quentincoyote: (Bala blink)
[personal profile] quentincoyote
"...it was that very act of chanting it, in which grace and eventual nihil would be attained..."

***

So now here, we continue with the part about me trying to find work, and generally make my move permanent. I find it a bit difficult to start writing this section again because, after the catharsis of the last two entries, I do have to go to a dark headspace again to get it all out. After the initial honeymoon period, things actually did get pretty bad again for a little while. But, that's not where I am now! I'm in a good place.. So, if I can ask you to bear with me through some more pain for just a little while longer, I promise that this story does have a happy ending.

...as The Last Unicorn comes rising into my mind, to insistently remind me of what I already know, "There are no happy endings... because nothing ever ends!"

Shhhshhh! Quiet, you! I know that, I'm just trying to tell a story here. And the Story, and the Telling of it, is Everything. This one, at long last again, is a good one.

So, let's get back down into the shit again for it for awhile, shall we?

***

So... after a several long month euphoria of my being in The Bay finally starts to settle down, I do start to get serious again, and I am acutely aware that I am on borrowed time. Maybe a fair amount of time, even, but, certainly not forever. The money that I have left saved up is a finite resource, and it is slowly, slowly draining away... I figure that, at my current rate of expenditure, I maybe have about two years of runway in front of me, before I am absolutely and completely fucking broke, with nothing but the clothes on my back, my roomful or so of possessions, and all alone, with very few people that I know well enough that I think I could truly count on, in a dire emergency. Maybe that still sounds like a lot of time, but.. I lived through 9/11 in NYC, having recently lost my job at the time shortly before it, and, it took me more than a year of searching to find my next one there after that. Special extenuating circumstances, to be sure. But, that year, and my slowly mounting debt, really did put the terror of long-term unemployment into me. So, now I needed to get up off my ass, get a job, and my own place.

And besides, as regards to my friends that I was staying with, they have their own problems to deal with anyway, I don't need to be an extra intransigent burden to them, that is not who I am... (Remember, my whole sense of Self, and my Story, is still very fragile at this point. The couch-living bum-friend is just absolutely not something that I could tolerate to be. That would have been just yet another poisonous appendation to the whole "How are you / who are you? - boyfriend left / mom died / old washed up has-been / don't know who I am anymore / but now I'm that friend that lives on the couch" thing...)

It is not enough to just simply be here. The whole, holistic thing must be fixed. I am a strong, independent Coyote, and I must be self-sufficient. I must have my own place. And besides, I fucking miss Benny, who has been away from me now for three or four months, longer than we've ever been apart in our lives, ever since I found him in a tree in Queens back in 2004. If for nothing else at all, I need to get my own place, that allows pets, just so that I can get him back, I need him for my own sanity as well, besides just having my own place to call Mine.

My current (at this moment) housing situation aside, I have dealt with and had very bad experiences with private landlords before, and so decided that I very much prefer the corporate ones, who just want my check, will allow me my pet for an extra $50 bucks, will actually get things fixed when they need to be, and will otherwise leave me the ever living fuck alone about what I do within my own walls, or when, or with whom. So, after a couple of weeks of very thorough searching of various sites around the bay, I found and rented for myself a pretty nice one-bedroom apartment, in an Avalon complex in Union City. (There seemed to be a poetic symmetry there - my last, previous apartment was in an Avalon complex in Union City NJ!) Anyway, it was very nice, there was a swimming pool, and I even had my own little quiet private balcony on the top floor, overlooking the inner courtyard. Not the cheapest situation, to be sure. But, still more affordable than some other not nearly as nice places, in other parts of the bay. And yes, it would be shortening my above mentioned runway a bit more.. But again, we are fighting for the Healed Whole. I cannot be Alone, so physically and mentally, and be in squalor. We have to pick and choose our battles, and claim little victories along the way, progress inch by inch. It was a bit of a gamble, but for better or worse, I chose to claim that one. And now, also thanks to this, I was about to get Benny back with me.

***

For the last ten years, Benny had been my Familiar. My Golden Compass animal soul. The story of how I found him... how we found each other, for truly in fact, he called to me... Is chronicled here, here, and here.

 photo benny.jpg
Benny comes home in Queens

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Benny in a box! Held by my friend Satunian.

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Bath time!

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I mean, some of you guys like shaved pussy...>.>

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What better place than here, from which to lick your head constantly non stop for hours, when you sit here?

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Ah, I see the family resemblance!

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A boy and his cat.


Benny was literally a piece of me. I have had pets before, and loved them very much, but I've never had a bond with an animal like that before. He followed me everywhere, everywhere I went, always. He never wanted to not be in my arms, being held by me. He rode around on my shoulders on command. In fact, it was him doing that when we first met, on his own initiation, that his how he claimed me and melted my heart forever, in the first place. He loved belly rubs. What other cat tolerates, much less loves, belly rubs?! He played fetch! By this I mean, I had a little rubber super ball I got for him; I would throw it, he would tear off scrambling away after it, catch it, bring it back to me, drop it right at my feet, and start MEOW MEOW MEOWING at me, until I threw it for him again! I've got a cat that fucking plays fetch! How amazing is that?! :) And, I remember his little triple hop-jump, that he would always do from the floor, to my knee, up to my chest, and plant his forehead right under my chin, give a little *huff*, and start nuzzling me and purring forever. That little jump like a fingerprint, a signature unique to him, always identical every day for 10 years. I still feel it like a muscle memory sometimes, when I sit down in my chair...

***

So, I've got my apartment now, I drive back up through the redwoods to Eureka one day, and go to retrieve Benny. Strangely, he doesn't come to me right away when I get there.. [huh, that's odd..] and I have to chase him around a little bit to pick him up, like he's not aware of me or something. But, after a moment when I finally have him in my arms, it's like... this whole wave just comes over his body, he completely relaxes, and he's nuzzling and purring so hard again into my neck, it's like we'd never left at all.

I bring him back home to Union City. Awesome! Home, get. Cat, get. Bay, get! Time now to look for a new job.

...

This is very hard, apparently.

So... I don't know if you've ever watched the HBO show, "Silicon Valley". But, it is absolutely 100 percent accurate to how a lot of living in the bay as a tech person is like, with very little extra caricature for humor even needed. I'm sure that that show practically wrote itself. In fact, a number of my friends here had a very difficult time watching it, for just how painfully true to life it was for them. It's kind of fucking hilarious. But, here's the thing.. It's all very true to life - if you're from Linux land. And, I am not from Linux land, I am from Windows land. I'm sure that there are Linux jobs all around in other parts of the country. (I wouldn't know, I didn't have to, look.) On the east coast and elsewhere, There's Windows jobs practically falling into your lap all over the place. But out here, in this very weird little bizarro reality bubble, that script is flipped, and there's some Windows jobs, but otherwise, it's Linux Linux Linux all over the place! And programming, specifically. Whereas, I'm more of a scripting, and sysadmin sort of guy.

And also, in kind of a particular thing, called "Application Packaging". Basically, you know how when, you install a piece of software, and it goes, Hi! I'm such and such program! Where do you want me, what options do you want, etc? So, somewhere at the company that made that piece of software, there lives an Application Packager who put that thing together for you, making sure that all the files and registry entries get where they need to go, and mix and matching all the features, depending upon what input you give it there. In larger corporations, which ingest many different types of software, and have thousands of users for whom this all needs to get installed to, there also lives a kind of equal but opposite Application Packager. Those Packagers will pick these things all apart again, massage them to the specs of what the corporation actually wants, rather than to the many assumptions often imposed by the original packager, and send them out automatically over the network to all the users, so that all they notice is "Oh hey! I've suddenly got a new icon! Cool!"

There is a lot of finesse and art to this, as every single package from a different source is kind of like it's own little puzzle box, that you have to tease apart, and figure out all of it's own little tricks and idiosyncrasies. It was the latter type of Application Packager that I was in NYC. And, it did very very well for me. I was making over 100K a year, and that's not even counting my yearly bonus, stock options, benefits, etc.

Now.. for the Bay, in many circles, that kind of range could maybe be considered average.. Those sorts of Linux people that I mentioned can command far, far more. Way out of my league. And, there did not seem to be nearly as many of my sorts of jobs out here, as there were back east, anyway. Plus... Though I had gotten very good at what I do, it is a fact that... My company hadn't really changed how we'd done things for the entire seven or eight years that I was there, and, there was a good deal of technology that had moved on, and I had not yet.. For the simple fact, and it's not a great one, that I had not been forced to.

Now. I am very, very good, if I have a need, of taking some new thing that I don't know and have never seen before, reading its manuals, playing with it, figuring it out, and pretty quickly gaining a usefully functional mastery of it.

For example: One day during this early time at the new Union City apartment, I landed an interview with Dell, to become basically the technical lead of their whole global imaging unit. (Dell! That would be amazing. That would totally be the kind of Bay Area job that I would love, and would suit me! :D) As it turned out though, they wanted someone who did not only Application Packaging, but, also MDT (Microsoft Deployment Toolkit), which, basically does what I do with applications, except it does it for the whole Windows operating system. Need 20 or 200 or 2000 new computers, fresh from the factory, to get all loaded up with Windows and ready to go? This is the tool that's going to do it for you. But, I didn't know MDT at all. I'd never used it, never seen it. I'd never had to. That was some other guy's job, in my old company.

Now, fast forward to later on here, when I did finally land the job that I have now. When I first got there, one of the things they asked me was, what can I do to help them with imaging their new computers? They were still using Imagex, a very old and outdated disk sector cloning program, or else, just installing them all by hand. So I said to them... "Well, have you heard about MDT? It's really all the rage these days for this kind of thing, don't you know?"

So I sat down, downloaded the software myself, read all the manuals and various help blogs I could find. And, within less than two months, I went from knowing absolutely nothing about it, to standing up two servers for it, had the whole thing running from soup to nuts, at both our east and west coast offices. And we could blast out a hundred new machines in less than an hour with this, just as easily as we could a single one, no matter the make or model. Just choose a page or two of options I set up, push the button, and less than an hour later, they'd all be fully installed and configured, joined to the network, and ready to hand right over to the users. The company loved what I did so much, that they then asked me to demo it and build the same thing for one of their subsidiaries that they owned.

While I was there doing that, I soon noticed that, hey, why the hell are we never getting windows patches on our machines, what is up with that? And they, like, had no clue. I did some poking around, and discovered that someone, way back in the day had sort of set up WSUS patching server, way back in their XP days, left it on autopilot, and never looked at it since. It wasn't even collecting Windows 7 patches at all, much less anything else, and that person was long gone. Same thing with Group Policy. Who maintains it? Why is it doing this and this, not that and that? "Uhhhhh... We don't know!" Ok, so I'd never touched any of those things either, but, I then read those manuals, pretty much redesigned all of that shit for them from the ground up, and now I'm the person that knows the most about it in the company, and anytime someone has a question about it or needs help to do something with it, they come to me.

Because that's who the fuck I am.

But, I am getting a little ahead of myself here...

***

But... Learning new things like that *does* take time and effort. And back when I was job hunting, I kept on running into all kinds of new things that I'd never heard of or used before, that the jobs simply had to have. Never quite found just the pure same niche as what I'd been in before. But hey, you know, that's ok, I'm adaptable, and I can learn, obviously. But, there's so much, that it was hard to know *which* particular new thing to focus on first, and try to learn. And very nerve wracking, when you're still feeling the time counting down, and your money going away, and you're trying to look for work, and also trying to teach yourself new things, and still not drive yourself crazy by staying alone in your own apartment the whole time. But, every time you *do* go out and do something, that is more money that you're spending, and, well shit, you just got this new call for a new interview tomorrow, and you've made *some* progress on the new thing you're trying to learn that they want, but, you're not quite there *yet*, and you're fucking hyperventilating panicking about what are they going to ask you, will it be *this* will it be *that*, which should you study? And whoops, you didn't get it, cause they did find something to ask that you didn't learn yet, and wasn't that a completely embarrassing and humiliating call, and don't you *totally* want to do another one again somewhere else a couple of days from now? Well, that's geat! Cause, you're going to have to, only this time, it's going to be about some completely different other thing that you've not quite halfway really learned yet, so better drop what you were doing with this first thing, and switch to that one instead right quick, eh?!

Fuck!

It's demoralizing. It's humiliating. And it really starts eating back all over again at the story of "How are you doing, who are you?" I mean, there were some days and weeks where I literally never left my apartment, because, first of all, doing so is spending money, and second, during the day, I would look for work. That was my "Job" Then in the evening, I would put that aside, and turn to studying new tech. Nervous, not just about figuring it out, but, also am I even studying the *right* tech, and that flip flops from day to day based on some new job interview dangled in front of my nose, that often doesn't even materialize anyway..

Oh yeah, did you fucking know that there are also JOB SEEKING SCAMS now??? Like, right up there with Nigerian Prince, who will give you millions of dollars, if you will only give him a thousand right now so he can fix his bank shit. Right up with "Hi I'm from 'Windows Tech Support', the internet has told us you have a virus, so here please install this actual virus from us right now, so that we can help ourselves to all your shit."

Along with those, there is now also the job seeking scam, where some guy named Bob or Joe from India (spoilers, preeeeeety sure their names are not Bob or Joe, but much more likely something like Ramananthapanthabanannafannafofansakaalimassishkadoodldeefjalskdfjalskdjflaskdjf*&%$. Sorry if that's racist, but no seriously FUCK those guys that do this..) So they'll have found a (possibly even real, somewhere) job in the Bay Area, and will purport to be a recruiting agency for them, trying to fill it. But as it turns out, all they really want is for you to give them your social security number, and various other bits of information like that, and, they are so so sorry, but they just cannot forward you as a candidate to the job in question, until you give them those things. At least, this is eventually what you glean, through all the horribly mangled broken english, that no self respecting tech company would actually ever allow to represent them if they were trying to find *competency*. Eventually, you can sniff these guys out right away, but at first I was just completely... SHOCKED that this was actually a fucking thing. Man... I'm just trying to find a fucking job. I just want to job, so that I can survive, so that I can live, so that I can rebuild my life. And I have to deal with all of that above stuff making it as hard as it already is, and now on top of it, I have to watch out for these vultures circling the pit on top of everything else.

"How am I doing?"

Well, you moved here, and that's great, but, your boyfrie- "You know what, fuck that guy, that's SOO old news now, whatever." Yeah ok well fine, but your MOM died... "... *head desks, sobbing...*" ...and you're here, all by yourself.

And you can't find a job. You're a failure, you can't actually hack it, not here, not with these people. In fact, in a way, you're only actually here *because* your mom died, if you think about it. And, you're all alone... Ok, sure.. you're kinda starting to make some new friends a little bit. When you do actually leave your apartment.. But, they're new.. delicate. Superficial, if maybe only just for now. None of them really know you. And, how are they going to get to? What are you going to tell them about who you are... Cause, see THIS *waves at these things*? This is what you got right now to try to do that with. And this is a FUCKING shit show...


***

I hate talking about myself. When the fuck, how the fuck did that happen? It's like I don't even know how to anymore...

"Hi, my name is Quentin... But enough about me! How are you, what's your story???" *sweat beading on my forehead...*

At least I have Benny...

***

So that's all going on. There was a reprieve for a little while, when my old company back east called me and said, essentially, hey man, we really miss you and need you, do you possibly think that we could bring you back on as a consultant, and you can totally do what you were doing for us before, remotely right from your own apartment there?

Uhmm.. DAMN RIGHT I CAN, SIGN ME UP!

So... that happened.. and.. it was good.. Stopped the bleeding of money, certainly, and, for being a Consultant, I was actually making *even more* money than I ever had in my life before..

BUT..! It is not a tenable solution. First of all, for being a consultant instead of an employee, it can end at any moment (spoilers, it did a few months later, when the company got bought out by a different one, and they immediately fired all of the consultants. And, incidentally by the way, when they did get bought, their stock suddenly skyrocketed through the roof. All of my stock that I had from my eight years of working there had never been worth anything, cause the price had always gone lower after I'd received it. When I'd left the company, rather than paying out of pocket to keep it, I relinquished it. But now... Through the roof. If I had stayed just one year longer as an actual employee and been able to keep it.. I would now have a couple hundred thousand more dollars, which I do not, at all.) *sucks teeth* But anyway...

As I was saying.. it is not a tenable solution. It can end at any moment. And.. It is still making me stay in my apartment all day. (Working from home sounds great, on paper. And it is, if you only do it a day or two. It's kinda shit though, I think, on a permanent basis.) And, it is of.. "Over There", it is not of "Over Here". It is retro. Looking back to the past. Not moving forward into the future.

So now, I was staying in my apartment all day. Doing a real job. At the same time, trying to look for new work. At the same time, trying to study and learn new things. At the same time, trying to have a social life. Let's not talk about me, let's talk about you.

Meanwhile, Benny has started doing this strange thing lately, where he.. basically keeps circling the whole entirety of the apartment in a slow walk, keeping close to the walls. He does this more or less continually, so there there is a like clockwork intoning of "boiyoiyoinnngg!" as he hits and flips back those little springy door stops things that are at the base of a couple of the doors. Also, he is starting to make a habit of going right up to, but not quite going in the litter box to do his business. Cleaning up his mess is becoming a thing that I have to do now at least several times a week. He never used to have to do this before. I am already frustrated and depressed, and this is just yet another thing that I'm hating to have to deal with. But, I love him to death, and I figure, maybe it is all just the trauma of the move across the country, and being away from me with those strangers for so long..

My previously mentioned new local three-month boyfriend one day suggests, "..is he blind?"

*heartstop*

Blind.. is he? That might make sense... That would explain why he keeps on running into those door stoppers, and even pacing the wall at all. He's trying to understand where he is.. And that would explain why he keeps on missing the litter box now. And.. why he didn't seem to recognize me at all when I picked him back up in Eureka, until I actually held him. I look at and take close notice now of his eyes, very carefully. His pupils are actually dilated like huge round saucers... not at all like the vertical slits you'd expect from normal cat eyes. Blind..? Yes, maybe.. But, how? When? Why?

He was jumping up on the dining room table at my Dad's place before we left there six months ago, and that was a new place to him, and he didn't seem to have any trouble getting around then.. Come to think of it though.. He was missing the litter box every now and again, after we landed in South City..

I take him to this veterinarian a few blocks away from my apartment. The vet that I am assigned is named.. Jill or Jen, or something. I instantly don't like her. She is obsequious as hell, fake and phony, and she speaks in this word salad that uses a lot of big sounding words, but is often kind of grammatically fucked, and does't really actually mean anything. A kinder, gentler Sarah Palin. But I'm here, so let's do this. I tell her my concerns. She says ok, well we're going to take his eyeball pressure and blah blah something...

I say blah blah blah, not because that's the word salad part. I say it because, she puts this tool of some sort, that actually is in fact designed to take a pet's eyeball pressure, puts it right up against each eye, looks at whatever readout it tells her, and pronounces "Nope, it's ok, he's totally fine!"

And I now know, later, that is is VERY MUCH NOT FUCKING FINE. IT IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FUCKING FINE IN THE SLIGHTEST, AND IT IS EVEN WAY WORSE THAN THAT!!! And we are right back very much now to the territory of medical fucking INCOMPETENCE, which happened with my mom, and the other half of THAT story, which I did NOT fucking tell, because of the absolute sheer fucking horror of it, and because I did not want for that to be the story that I told of my mom...

But here we are all over again, and this fucking bitch says that Benny is fine. What do I know? She's the expert right? Listen to your goddamned feelings more often, Coyote... But, still I take him home, somewhat relieved... After, that is, they have made me wait in the office for fully an additional half hour, for some reason, for the discharge paperwork, and meanwhile Benny, unhappy and wailing about being here in his cat bag for so long, has shit himself with diarrhea...

I take him home, clean him up, and nuzzle with him on the couch for the rest of the night.

***

So that's a thing. I'm still looking for new work, but, actually working, and, Benny is supposedly ok.

Then all of a sudden, a possible breakthrough occurs. I have been in touch with a friend here (since then moved away), who works at this awesome local internet tech company, with like, a bazillion other furries. No really, I've lost count at this point, but, I think it's really seriously something like forty other furries that work there right now. And it's high tech for real Silicon Valley type stuff. This would be an amazing dream job place for me to work at! And, as it turns out, they just so happen to need.. an Application Packager...

Now, the thing is, what they need is a Linux Application Packager, not per se a Windows Application Packager. And, in fact, they say to me, upon looking at my resume, that if they were remotely in that space, then they would pretty much hire me on the spot. But still, what they are really looking for, are people that can think and work in a certain way, and so, they are willing to give me a shot. They will give me a few weeks to see what I can learn on my own, and then they will test me. My one friend there that put me on to this give me a book on Python, a scripting/programming language that is commonly used in Linux.

Have I mentioned that I have never touched a bit of Python in my life? I think that I had not even heard of it before then, actually. I certainly had never done any Linux. I sort of maybe remembered a bit how to navigate the shell in Unix, from 20 years ago in the Rutgers student computer lab, when all I really did with it was browse Usenet.

So, the next day, after reading up on some things online, I've got a Red Hat distribution of Linux that I downloaded, running in a virtual machine on my laptop, and I'm starting to read the Python book...

And, it's going pretty well. It's making a lot of sense, nothing incomprehensible, I'm kinda flying through it. My friend had set a task for me. Write a program that plays Blackjack, incorporating a data structure to represent a single standard 52 card deck that we're all used to. And.. I fucking did it! And you could have as many players as you wanted, and it kept track of your winnings over multiple games, and everything. I fucking did it!

All of this meanwhile, while still actually doing my "real" job, remote to my old company. And yes, really doing it, not slacking off. I proceeded further along in the book... At some point, the book started using the example of programatically manipulating the ID4 tags of MP3 files. (The files that contain the metadata of the songs - Title, Artist, Genre, etc. like that.) The problem was... that apparently, at some point in time between now and back when this book was actually published.. it seems that the standard structure of ID4 tags in the world had changed, and so, the examples in the book no longer worked, because the assumptions that they were coded to were no longer true... Now the thing about me and learning this kind of stuff is, I need to see a working example. I need to actually go through it, and watch what it's doing, and see the actual success condition in action. That's how I learn. And, that wasn't working for me here anymore, with this book. I still had about a week and a half or so, until I was going to be tested by the company. I decided to go out looking for help from, where else, the local furry community that I was meeting and trying to become a part of.

I had seen, through one of the area mailing lists, that there was actually a local Python study group, which had been formed and was run by this one guy out here. He was even, at the time, the boyfriend of this girl that was friends with my three-month-boyfriend. So, basically right in the middle of these new social groups that I was trying to become a part of. "Great!" I thought. I will ask to join his group, and try to get some help and advice from him on these parts where I'm getting stuck. I found his messaging handle, started up a chat with him, introduced myself, told him I was a new guy that had just moved to the area, and that I would very much like to learn at his feet, please. And then he asked me, "So, why is it that you're interested in learning Python in the first place?"

And me, amazingly still being somewhat bright-eyed and bushy tailed, not quite having the last little bit of naivete and trust burnt out of me yet, said to him... "Oh! Well, I've got this job interview coming up with [Such-and-Such], and they know I come from Windows land, but they're giving me three weeks to learn as much Python as I can, and see how I do. Can you help me please? :)"

And his response was: "Oh... [Such-and-Such is] hiring? Interesting..."

... A cold pit forms in my stomach, amid the vague further statements of uhhh yeaaaah suurrree come by sometime, etc...

So that goes nowhere, and I try to brush it off in my mind. I keep on studying on my own, and I eventually get over most of the problems I was having, but my momentum's a little rattled. Finally, I do in fact have the interview and the test. It's a bit difficult and nerve wracking, especially because there's two people completely watching me and everything I'm typing into my program, as I'm writing it for them and testing it. But, still I do decently ok, and again, this is with *never having done this before* until the three weeks prior, and I feel like if I was immersed in it full time, I would have no problem excelling at it pretty quickly. I thank everyone there for their time, they do the same for me, and I home to await hearing the results.

A week or two goes by. Finally, I am told that, though I was a little rough, yes they were impressed by what I did starting from nothing like that. They are considering their options however.. At the moment, the choice is between me, and... one other person.

One other person, who suddenly appeared for an interview...

...I don't know who it is.. my friend that works there won't tell me. But, yes I do.. I know exactly who it fucking is.. A few more days go by, and they tell me the bad news. Thanks for trying, but in the end, they went with the other guy, who had more experience. I dig and dig and dig with my friend, until he tells me. Yes... It absolutely is that other guy. The guy that I asked for help. The guy that didn't even fucking know there was a job to interview for, until I asked him for help on it. And he just helped himself right to it, instead.

I am in a nest of vipers...

I have moved myself all the way across the country, away from everything and everyone that I've ever known, and I'm all alone here, my mom is dead, I have few friends, and the new people that I have been trying to become a part of just stabbed me in the fucking back. I am seriously in shock and panic. I have been told by people that, a major difference from the West and East Coast is, on the East Coast, people will be very direct with you. You will always know where you stand with them, good or bad. On the West Coast though, they tend to not like confrontation, so they can be all smiles up front, but it may be phony, and they'll just undermine you in the dark, when they think they can. Maybe this was part of that. Maybe, what, I don't know... maybe everyone that I have met out here so far to this point is this way. Maybe none of them are really my friends...

So go my thoughts, at that time... I am very thankful, now, to be able to look back and see that this is not at all the case... But, that one guy.. almost completely destroyed the whole idea of the Bay for me.

To You who did that. You may never read this. But, I don't really give a fuck, even if you do. You are a piece of shit. It doesn't matter if you were more qualified than me or not. You almost certainly were, that isn't the point. I had a shot. And I really needed it. And I came to you for *help*. You didn't even know that job was there, if not for me. But you sure knew I was going for it, through asking for your help. And you just took it for yourself instead, and never even looked back. You have never once apologized to me. Acknowledged what you did, at all. I hate your fucking stupid doughy face. And I am so fucking sick of, in the few times here and there that I am still forced to be in your proximity, going, "Heyyyyy.. heheheeyyyyyy, buddy, how's it going? *awkward side hug*" which I had felt forced to do for awhile, not feeling like I knew which end was up with anyone anymore, for a good long while after that. You almost ruined the whole very idea of the Bay for me. Fuck you.

At least I can say, no matter what, that you will always be You. And that, is the worst possible insult I can think of.

***

[We'll end part 3 here. I must talk about Benny next. I want to be done writing the bad stuff now, but, I cannot just gloss over him.]

Date: 2016-12-18 12:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ferdiaferlin.livejournal.com
This is certainly an excellent example of why I miss LJ. I am glad to know there is a happy ending.

I love the pictures of Benny. I had a Benjamin with similar coloration who passed away two years ago. I am still having a hard time. Miss him horribly. I am going to have a hard time reading about your Benny as I am sure you will have a hard time writing, but I hope it will be cathartic.

Date: 2016-12-18 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jarrellwoods.livejournal.com
Whenever I think of you, even now, I think of you and Benny as one. There is something quite wonderful there.

Date: 2016-12-20 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hastka.livejournal.com
Your experience pretty much mirrors what I experienced during occasional visits to the bay area. With rare exceptions, the white collar types there seem to not even acknowledge your existence unless they need to step on you for some purpose. It's like some kind of diabolical competition about who cares the least about the rest of the people in the world, and jerking people around is of course a great way to show your apathy for fellow man.

That said, I found NYC to be even worse, not just the open back-stabbery and arrogance among everyday people, but additionally the perpetual rudeness and the occasional visitation of old-money rich people and pretentious wannabes who are even an order of magnitude worse than that. So maybe we'd see the experience through different frames of reference. :)

I think LA may be a bit more "fakey" as you describe, but I wasn't too bothered by it, maybe due to the shorter period of time I was there, or maybe because the midwest is also sort of "polite" which is a bit like being fake. Granted I was usually more around Calabasas or Burbank or Orange County somewhere, so it wasn't "LA" per se.

Anyway, enough of that... I'm enjoying the fill-in on everything!

Date: 2016-12-23 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lupine52.livejournal.com
I certainly feel for you Q after that read. You merely wanted to improve yourself and your body of work so you could land a good job and give yourself a better quality of life only to have the person you asked for guidance steal the position from you; worse this being another from the furry community, a community that many seem to believe that its members are all kumbaya to one another. Yeah I would be seething too.

I could actually see myself going just F** the furry community as a whole if that happened to me. I commend you for not completely disassociating yourself from the fur community as a whole due to the actions of the various unscrupulous individuals that you've met in your path of life.

I nearly made a similar mistake once, I told a fellow fur about where I worked and he too began working there as my opposite working the evening shift while I worked day shift. The company ran upon leaner times leaving less work for me to do and very easily the company could have chose to keep the other fur rather than me. I believe he quit before that could happen and I still consider him as a fur friend.

Looking forward to a part 4 when those clouds start to dissipate and good times start to peak over the horizon.

Date: 2017-01-01 06:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dexter-fox.livejournal.com
I'd be curious as to the identity of the back-stabber.

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Quentin Coyote

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