Earlier this week, I got into contact with a former co-worker. I briefly mentioned to him how badly our common employer had fucked me over. He doled out sympathy and suggested some side work that I might be interested in. Since we had worked on a project together out in Vegas last year, I thought it might be interesting technical work, so we agreed to meet today and discuss the possibilities.
He showed up promptly at 3pm and I invited him in. We sat down and I told him in detail how my former employer (his current employer) had screwed me and several others out of several thousand dollars (each). He gave me advice and encouragement on recovering my losses from them. We talked about all of the projects that we had worked on in the past year and all was going great. He told me about the interesting technologies that he was working on, and I told him of mine. I asked him about the side project(s) that he had going on, and that's where things got very strange (and I'm not talking about the well documented and easy to understand concepts of strange attractors and quantum gravitation fields in physics).
He started talking about all the Money-Making Potential of this opportunity involving Disintermediation, Viral Marketing, and Franchising. He started drawing alot of charts, graphs and bubble figures with dollar amounts and random calculations. He just randomly mentioned alot of popular wealthy people. Mind you, he has a broken Hindu accent, so I was only understanding about 2/3 of the words that he was saying and about 1/3 of the concepts that he was trying to communicate. He kept saying "Well, the Federal Trade Commission requires me to tell you that...", which got me fairly worried that I had no clue what the hell he was talking about.
After about 1/2 hour of this, I asked him, specifically, "so what technologies are involved in the project?" To this, he responded: "Oh, there are no technologies for you to work with, it is all web-based, and you would have to do nothing as far as programming". I asked him, just to clarify, "what do you actually do to earn money for this gig?". To this, he responded simply: "build sales communities". I all of a sudden realized that he had spent the previous 1/2 hour pushing a pyramid scheme. My fists clenched, as did my jaw...I stopped hearing anything that he said, and my internal dialog became much louder then his sales pitch. "Where did Manish go? Who are you? Why are you here in Manish's body? How can I get you to leave?".
At this point, I did everything I could to expedite his exit without causing a scene or getting too upset. I guess he noticed my disinterest, and even called his next link up the pyramid for guidance on his cell phone while I was trying to rush things along (looking at the clock every couple of seconds, making myself a drink, etc..). Fortunately for me, his local rabbi wasn't home, so I didn't get the well practiced schpiel. I asked him if he had any written documentation that I could look over (to shut him up) and rushed him out to his car. We got to his huge Lexus, and he gave me a folder full of spam, including two audio tapes. He made note to point out on one of the documents that the financial planner for the Ronald Reagan campaign was one of the bigwigs in the pyramid. Well! I would never!!...
He left, and brindle got a good kick out of hearing the story. I felt like I had wasted almost 2 hours of my day hosting his sales pitch. I don't tolerate spam in my inbox, why the hell would I invite it into my house.