Sharing in the upside, burning on the inside

10:10 Got up late, so I took the 9:15 bus, which meant I had to stand the whole way. I had 213 emails when I got in. 1 from Michael. Someone parked in his space, so he had it towed.

10:12 The car was Rob's. He had to come in early early morning because the database was not behaving in a robust manner and he was service-paged. He just parked in the first spot. Stupid Rob.

11:02 Caffeine run. Kelly tried making a pot, but when the coffee maker started brewing the circuit breaker tripped and our machines went down. It's because we're double-upped, 2 per desk. I asked if we could move a few desks into admin last week, but Michael said no. I don't think Michael likes to be around his employees. At least not the freaks in production. I think it's because we scare him because we can actually put together a Web page but it's probably just because he doesn't like us.

12:23 Chatting with Luna over broadcast.

Carl: I think I have a crush on the counter person at Centro.

Luna: Have u told her?

Carl: No. What would we talk about?

Luna: Maybe she has a home page. And you could always talk about coffee.

Carl: I could tell her I like it full-bodied. ;-) Luna: If we weren't slingin' html, we'd be slingin' espresso.

13:20 I sneak a smoke and order a meatball sub for delivery. Michael comes through with some suits and sneers at the half-eaten lunch on my mouse pad. There was something stuck between his front teeth, but I didn't tell him. I don't think Michael has ever lunched with us.

13:48 I had asked for a split keyboard on account of my RSI, but the purchase request was denied. Brenda says we're still a startup, and that we have to do more with less. Michael has a split keyboard.

15:00 My demo for Michael of the new Web interface. He wants something to show to the board on Monday, even though we're not scheduled to ship for another 4 weeks. I said I could talk them through it, but he gave me this look. So I need to get it working by Monday. Oh. Here's Michael.

16:19 The demo went OK. I think. He knocked my Diet Coke over but didn't offer to help clean it up. He just walked away.

16:42 Got an e-mail from Michael. That's what I love about him -- he's not afraid to get down and dirty in the trenches.

To: Staff

From: Michael

Subject: Office Cleanliness

In the future, please keep your work area free from half-eaten food items, dirty cups and containers and the like. When individuals are given a tour of the office, we must present them with a mature, professional environment. Thank you for being sensitive to the Company's needs.

17:51 Keith's going-away party. Michael gave a speech. Usually, we find out someone's quit when they don't show up in the morning, but Keith's been here almost since day 1 so Michael gave a speech.

I think he meant to wish Keith well in his future pursuits and all that, but he ended up saying that anyone who works for him never has to worry, because they can always get another job in the industry. It's Michael's version of job security. He didn't come out and say that Keith should have paid him for the privilege of working here, but I think that's what he wanted to say. We're all getting rich, all right. It's just that Michael's getting rich in dollars, while the rest of us get rich in experience.

Everyone in our dept. pitched in and got Keith a gold watch band because he's "retired". We wanted to get him a gold watch, but we're just a bunch of 22-year-olds making $22K. I asked Keith what he was going to do, now that he's free. He said he plans to lie on his couch for a few weeks and detox from this place.

18:13 I had planned on going to the Mekons Show, but Michael sent me an e-mail and said I have to make all the square corners round by tomorrow morning. I asked him why it had to be done for tomorrow, but his reply just said "are you part time or full time?" So I gave my tix to Eric in sales. The sales people go home when it's still daylight. So does Michael.

23:40 It's only me, Kelly and Rob, who didn't have time to get his car out of the impound lot before it closed. Kelly asked Rob and me if we wanted to play marathon but Rob said no, so I said no, too. If I really crank, I can make the 1:00 bus.

1:05 Missed the last bus. I sure am glad Michael's promised everyone stock options when he takes the company public. (In Michael's words, I'll be able to share in the upside without having to take much risk on the downside.) I hope the demo doesn't crash and burn in the middle of Michael's demo to the board. That would be bad.

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