Dave's Last Day At Work

---(From 2008)

Some of you might remember that I have had some oddness with my job for a while. I am still employed, but it could be any day I am gone or made permanent. However, that decision will be a maximum of 30 days from now and it isn't looking like I will be made permanent. I have been job hunting on the side, but nothing tangible has manifested itself as of yet.

See this thread for the details.

So Friday was Dave's last day at work. Dave was our director or network {stuff}. When the new company came in, and directly related to the bankruptcy of the old company, our network was scheduled to be shut down for the bankruptcy trustee to pull out and sell.

Hence, Dave had a limited amount of time left, and he knew it. Personally I think this is a raw deal, but I too am somewhat fighting to maintain continual employment. So I have to choose my battles wisely at this point.

Dave is a really cool guy, even by IT guy standards. Smart, sarcastic and knows his stuff. Also a straight shooter and wont play games with network security or people loading their own software on their desktops. In other words a loyal employee.

So we decided to go to lunch as the last two remaining semi-temporary employees on Friday. Everyone else was either fired, laid off or made a permanent employee, just not us two.

So we drive over to this Mexican restaurant that serves really good food and has the best albondigas soup around. On the way over we see this homeless guy walking backward on the side of the road with a sign "will work for food – homeless".

He wasn't in the worst shape I have seen for homeless people, but he wasn't clean either. So not the guy that is hauling three shopping carts around, but probably also not the same guy sleeping under a freeway either.

It shouldn't matter, but it becomes relevant later. He was black, African - American if you must.

Well typical to 99% of the rest of the population we drive by and head to lunch.

The restaurant has an outdoor seating area next to the road. Not much of a view, but it was a nice enough day that sitting outside was just a better decision.

Food is ordered, we sit around swapping stories of stupid end users and all the really stupid things they ask for and do. You know the ones, some manager / director says her computer is broken when it isn't plugged in to the wall socket or he spilled coffee on the keyboard and tries to deny it was him. Usually my favorite are people that have an older machine and they download some virus disguised as super kewl emoticons that can be added to email and their computer just gets eaten alive by viruses and trojans.

A little time passes and our food arrives. We begin to eat continuing with the same line of stories. Both of us avoiding that this is really his last day working and it's kind of jacked up what the company did.

About ten minutes into this, that same homeless guy walks by us. Now keep in mind, I don't empirically know that he is homeless, it's just a general term I use for people that have a sign that says "will work for food – homeless".

Nether one of us likely would have known he walked by had he not stopped and stared at us while we were eating.

A minute of two later the homeless guy walks over and says (from the other side of a small stucco wall) "Hey I need money for food"

Dave, in a Not Being A Smart Ass way says, "I have two extra tacos I'm not going to eat you can have them". The homeless guy replies, "I don't like no Mexican food".

Dave laughs a little and says, "Then I guess you won't be eating lunch here today"

Homeless guy doesn't find this funny at all and says to Dave in this condescending voice "You think just because you're white you should get everything you want?"

That got Dave into the wrong mode. Mind you, Dave is white, whatever that means. He replies in a very sarcastic manner "Yes, now that you say it like that, yes, evidently I do, thank you for pointing this out to me. My life was a hollow shell prior to that ephiany, now I am complete, you complete me..."

Homeless guy says "Why don't you give me five bucks so I can get some food, I don't have a job."

Dave says in this self reflecting kind of way ""…yea, I guess I don't either"…" and the realization that he too is now unemployed appears to hit him.

Homeless guys says "Yea, but you're white you can get a job anywhere"

Now Dave is pissed. He is clearly not wanting to engage in this conversation and not on this day and really, not at lunch. But it's too late. He says to homeless guy "OK, your sign says will work for food, what kind of work do you actually intend to do, are you going to wash cars, install cat5, reconfigure cisco routers, bag groceries, plant trees, what kind of work are you looking for, and are you actually looking for work, or do you just want handouts and you really dont want to work at all ?"

Homeless guy stands there a few moments and appears not to grasp the question. He eventually chokes out a reply something along the lines of ""…just because I'm not white don't mean I can't do things."

Dave says "this isn't about your ethnic background, this is a question of what work can you do, since you say you will work for food, and I have offered you food and you don't want it, hence, you appear to need to find work to find food you want to eat, so again, what work do you intend to do?"

Homeless guy really didn't like that answer and said to me and Dave, because now all of a sudden I'm involved "You're a racist"

For a moment I thought homeless guy was going to dive over the stucco wall and attack Dave, glad he didn't actually.

Dave stands up, and says "yea, I'm sure you think that, why do I believe that, well because you appear to have no other options but to call me a racist because I wont give you what you want. I offered you some of my lunch, on my last day at work, but it wasn't good enough. I asked what kind of work do you intend to do since you are claiming you will work for food and you don't have an answer. You know, my friend, think what you want, convince yourself that the world is a horrible place full of racists and those that look down on you. But if you want to get out of your situation you will need to make some personal changes, sorry, I'm not handing you five dollars just because you claim you will work for food. So, have a great day, best of luck to you, but leave me to my last lunch in peace"

Dave sat down and finished those last two tacos.

Homeless guy looked at me, looked at Dave made is parting comment as he began walking down the street ""…f*cking racists"…"

We finished or lunch and went back to our predictable end users stories. Another day in paradise.

Its Monday, I caught a cold and wont be going into work. Dave is probably home now looking at dice.com.