not a 24 hour help line, If I don’t answer the phone I have a darn good reason for it and I always return the calls. This leads into my next main point but I need to finish this one.
    • I will continue to the existing customers, but please. I’ve said this before and I’m tired of saying it. NO NEW CONSULTING ISSUES!!! I don’t work for metrotime, I don’t even work for Full Service, Full Service is a joint venture. I work for PortalKeeper, and as part of portalkeeper’s responsibilities include working with (WITH, not FOR) Full Service.
  2. Second, concerning the phone calls, I have a number of sub-points on them.
    1. First and foremost I am forwarding a request from my father. He does not want you calling the house anymore. You already call my Cell phone more then enough, if I don’t answer that, don’t call the house too.
    2. Second concerning calls in general. If I don’t answer the first time, don’t keep calling back. I return my calls. In fact the only time when I’m reluctant to return calls is when someone calls over and over again, that ticks me off
    3. Also, I have obsessively large phone bills as you know, sometimes I may not return your call as a call. If I don’t think it justifies a call back I’ll just catch you at the office or online.
    4. Also, yes, I do screen calls, but it is for the same reason. I don’t generally screen calls from the office, but I do often let calls roll to voicemail just because I don’t want to end up talking for an hour on the phone and chewing up my minutes so that I get a Huge phone bill. I don’t get paid, I can’t afford to have an office related phone bill as if I do.
    5. Quite frankly I don’t LIKE talking on the phone in general, you should know this by now.
    6. Finally, this could almost be another point but it’s related to both this point and the first point. Since (1) I don’t work for Metrotime Business Systems, and (2) I don’t like talking on the phone, and (3) I hate dealing with sales in either direction. When I am at the office, I’m not answering the phone there, unless you are going to a job site and need to reach me back at the office in which case I will, but unless we talk about it before you leave, I’m not answering the office phone at all. You can transfer calls over to me, but I’m not answering “Metrotime this is Nick”, if I’m the only one in the office, the call is going to voicemail.
  3. This is looking like a list of demands but that’s not what it is, it is simply a list of things that are causing me a great deal of stress that I cannot handle. The next main point is time.
    • I am not a morning person, I thought we’ve been over this before. I don’t work in the morning unless it’s a really important task. So stop complaining about me not coming to the office until afternoon. It is the most economical way to handle my time.
      • If I don’t leave till after lunch that means I eat lunch at home where the food is provided for me and I don’t have to purchase it.
      • Also starting work after lunch means that I work after you leave. This in and of itself is a great deal helpful. When the
        office is empty I can work on server issues without distractions. It is simply the best time to work on background stuff.
      • Now, if I need to be at a billboard, I can probably handle this as long as it is not all the time, but not at 8 o’clock in the morning, 10:30 11:00 I can handle. But it’s got to be fore a good reason that I need to be working early, not just because you want me to work early.
    • Also, my stress levels have been ridiculously high lately, this list will help ease that stress but it will take time. What happened last Tuesday was a breakdown. It was frightening and I still haven’t recovered from it. The nerves in my body are shot. They need to slowly recover from the shock and stress, as such you’ll notice the last few weeks I haven’t been coming in every day, this is going to continue until I am in the mental and emotional state to handle working regularly. I do not know how long this will take, but many things I can work on just as easily from home as I can at the office.
    • I know these points seem odd to you but I think of it this way. When I came back from North Carolina I told you I did not want a percentage of this business, and the reason was because I KNEW that it was going to end up like this. That I was not going to be paid. As long as I’m not being paid for my hard work I can’t be expected to work harder, it’s just that simple. I don’t care about the “future rewards” because as long as you continue the way you are, I don’t even see there being any future rewards, which brings me to my next point.
  4. The way things are being handled, I do not see a future for Full Service Wireless. I told you it was going to take capital to get this thing off the ground, you told me you agreed and would get the capital, I didn’t think the ways you were going at getting capital were going to work and they didn’t. I continued to work for you but I find this entire situation pathetic. Listen, I was in a better situation in JULY at Western Carolina Wireless financially then we are NOW with Full Service. And as you may recall WCW shut down in July! WCW had equipment to install users if there were users in range to hook up, FSW DOES NOT! FSW has just enough equipment to setup 1 billboard and the church as repeaters, it does not have ANY client equipment. Unless FSW gets a surge of CAPITAL, not “here let’s install a customer and get his money up front” but CAPITAL, it’s going TANK, and I’m going to be left with all my hard work with no pay for nothing, and you are going to be left without the money you did put out. Get a Loan, Get a Grant, Get Investors, just whatever you do, get capital, or we are both going to be looking for jobs REAL soon.
  5. I had other points but this letter is not looking as calm and collected as I had hoped so I’m going to stop now and let you mull over these points. Remember, I do not mean for these things to be spiteful or anything, on the contrary I see them as issues that can be resolved so that we can continue to work together in a good working environment.

    Nicholas Moline

This letter was sent Monday night, about an hour before I posted my Grand Theft of Cow blog entry.  Tuesday morning I was “graced” with the following in my inbox:

Nick, again you are right we need to do things differently. But having a meeting over the internet is not one of them. Go back to WCW with my blessing. Reading your dismay indicates you need a change. Please don’t go any further than you have with full service wireless, to protect both your health and peace of mind. Thanks for the advice on how to run a business, I appreciate your sincerity. I do not wish, however to wager financially, that you are mentally or physically able to continue your part of this joint venture.

With regard to working hours. I must work during the day and conduct business during the day. I must confer with my joint venture during the day. I can not, as you wish, wait until you decide to return a phone call to continue the day.

Time goes on Nick with or without you and I, we are just not that important in the world today. I don’t think any more needs to be said other than you return to me what is mine and I return to you what is yours and God bless you.

O yea tell your father I will honor his request not to call his house anymore, and that I apologize for the calls to his home that prompted the request in the first place.

I will not comment on anything else you wrote I just don’t care for that type of back and forth.

He sent it at 8:31 in the morning, by the time I got online to read it, he had already been to the Southwestern District Office of the C&MA who own the building and had them change the locks on the office door. It would seem Harold is holding my few personal belongings at the office hostage for whatever it is he thinks I owe him.

Anyway I’ve contacted Daniel at the Metadot Corporation and scheduled an appointment to meet with him down in Austin on Friday morning. Perhaps there will be a job opportunity through that, perhaps not, but it never hurts to network. It will mean I will miss the Artemis mission this week but it will be for a good reason.

I’m also looking at possible employment opportunities in Tennessee near where my Imzadi lives. If I’m going to move for a job, it may as well be as close as possible to the one who makes me happy.

As for why I’ve been up all night, well there is a server in Harold’s office that is still running some sites for clients of mine, I’m doing what I can to get ALL of those sites off once and for all so that he cannot hold those over my head or do something foolish like pull the plug on them. As such I’ve been trying to get them done before he gets to work today so that he won’t even have the opportunity to pull the plug before I’ve retrieved them all.

That should just about do it for this rather long blog entry.. Of course the blog wouldn’t be quite so long without my letter but I felt to give a complete record of what happened I should keep the letter here in my journal for future reference.