This will be one of many posts to come about my experiences at SINC (Sweatshop-In-a-Night-Club). It actually was a nightclub that had been converted into an “Interactive Media” company. The disco-ball was still hanging from the ceiling, and the old bar served as the break room – and when I started, it was always stocked.
I took the full time job at SINC because the money was good, they were desperate for someone with .NET experience, and I needed out of Session 9
(the one-year job I had working at the Behavior Health division of a major HMO).
I spent almost two years at SINC – a pretty long stint for a guy like me. I worked like a galley slave, and had to fight a daily battle with narcissistic, egotistical “creative” types, and incompetent, lazy, sloppy “techy” types whose idea of Object Oriented Programming was Clipboard Inheritance (copy code to the clipboard, past it one or more times as needed in other classes, and repeat).
SINC had a bunch of dot-com characters straight out of central casting:
- Ms. Account Executive Whore
- SAASH (South-African-American Sexual Harasser)
- Cowboy With Tourette's
- La Terminatrix
- Baby Hughey
The place was a seething cesspool of outrageous drama, with people sleeping with each other, former employees stealing clients, staff getting fired on the spot, employees quitting in a huff and walking out, Friday-afternoon booze-filled poker games in conference rooms, constant gossip, outrageous deadlines, posturing, posing, fly-by-night coding, lies, dead rats, compulsive tossing of rubber objects, potlucks and catered lunches, too much work, not enough work, and above all, wanton overindulgence.
You get the picture. Maybe.
My nemesis at this place was Ms. Account Executive Whore. She was a self-important, insecure, highly unstable primadonna who ran around the place with a phone headpiece on, constantly talking, sometimes to two or three people at a time. Bitterly divorced with a young son that she was training to be a vegan, she was the epitome of an environmentally-sensitive, Republican-hating, finger-waging, progressive prig bitch.
If you didn’t put a soda can in the recycle-bin, she gave you the stink-eye, if not a lecture. Plus, she constantly changed her mind and lied about deliverables and deadlines, so it was impossible to figure out what the hell was going on with her projects.
And as I would find out later, she used to have sex with the SAASH, her boss, when they would go on business trips. Thus her moniker.
One day I got this insant message from scatterbrained Ms. Account Executive Whore:Ms. Account Executive Whore: I can't enter vagina
Everybody at SINC made heavy use of Instant Messaging. They used, actually abused, it for everything. Specs, bug tracking, QA, code -- everything was sent via IM. If you didn't respond to your IM, the sender would be at your desk ASAP. Most people carried on 3 or 4 IM chats at a time. Sometimes people would lose track of whom they were chatting with.
Of course, I passed a screenshot of this message around to the whole department, including the SAASH, with the subject line "Odd message from [Ms. Account Executive Whore]." Pretty soon the whole place was howling.
A minute later, Ms. Account Executive Whore came running into my cube.
"YOU ASSHOLE! Didn't you know [Cowboy With Tourette's] and I were testing the dirty world filter on that website?"
I flashed her a perma-smile, put my headphones on, and went back to work.