The first 'interview' was essentially picking my brain for solutions to a botched installation of Small Business Server 2000. What can I say; I needed the work. Money was immediately an issue - for them. Within the first minutes of the interview, I was told that money was tight, but that the cheques were coming. I found out that the interviewer, my acquaintance, had not been paid in a month. I began to wonder. The company had some grand plans for its board games, which were essentially a medium for advertising space. Think of the adverts around hockey rinks and baseball fields. Now picture those ads on a board game of the same sport. Novel? Sure. Profitable? Not a hope in hell.
I had the opportunity to 'play' one of the games. Much like my experience that day, it was gimmicky and very shoddy. The video game generation would not have the patience for something like this. Between the product itself and money problems, I was nervous. Then I met the CEO - I was already half way out the door.
Kerry looked like The Penguin from Batman Returns, had the voice of Kaa from The Jungle Book, and dressed in fifty dollar suits pretending to look like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho. This was one sleazy businessman.
His slick lies and discount apparel were somehow able to blind his employees. Even though people had gone months without a paycheck, they still devoted countless hours to the cause because Kerry assured them they would be "well rewarded". In fact, his guise would eventually bring an entire town of 1,500 people behind him in the promise of moving his manufacturing facility there from China. Nevertheless, his talk was as cheap as his suits.
Late last year he sold his stock and ran, leaving over $5.5 million in debt to creditors. Earlier this year the company filed for bankruptcy. I got out after the first day. My acquaintance wasn't that lucky and went four months without receiving a single dime before walking.
Intelligent people at the company were paid only by their imagination. Everyone thought it was the next big thing and that no one could be so full of shit. In the end, Kerry had built up a loyal, free workforce. He had squeezed desperate publicity by exploiting a small town. He made himself rich by selling a stupid idea to even stupider creditors. After meeting a couple more Kerrys, I've since stopped doing contract work and finished my degree. The odd job request still comes in, but I highball the offer so they politely refuse.