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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

What I Want

I know what I want now.

I know what I want to do with my life. I know it truly and passionately. Indefatigably even, if I may use so many syllables. I finally realized it this morning. I know what I want.

I want my own business. I want to work for myself.

I don't want to work for you. Or him. And I definitely don't want to work for her. Sorry, ladies, I've had three female bosses now and they all leave a lot to be desired. One of them used to leave the office mid-day and then would call me at 4:55 to make sure I was still there.


So, yeah, I figured it out: I want my own business.

I don't know what it is, nor do I care much about what it is. I don't know what I want to sell you, or what sort of service I want to provide, I don't know how to start it or what to call it, or where to open it, but I know I want it.

I want it bad.

You want to know why I want it bad?

Because, when I work for somebody else, I have to behave in the manner and tone that they have set for the operations of the business, and I'm tired of doing that. I'm tired of kissing the puckered, pimply ass of the ungrateful world, I'm tired of bending to everbody's will, including my employer, I'm tired of small-talk and going along to get along and I'm tired of politics and I'm tired of not being able to take my balls out and swing them around a little bit.

Yesterday, I was dealing with a guy, a sniveling, manipulative, unkind and obnoxious bastard of a guy that I just wanted to kick in the knee over and over and over again, until his patella turned to dust. Now, I realize that, even if I were the business owner I couldn't really do that, but, if I were the business owner, I could have told him to fuck off and never come back here, because that's my right as the business owner. My business, my property, I get to call the shots. Unfortunately, I work for a gentle-hearted 60-year-old woman who would faint or implode before she told someone to leave. Unfortunately, I had to do likewise. I had to stand there and eat shit and defend our business practices, and myself, in a passive-aggressive, sychophantic way that nauseated me so, disgusted me to the point that I found that I was hating myself even more than I was hating this incomparable prickball, and that made me sad.

And it made me want my own business.

My uncle has his own business. It's a failing men's clothing store that is stuck firmly in the year 1958. Yellow shorts with lobsters on them. Madras dress shirts that cost $179. Cashmere sweaters at the cost of a monthly car payment. That kind of thing. Whatever you want to say about my uncle and his general ineptitude as a businessman, he doesn't take shit from anybody. If someone comes in and makes a comment about how high his prices are, my uncle merely smiles and points to the door. And he's absolutely right. He shouldn't have to listen to that shit in his own store. Yes, his prices are high, and that's why I don't shop there. I can't afford it, even with the family discount, and I have no need for lobster shorts anyway. However, when you walk onto someone else's domain, you play by their rules, or you don't play: simple. If you decide that $179 is too much for a Madras shirt, then you walk out, you don't stand there and make comments or, worse yet, try to haggle.

When I worked as an optician a thousand years ago, my boss would not only bend over backwards for insipid, cheap customers, he would bend over backwards and lick his own taint for them. He did anything they wanted, took hundreds of dollars off frames and lenses, because he was petrified of losing even one customer.

"You know," I said to him one day, "some customers you really don't want here."

He nodded his head, but he couldn't help himself. A while later, my old boss found his balls when he threw out an Indian couple who hounded me relentlessly about the cost of their glasses.

"Is that your best price? Is that your best price? Is that your best price? Is that your best price?" they repeated endlessly, as if it were some sort of tantric mantra. Finally, my boss walked over to us and he told them to pay or leave. They left.

My father has had his own business since 1987.

"Daddy can't work for anybody else," my mother said to me.

At seven, I didn't understand what that meant and, truthfully, I didn't understand what it meant for a long time, but I think I do now. It's not that my father couldn't do what someone else was telling him to do-- he was a soldier in the Israeli army, for Christ's sake, he knew how to take orders, even from people who weren't as smart or competent-- it's that he couldn't work under the tone set by someone else. If you buy a t-shirt or a thigh-support short from my father's company, you'd better know your size, because his policy is "NO RETURN, NO EXCHANGE."

That's it.

He set that rule because he's the boss and he doesn't take shit from people, and he doesn't want your smelly, stained, discolored merchandise back. You think you're an A cup and you're really a B cup? Oh well. Now, if he had a boss, the boss might say, "Hey, you know, I think we really ought to accept this return, I mean, we don't want to lose business here..."

Lose business? My father has screamed on the phone at his own customers, called them names, absolutely freaked out. And, yes, he has lost business. But the fanatics keep coming back for more, because he's honest and he's decent and he manufactures good shit. And, for lots of people, that's enough.

There is a definite danger in taking too much shit from people for too long. You become Willy Loman. And I don't want that.

So, let's be our own boss. I have two questions:

1.) What should I do?


2.) Wanna come work for me?


  1. Best of luck on the new venture, Apron. I would love to work for myself one day as well.

  2. so if yr going to be working for yrself, that makes you "the man". are you going to be sticking it to yrself?

  3. You should, if you want that much, work on your own. Aaages ago my dad made a call, he didn't want to report to anyone - because he saw how things weren't how they were supposed to be[corruption, castism et al.. ] So, he started his own clinic[yes, he's a doctor] and even though he had a specialization, he practiced General Medicine. He is one of the most hardworking people I know, He's also one of the most happy and satisfied person I know of! So.. good luck with your adventure.. As for joining you, I recently got caught in the Corporate world web,.. once I get out of it, i sure will! :)

  4. Where do i send my resume. Would be a helluva a commute but it would be nice to have a boss where I can say fuck you too because he just told me to fuck off first. Then we carry on and make the bucks!

  5. Man, you couldn't pay me ENOUGH to work with you — you sound like a scary boss — but good luck getting into business for yourself!

  6. I did about 3 weeks of office work, between the ages of 16 and 18... and that was that.

    Figured I would never work 9-5 after that (though I already knew that beforehand I think... I just needed the cash).

    Can't say I'm rolling in cash yet though.

    Let me know if you think of a cool business start-up idea!


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