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).

Read more Start-Up Beat­down #9: Leav­ing Early

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

Start-Up Beatdown #6 — The Mexican

After a long delay, here is is the next chap­ter in my true-life night­mar­ish work expe­ri­ence.  In this chap­ter, I deal with Sean Etin’s mon­ster of a 10 year-old son…

Danny Friedman is The Mexican
This is the actu­al pho­to­shopped pic­ture that my old co-work­er made when he heard about the expe­ri­ences in this chapter…


Startup Beatdown

Chapter 6: The Mexican


Of all the hor­ri­ble tasks I had to do at Seashel Pro­duc­tions, my least favorite, by far, was hav­ing to pick up and drop off Sean Etin’s kids.

Dur­ing any giv­en day, I would be asked to make runs in my car – to mail some­thing to the post office, or buy office sup­plies, or even to pick up a share­hold­er at the air­port – and usu­al­ly I didn’t mind. In fact, I would usu­al­ly jump at the chance to be paid while get­ting away from the office and what­ev­er tor­ture-induc­ing insan­i­ty that would be going on at any giv­en day. I even man­aged to not be screwed out of my car mileage costs by print­ing out an IRS form along with my expense report for how much mon­ey they legal­ly owe me per mile after the comp­trol­ler sug­gest­ed I should just fill up the car and give them the receipt.

There was some­thing dif­fer­ent about pick­ing up and drop­ping off the kids. For one thing, I couldn’t delude myself that what I was doing was for the good of the com­pa­ny. It was one thing to be a gofer for a face­less com­pa­ny (no mat­ter how evil), and it was quite anoth­er to be a chauf­fer for over-priv­i­leged chil­dren. The thin line between Sean Etin’s busi­ness and Sean Etin’s home life had been tram­pled over, and I was grabbed by the shirt col­lar and bum rushed over the oth­er side. The fact that it was so obvi­ous­ly not a part of my job descrip­tion (as it had noth­ing to do with the com­pa­ny) made me feel used. The fact that, dur­ing these car rides, I was essen­tial­ly work­ing under the eyes of chil­dren made me feel demeaned.

More of an issue was the fact that Sean Etin’s son, Gareth, was an insuf­fer­able, lit­tle shit­head. At ten years old, I could already tell that he was a chip off the old block. The kid was a cru­el-natured bul­ly who delight­ed in caus­ing pain in oth­ers. Unlike his father, whose cru­el per­sona was masked in a cru­sad­er-like, pugilis­tic sense of moral evan­ge­lism and para­noia, Gareth’s cru­el­ty was guile­less and pure. He was a bas­tard because he liked being a bas­tard. Caus­ing the great­est amount of dis­com­fort to those around him caused him gid­dy joy. There was noth­ing more to it than that. I despised him.

Read on after the jump or it can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.!

Read more Start-Up Beat­down #6 — The Mexican

Start-Up Beatdown #5 — Joel Vs. Hempstead

The fifth chap­ter of my true life per­son­al work hell is right here.  In this excit­ing episode, I become a wit­ness to mur­der­ous threats in the office.

Joel Vs. Hempstead
Pho­to cour­tesy of

Read on after the jump or it can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.!

Start-Up Beatdown

Chapter 5: Joel Vs. Hempstead


The first per­son in the office every­day was a man by the name of Sean Hemp­stead. Sean Hemp­stead was the omega wolf of the office. Sure, I was giv­en the shit­ti­est jobs to per­form, but most of the time, peo­ple treat­ed me with at least some respect (to my face, at least). Hemp­stead, how­ev­er, was treat­ed like worm-infest­ed shit. All bad vibes, bale­ful thoughts and evil juju were inevitably focused at this man like a beam. Per­haps it was because he would take it, when any nor­mal per­son would have quit or killed every­one in a shoot­ing rampage …

Sean Hemp­stead had a desk next to mine in the hall­way. He was a tall, rather thin man, with a shock of blond hair, thick glass­es and the demeanor of an unin­vit­ed house­guest who made him­self at home. Often­times, I would find him stretched out in his chair, casu­al­ly shelling peanuts and poop­ing them in his mouth, while surf­ing the Inter­net. Though he looked to be in his thir­ties, Sean Hemp­stead was in his fifties, a Viet­nam vet­er­an and a grand­fa­ther. He was also an incred­i­ble geek. He was Seashel Pro­duc­tions IT spe­cial­ist, and would men­tion the Mac’s supe­ri­or­i­ty to the PC so reg­u­lar­ly that I thought he was per­haps receiv­ing a sec­ond pay­check from Apple.

Read more Start-Up Beat­down #5 — Joel Vs. Hempstead

Start-Up Beatdown #4 — How to be a Corporate Spy


Yet anoth­er chap­ter of my true life per­son­al work hell is up.  In this excit­ing episode, I am accused of being a cor­po­rate spy.  Read on!

This time, I decid­ed to put the whole chap­ter in the main page.  It’s after the Jump.  Or, if you’re a tra­di­tion­al­ist, it can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.


Read more Start-Up Beat­down #4 — How to be a Cor­po­rate Spy

Startup Beatdown #3 — A Steaming Pile of Goo

Doggie Poo

I put the 3rd chap­ter of my true-life Start­up Beat­down series up today.

In this excit­ing chap­ter, I learn more about what the chil­dren’s enter­tain­ment com­pa­ny I just start­ed work for does — lawsuits.

The page can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.

Like my Joe com­ic, new chap­ters will appear every week (it’s look­ing like every Friday).



Startup Beatdown #2 — The Next Jeffrey Dahmer

The sec­ond chap­ter of The Start­up Beat­down is up for your perusal/pity.  Recent­ly, I actu­al­ly found the email that I wrote to my boss/chief tor­men­tor, so I’ve includ­ed it in the chap­ter.  In oth­er words, this chap­ter has NEW, NEVER-SEEN-BEFORE content.

Any­way, in this chap­ter, unbe­knownst to me, every­one at work thinks I’m a rapist…

The page can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.

Like my Joe com­ic, new chap­ters will appear every week.


Jeffrey Dahmer Cartoon - Phil Selby

Start-Up Beatdown Page is Up!

In order to fur­ther sab­o­tage my career as a free­lancer, I’ve decid­ed to post the book I wrote (and con­tin­ue to write) about my true-life work expe­ri­ences at a start-up chil­dren’s ‘edu­tain­ment’ company.

The page can be found on the menu screen at the top of the page and right here.

Like my Joe com­ic, new chap­ters will appear every week.



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