If you haven’t read my column before, let me just get this out of the way—my dad bought it for me. Got it? Great. Now let’s move on. Also, another update. I think the IBR editors have stopped “editing” my columns and are letting me publish this without their oversight, which is not really an amazing development. It just means that they’re sleeping or drunk or busy stealing shit from my apartment again. So there’s a tradeoff.
Because it’s almost Christmas, I thought I’d tell you about the Intergalactic Business Report holiday party. Some of this may actually be used as a legal record or statement, or something like that. Anyway, the “party” was as bad as you’d think and left a lot of people in terrible life situations and trauma. Here’s what happened.
The IBR editors sent an email out to everyone saying thanks for a great year and how we were all building this fantastic brand together and that they were starting to see the first signs of success and on and on and on. Just to be clear to readers, I’m pretty sure the guys who run IBR do it out of a van and they owe everybody (and I mean everybody they’ve ever come in contact with in their entire lives) money. So when they send those emails out, I just stop reading and skip to the end, which is usually the part where they ask for money or a place to sleep or alcohol.
The end of this email was different. It said they were holding a huge holiday party this year and that we were all invited, all expenses paid. They said they’d finally secured funding for the magazine and were going to celebrate by recognizing our hard work. I was skeptical to say the least, but I showed up with all the other writers and staff at the car pool lot the editors said would be the “entry point” to our party. Everything was going to be a surprise and we were just told to pack a bag and wait. I know, I know. What was I thinking?
A bus pulled up and I was shocked to see the editors climb out. This was a nice bus. Like a luxury bus. And apparently it was going to take us to the party. The editors were all jacked up, like they were on something, but they were friendly and slapping everybody on the back and making weird noises and yelling about how we were going to “party all night” and “get fucked up.” Then one of them slapped me on the back super hard as I was getting on the bus. It was so hard it almost knocked me down and it was like he was so juiced he couldn’t stop himself from just randomly slapping people. I looked back at him and he had this crazy look, like he wasn’t there and some drugs or something had taken away his soul. That’s the only way I can describe it. I just quietly moved to the back of the bus and knew something was wrong.
We drove away on the bus and the editors started passing out beers. They’d brought two kegs on the bus, which was really cool, but they were already so sloppy wasted they were just pouring a lot of it on the ground and it was soaking the carpet. Then, of course, they all gave speeches about how great they were and how nobody believed in them and that they built this thing out of nothing and then they’d just kind of forget what they were saying and be silent for a while till one of them would scream something about getting fucked up or partying. That went on for like two hours.
The bus pulled up to the side of some resort and as we got out a bunch of waiters and waitresses were there to give us drinks. A hotel manager or something welcomed us and told us to head out to the “lodge” where we could continue the party.
The lodge was nice. It had a huge fireplace and a Christmas tree and the booze was flowing pretty hard. I started to think that maybe the editors were the geniuses they always said they were and that writers would even start getting paid soon, instead of working for free. I noticed the editors were gone and that the Christmas music had stopped playing. And the waitresses weren’t there. And then that all the doors to the room were shut. It was quiet. People stopped talking.
Then a bunch of guys in crappy suits walked in the room. One of them asked for our attention. He thanked us for being there and welcomed us again to the lodge. Then he started talking about timeshare opportunities and how each of us had to sit with one of his representatives before we left, just to “hear them out” and that there was no pressure, except that when I tried to get up and leave, one of them told me that if I didn’t “hear them out” I owed them four hundred dollars. I looked around for the editors. None of them was there. I looked outside. The bus was gone.
The head timeshare guy was super aggressive. I could hear him telling people that they were “fucking stupid” if they didn’t buy today and that he wasn’t going to let them walk out of there without taking the best opportunity they’d ever had in their lifetimes. Some of the younger guys signed up. I have no idea how. They maxed out credit cards or emptied their bank accounts. I asked to use the bathroom and was followed there by a creepy dude who waited outside. So I crawled through the window and landed in some snow. I made it to the road and was able to get an Uber to the next town.
What kills me most is that when I saw the editors the next day, they were all like, “How did you like the holiday party?” And I was like, “What the fuck is wrong with you guys? You drove us all to a timeshare pitch and left us there!” And he just said, “I drove you to a holiday party.” Then, as I was leaving, one of them approached me and was all angry. He said that he found out I hadn’t stayed to hear about the timeshare and that I owed them four hundred dollars.
I asked him about all the “funding” they’d secured. I asked if they were lying about finding investors. They got super angry at this and they told me they didn’t lie when it came to money. I started recalling all the times they had specifically lied to me about money and they just started waving their hands around and telling me to stop. Then I asked if the timeshare guys were the “funding” they were talking about. “So?” one of them said.
Then one of them tried slapping me on the back as if he were trying to be friendly but it was just weird and inappropriate. He said to not worry about the four hundred bucks and that he had something more important to discuss. He asked me if I could take out a second mortgage on my apartment and be a real investor in the Intergalactic Business Report. I told him I rented. He said, “So?” I asked him if he understood how mortgages worked. He nodded but I could tell he had no idea. Then he just said, “Well, at least think about it.”
So I decided to quit for good, till my dad called me and said he was so proud of me and loved my articles. That was a little confusing since all my articles are about how hellish my life has become since working at IBR. But still it was nice to have my dad be proud. He got really upset when I told him I was quitting, so I promised I’d do one more piece but then I’d be done. So, just in case the editors got back to “editing,” I’m going to end this with some fake shit I don’t mean.
The Intergalactic Business Report holiday party was amazing. And I feel so happy for my co-workers who were smart enough to take the opportunity to be part of the timeshare lifestyle. Let me know if you’d like any information on “the Lodge” or any other properties.
Till next time,
Like yoghurt, we keep it cultured actively.