I just entered the headline above so that the “editors” at the Intergalactic Business Report would see something positive and stop reading any further, which I’m sure they did. I mean, actually “editing” anything might cut into their drinking time.
In case you give a damn, I’ve pretty much given up trying to be a writer. I feel really trapped right now. Like I’ve entered into something I can’t escape from. Friends have asked me, “Why don’t you just walk away? It’s not like they’re paying you anything. It’s not like you owe them money.”
And they’re right, except that every time I try to leave, one of the IBR “editors” shows up at my apartment and tells me how important I am to them and how they love working with me and then they ask to borrow money.
When I tell them to fuck off or leave my property, they start acting really weird, crying sometimes, and I’m like, “Are you seriously crying?” And then I look at them for a second and realize they can’t even fake cry. There are no tears. And the “crying” sound is so fake and bad it sounds like they’re either having sex or crapping their pants. But by that point everything’s so weird it just seems easier for me to stay.
I know. I know. That’s weak. I’m weak. But this is not even close to being a normal situation. I want to make my dad proud. And he bought me a column at the Intergalactic Business Report and I feel like I just need to power through and at least stick it out a little while longer.
Anyway, I may as well tell you about what I teased in the headline. The Intergalactic Business Report held a “retreat” for its staff and I made the mistake of attending. Here’s what went down:
1. It was in the woods (I won’t name the actual location, because I don’t want to sully the reputation of the park) and I’m guessing it was held there because it didn’t cost them any money.
2. Some guy was there and he was supposed to be a big time expert on teamwork and bonding and the reason I know he was a big time expert is because he constantly told us that. And then sometimes the IBR editors would step in and remind us too. They’d say stuff like, “Remember, we’re paying a lot of money for this guy.” But I know they weren’t. This guy was some friend of theirs and he totally sucked.
3. The “expert” gave us a speech about how working for free was like “freeing your life,” and how if you accept money for your work, then you’re ruining your work. He went on and on about that for like an hour. He was drunk. I could tell. Everyone could tell.
4. Then the IBR editors came out and made us clap for the guy. I have never wanted so much in my life not to clap for something or someone, but the IBR guys would clap and walk around the group and stare at you till you started doing it too. They did this for like ten fucking minutes. As if this guy had earned a ten minute standing ovation. Oh, and we were standing because there were no seats. The whole retreat was us standing in the woods for four hours.
5. One of the editors then took up a collection because he was going on a “beer run.” What a dick. I can’t even remember if he came back.
6. One of the new writers seemed really excited to be there and to work for free. They made him basically repeat what the expert guy had said. Then one of the editors came up with the metaphor of the writers “carrying” the publication and then how we all “carried” each other. That led to people jumping on my back and the IBR guys yelling at me to “carry” them places. I carried one guy like two miles into the woods and got lost. The guy jumped off my back and just ran. He was smart.
7. By the time I found my way back to the group, there was an illegal fire and a bunch of drunk people. One of the editors asked me if he could crash at my place for a few weeks. I said no. Needless to say, he’s living at my place now.
O.K. I’m ending this column, but I need to put something really super positive in the last paragraph because I’m pretty sure the editors will read that and think this is a piece on how fucking great they are. Sorry. I’ll write something more soon.
And by working for free, we can all free ourselves from the confines of money and greed. The Intergalactic Business Report has taught me that I’m at my most creative when I give up material things and just do what they need me to do. I’m part of something bigger than myself. Yea!
Till next time.
Smurfus McRathbone, Junior Columnist