Start-Up Beatdown #9: Leaving Early

Chap­ter 9 in my true life work hor­ror sto­ry.  In this chap­ter, after the hell I went through in the pre­vi­ous two chap­ters, I am promised a half day at work…

fingers crossed

Chapter 9: Leaving Early

The rest of my week went like this: On Thurs­day, I tried my best just to get through the day, spend­ing most of my time there star­ing at the lit­tle clock in the cor­ner of my screen, wish­ing it were 6:00.  Though, tech­ni­cal­ly, I was sup­posed to work from 9:00 to 6:00 every day, leav­ing on time was often a crap­shoot (and where the house usu­al­ly won).  Leav­ing ear­ly was an impos­si­bil­i­ty.  Basi­cal­ly, it all came down to this – if Sean Etin made it in to his office before 6:00, I could count on stay­ing at least an extra half hour (though it was not uncom­mon to stay an extra hour or two).  If he didn’t arrive at 6:00, I could slink away.  Some­times, I heard the door that sep­a­rates the home part of his house from the work area where we were sit­u­at­ed slam open, the heavy, quick-paced sound of his foot­steps, and his bark­ing orders for those unfor­tu­nate to be in his sight to stay – while I qui­et­ly tip-toed down the spi­ral stair­case and out of harm’s way.  There was one time, in par­tic­u­lar, when I heard him scream my name through the walls of his house as I was get­ting into my car (need­less to say, I jumped in and gunned it out of there).

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The West Wing Season That Never Was

 The West Wing Season That Never Was

West Wing

The West Wing was one of the very best TV shows ever made.  It took a real­is­tic, yet opti­mistic look at Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, and brought the ‘walk ’n talk’ to unpar­al­leled heights of excel­lence.

When The West Wing end­ed after 7 sea­sons, I was very sad to see a show of such amaz­ing cal­iber go off the air.  Espe­cial­ly since I felt that it end­ed pre­ma­ture­ly.  There was at least one more sea­son of qual­i­ty sto­ries that could be told.  So, to both hon­or the series and to offer a smidgen of hope that it can be reborn, I present the West Wing sea­son-that-nev­er-was:


Before I get into the syn­op­sis, let me say when I feel this sea­son needs to take place.  Sure, we could look into the new San­tos admin­is­tra­tion, but I feel that there was plen­ty of untapped poten­tial in the orig­i­nal cast, whom, in my opin­ion, is the great­est ensem­ble ever to grace the small screen.  So, this sea­son-that-nev­er-was will take place dur­ing the clas­sic years of the Bart­let admin­is­tra­tion.  The per­fect place would be when cre­ator Aaron Sorkin left after sea­son 4, espe­cial­ly since sea­son 5 is gen­er­al­ly con­sid­ered to blow.

I wrote some syn­op­sizes to many pos­si­ble episode ideas.  Here are some of them:


  1. Zoey, the President’s daugh­ter, has been cap­tured by ter­ror­ists.  Pres­i­dent Bart­let goes under­cov­er to res­cue her, but is dis­cov­ered by the cell.  Now he and the ter­ror­ist leader must bat­tle it out in a caged knife-fight in which there could only be ONE sur­vivor.  To make mat­ters even more intense, if the Pres­i­dent los­es, the ter­ror­ist becomes the new leader of the free world!


  1. Mother In Law
    Need­less to say, she’ll have a rolling pin with her at all times…

    Pres­i­dent Bartlet’s moth­er-in-law is com­ing to vis­it, and we all know that means trou­ble!  It seems that Abbey’s moth­er always thought of the Pres­i­dent as a good-for-noth­ing slug-about and that her daugh­ter could’ve done bet­ter – no mat­ter what Pres­i­dent Bart­let does to please her.  It’s just the President’s luck when the coun­try is placed in a nation­al cri­sis with an impend­ing trans­porta­tion strike.  To make mat­ters worse, his moth­er-in-law took the bus to get to the White House, and won’t be leav­ing until the mess is sort­ed out!

Read more The West Wing Sea­son That Nev­er Was

Start-Up Beatdown #8: Riding With the Devil, Part 2

Chap­ter 8 in my true life work hor­ror sto­ry.  In this chap­ter, I ride back to work with Sean Etin and attempt to imple­ment his plan to change the com­pa­ny.

Chapter 8 Image
Image Cour­tesy of

Start-up Beatdown

Chapter 8: Riding With the Devil, Part 2

In a way, the dri­ve back from DC was worse than the ride there and the five hours I spent boil­ing in his car.  This wasn’t because some­thing hor­ri­ble hap­pened on the way back.  No.  The ride back was worse because it gave me hope, which at SeaShel Pro­duc­tions, was much worse for my long-term well-being than mere­ly being yelled at, or fear­ing for my life while Sean Etin reck­less­ly bruised his way down the road.  Even being stuck in the man’s car, not being allowed to use his air con­di­tion­er in near dead­ly heat for five hours had no long-term detri­men­tal effects (that I know of…).  No, the great car­cino­gen in an envi­ron­ment where mis­ery is real­i­ty and all good things are will‑o’-the-wisps is hope that things will improve.

Read more Start-Up Beat­down #8: Rid­ing With the Dev­il, Part 2

Start-Up Beatdown #7: Riding With the Devil, Part 1

Chap­ter 7 in my true life work hor­ror sto­ry.  In this chap­ter, I go on a field trip to Wash­ing­ton DC with my boss and near­ly die of heat stroke…

Dog Stuck in Car Seat

Start-up Beatdown

Chapter 7: Riding With the Devil, Part 1


Sean Etin drove his car like he lived his life – with the ped­al to the floor and a reck­less dis­re­gard for every­thing around him.  I had the ter­ri­fy­ing dis­plea­sure of rid­ing with him a few times, and each time I got out of the car, I would want to get on my hands and knees and kiss the ground (mixed with the need to throw up on it).  Sean Etin would dri­ve as fast as his car could go, no mat­ter what the road (it was not uncom­mon for me to swerve to the side of the road as I came to and from work, as Sean Etin zipped through his own neigh­bor­hood, where his own chil­dren played, at 60mph).  He would bob and weave his way through traf­fic, nev­er using his brake and nev­er EVER using his turn sig­nal (which is a big pet peeve of mine).  On one-lane roads, he would prac­ti­cal­ly ram the cars in front of him, stick­ing to their bumpers like glue, even if he were already going way over the speed lim­it.  He would then impa­tient­ly honk his horn as if to say, “Move out of the way!  I’M dri­ving.  ME!  Sean Etin!”

Read more Start-Up Beat­down #7: Rid­ing With the Dev­il, Part 1