Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Reamed By My Occipital Lobes Again

If you could see my career in IT in terms of output versus input, you'd be enraged and come to the conclusion I am a complete pussy, born loser and somehow doomed to be exploited.

Honestly, after thirty years I'd have to begrudgingly admit there is something to that accusation. Things seem rigged against me.

If you don't have the internal compulsion to obey the rules and fulfill your verbal contracts with others that I do then you'd never experience the things I experience all the time. I mean, it's a compulsion. Like automatic behavior associated with drug addiction or gambling. You could scream "Hey, they ain't paid you! Don't be stupid and give them anything else until they have paid you! What are you, some kind of f*cking retard?!?" I always feel like I need to be spotless in terms of any reason they might be able to dream up as an excuse not to pay me what they owe me. So I go out to site and install my completed product on an empty belly, borrowing money from gas for our savings account and eating $1.95 hotdogs at Cost-Co because it is all I have left in my pocket. With more than $xx,xxx dollars outstanding in unpaid invoices for my work. With people at the site asking me why I look so run down and complementing me on the amazing quality of the application I have just installed. Me trying to look cheerful and engaged when I explain to them how to use it. With the boss on the phone with my employer, telling him how good this looks and organizing payment. Remember, I think, they are always right, no matter how much it seems like they are wrong. I am always wrong and being too petty worrying about my paycheck. They will get to it when they feel like it. Not when I need it.

Always the little voice in my head telling me about reciprocation. The other party will deal straight with me if I am straight with them. Except that was true about 300,000 years ago in tribes with less than 100 people. In the modern era with Homo Sapiens it's a recipe to get cheated in every interaction.

It happens so many times in life it's like a merry-go-round where you just sit on the same horse and go around and around forever. You jump off, you say that's it, won't get me on that horse again. Next thing you know you are riding the starvation carousel again and doing some of your best work as a software developer. It happens again and again and again. I am always the guy right in the middle with his hands on the keyboard watching the money float all around me. I always seem to be the only guy who isn't getting paid here. It's thirty years of me with my head down seemingly the only guy in this entire foodchain who is going hungry.

Pretending to have integrity and honesty as opposed to actually being honest and having integrity is about a million times superior. There's no point in asking why humans are so phoney - the fact is, people who are completely full of sh*t make out much, much better in life than people like me.

I promised a client I would deliver functionality by the end of March. They have not paid me in six weeks. They have just been ignoring my invoices. I didn't want them to claim I am not professional, was not capable of doing the work or delayed my delivery schedule. So I completed it, all features present, installed it on site and left it running.

Still not paid a dime.

It's easy to tell me I am either stupid or confused. It's easy. I need to know how I can make this crap change because it always ends the same way.

Eventually they will pay. Nobody will find out this multimillion dollar corporation was shivving some Asperger's Syndrome developer they paid to do the work of ten people and deliver something they needed at a fraction of the original estimate. That's delivered. As installed on site and running for the customer, no complaints and no maintenance calls. These guys will maintain their reputation and nobody will know what utter bastards they are or what sort of contempt they show people who are foolish enough to work with them.

Now the customer is asking for additional features. I know these guys are going to bring it up the next time I call to ask what is happening with the outstanding balance of my invoices. They will twist it into a requirement somehow of me getting paid. This is also the reason these guys never sign off on a specification - they don't want to get tied down to any accountability.

It's easy to say I'm a fool but seriously it's a living hell. I don't understand why life always has to be this ordeal. I write the software, you pay me, it's simple.

If it weren't for the internet I'd never know that all people with "Asperger's Syndrome" have nearly identical lives and experiences. People also tell them it must be something they are doing wrong. Same people, same experiences, same learned helplessness, same negative feedback from every situation in life.

The fact is, a Neanderthal born in the modern era would in all likelihood be torn to pieces by human beings for most of his/her life from childhood right through adult years. It's not the exception, it's the rule. I remember this all the time, I think to myself that life isn't fair, there are no guarantees to anyone of anything. I think, don't indulge in self-pity, get on to it and forget about your last bad experience. I also remind myself, before you ever go to bitch to God about him making you this way ... remember it could be much worse. You could have been born like one of them. Now that would truly be a living hell.

P.S. I sent all my invoices to their parent company, which had hired them to do this job with their own staff in-house. The parent company had allotted sufficient budget to hire three coders to do this over a year. They apparently had gone 9 months and done nothing, so they hired me with 90 days to go. (Common occurrence, happens all the time) The parent company had no idea these assholes had done nothing for almost a year then subcontracted the work to a solitary coder without informing them. They paid all the money outstanding in one hour after I did this, it was in our account today after coming back from the city. It was not worth it, the raw agony and anxiety of working with six weeks hard no pay was not worth it but at least we did get finally paid after resorting to these tactics. Bastards. A little bird who works there told me the parent company will now be coming after them for their advance since they broke the terms of their agreement by subcontracting the work out. Not my concern.


Ave said...

You're an INTJ, you live through your accomplishments. This is the primary reason this blog exists. I know this because my father was an INTJ and shares a number of characteristics with you.

You also remind me of two INTJs I knew back when I was a consultant / business analyst. Those who employed them had a simple viewpoint : "I pay him so I have something that works, the rest is unintelligible to me".

Sometimes it borders on madness, it's like them being at the head of a car company and they don't care about how exactly the motor is being engineered as long as 1. it runs and 2. it respects a certain number of parameters.

Being an INTP / Anorak type I also think this is madness. I am the type dissecting exactly how select armament procurement decisions decided the fate of armies and nations. it is critical yet the decisionmakers have no clue how this works because they're stuck in their petty rivalries (which is actually exactly how management works).

This is exactly how Napoleon defeated so many foes and won so many battles, he was the only one who knew how the complicated machine worked, while the others were senile powdered buffoons. Mind you, Napoleon worked for the French Bourgeioise, and the reason for the defeat was their gluttony because precisely they didn't keep in mind what the specialist had to say (surrendering control of the mouth of the Rhine river).

To them you're just a car mechanic with some good credentials. They would prefer the extraverted ones one who keep boasting about their resumés except they are too expensive and too shrewd (too much like them). Since you're not, you're inferior to them (according to them).

Get in touch with a lawyer, because these guys are around for a reason. Get an introverted one so he can actually understand you, and a NT-type so he knows what works.

If you go on like you presently do, this has exponentially diminishing returns ("He wasn't paid 100 ? Let's try to make him do something for 1000 !")

Texas Arcane said...


Was watching "Flash of Genius" movie again the other night and noted several things :

1. Automotive industry was built up out of superior manufacturing and engineering in the U.S. but after about thirty years changed into a fly-by-night ripoff business which essentially stole one brilliant innovation after another without paying the inventor for it. They thought they were maximizing investor return but in fact they were chainsawing a circle around their own feet like Wil E. Coyote long term. After a while, you run out of people to rip off.

2. Many times in the movie the main character is described as bitter, maybe a little crazy and paranoid. After you see what has happened to this guy in the film you realize that's no surprise. The guy lost his family and his future over this crap as did so many others in U.S. history. The government did no enforce patent rights and ran it's primary industries like the mafia, possession is 9 tenths of the law etc. They were selling his windshield wiper to the Japanese fifty years later and they must have been able to trace the ownership on these patents but didn't give a damn.

3. Society in the large cooperates with the bad guys and tells the good guys to stop making trouble. His own original investors and lawyers telling him to stop making waves despite knowing it was the most blatant ripoff imaginable, open and shut case. Shows the rule of law was breaking down even then.

4. First world countries start to resemble third world countries when property rights and patents simply become a question of who has the most might to determine what is "right." The basis of civilization is really property laws and assuring thieves don't prosper.

Ave said...

Tex, what can I say, they stole the idea for "The Road" from me. Here is the copy of my RPG universe I crafted in 2002 :

The intial host (ifrance) has been liquidated) and the forum-based RPG session about it has also been unavailable since (at )

The thing here is not to let this destroy your life like it destroyed Robert Kearney's. Believe me, you're very lucky to have a somewhat functional family and children (for all I know), in the end this is the only thing that matters : life itself. You have but three decades left to live, two of them during which you won't be able to do a lot of stuff anyway.

As for me, I'm content with the fact my ideas were living a life of their own. It was quite something to sit in a theater and see stuff I invented on the fly coming to life with much gravitas (and they botched the details, about the gazogene car for instance).

I made some people crazy rich and have not seen a dime from it, but it's good I also have not seen the hand that would have given me that money, my life is better for it. You don't want to do "business" with these people, nor do you want them in your life.

As for myself I have not hired a lawyer for that because I knew exactly how it was going to ruin me in every conceivable way, the enemy is too strong. If we're dealing with contracts etc. then you have better chances, and off court settlements etc.

This is just the environment you're living in right now, all these people are not going to make it to the next environment, which is populated by much more primitive and brutal people who will believe you're a warlock simply because you can calculate.

Texas Arcane said...


I am always skeptical about "human goodness" because I notice that once they've got you strung out and too scared to raise your voice, nobody comes out with "Okay, this is ridiculous, he has been working six weeks we need to get him something, seriously, he has to eat and pay his bills."

Which I absolutely would do no matter what. I would not just laugh it off like that is not convenient for me. When you see people do that you realize all their talk about how empathic they are and how we aspies are so lacking in empathy is just so much bullsh*t.

I am looking now at the link you put up. If it is true that totally makes me sick. That's awful. Thanks for your encouragement, it's good judgement to think of the positives no matter what happens. Thanks.

Koanic said...

Sadly, I know exactly what you mean.

Texas Arcane said...


Solsys, seriously you have an incredible vision for post-apocalyptic design. I swear if I am able to get my game greenlighted it would be an honor to get you to do some of the work on this post-apocalyptic RPG I am planning on doing. (William Hope Hodgeson's NIGHTLANDS, shhh) Especially the math and combat rules, it looks like your system is already pretty solid.

Ave said...


back then I made good money as a consultant, which I spent on ordering specific illustrations for my RPG to an artist (David Lihard), I still have the originals in the attic :

But some people sent contributions all by themselves, asking for nothing but reference on my site :

On my Sci-Fi page ( ) there are much more such donations, some by a professional comics artist (Le Grümph)

When we start doing things for others, no strings attached, people start doing things for us, spontaneously, if there is a higher purpose. All this survivalist advice we are giving is going to save lives in the future, but it also saves existences right now.

Always have the bigger picture in mind. If you're losing time, money and life essence to a job or a person, move on and make something else with your time. Have a lawyer sue their asses, that's what you pay him for.

Ave said...

The system is the BaSIC roleplaying system that has been extrapolated from the Orignal Call of Cthulhu's system.

Regarding the design, I just posted some illustrations I had made for me at the time (above 100 Euros for the small ones).

But I also learnt to use 3D Studio Max R3 to make my own illustrations :

and more...

dienw said...

I was once told a story -true; but I am going by memory here- of a mason who had had enough of not being paid. He got a job to build a fireplace and chimney; when he completed it it submitted a bill for his work. The client never paid him. After a few weeks down in the fall, the client starts a fire in his new fireplace: the house immediately fills with smoke; the irate client calls the mason and clears the house and when the fire is put out looks up hte chimney for any obstruction: none. He calls the mason demanding that the problem be fixed; the mason states that the chimney will not be fixed without the full payment of the invoice; the client agrees. The mason arrives, gets paid, picks up a brick to the bemusement of the client, climbs to the top and chimney and drops the brick down the chimney breaking the glass pane he cemented into the chimney.

Ave said...

A few more (it's been over 12 years since I've made these, I stopped developping these websites as soon as I became interested in survivalism)

Takudzwa Aywok said...

Your issues are uncannily resembling to those of the German people as a whole, and I know just why exactly and what this is.

Ave said...

Totally forgot the one about the savannah penguin (also made for free by Le Grümph )

One of David Lihard's difficult illustrations, he has issues with drawing legs, this was his second try because the first one looked like nothing at all : a chick in a first-layer pressure protection suit, that environment's underwear

August said...

I feel similar pain. Was reminded that no one cares about the work- oh, they care about it for a a little while, when something is actually shut down, but they seem congenitally unable to respect or maintain the people who keep things going.

Supposedly, the free market way is, you have skill A, but not skill B, so you hire someone with skill B. Problem is skill B correlates highly with sociopaths. But if sociopath gets paid when you get paid, maybe he has your back. Gets you better contracts.

The other option is to actively re-interpret. This is threat. If they came to your house and took your stuff, you'd go into self-defense mode. You've got to work harder to perceive this threat because it's money. But it is still threat.

Sir Sweetstick said...

i have done a lot of s/w contract work, and it is standard practice here to get paid weekly. the fact that you keep expecting a different result from the same situations makes this a "you" problem. invoices unpaid after 2 weeks? stop working until they pay; and look for a new gig.

also, over here, you work for an agency and the agency handles the client billing; i.e. i get paid by the agency weekly, and they get paid by the client whenever.

stop being a chump and change *your* behavior, it's the only thing you have control over.

Moe said...

I feel your pain. I too have worked for low pay, slow pay and on more than one occasion No Pay.

It's the story of my life!


James said...

This is just SOP for businesses in America today. Not all, but too many. I worked one place where they owed a client several thousands of dollars. They basically said, "The checks in the mail" until the client started making legal noises. But, from the business' point of view, they held on to that money for 3 months longer than if they had paid on time, earned interest, borrowed money against it, used it to pay for other things, etc. Unfortunately, MAN is evil. Men may not be. I had a friend whose father was was a real scum and his son knew it. After his father being uninvolved in his life while growing up, he got to know him and tried to bond. One visit, he and his father were drinking and his Dad told him that the secret to success is to lie. And continue to lie. Never admit to anything and keep on telling the same lie. He said no one could prove you were lying so keep it up. He didn't see his father much after this revelation.

I also knew a businessman who had started his own company, using investors' capital, and eventually embezzled over $600,000. He was put in federal prison for slightly over a year. When he got out, he came off as this "I've seen the Light!" sort of guys and freely admitted to everything. This company decided to give him a second chance due to one of his ex-lovers pushing for his hire. He played it straight for about a year, at least until he was off probation. He returned to his own vomit, starting embezzling money, he stole hardware and sold it on the side, all the while maintaining a "Born Again" front. And the company didn't want to press charges because it would reflect poorly on them. Amazing.

Koanic said...

"William Hope Hodgeson's NIGHTLANDS, shhh"

You're a cruel man, Tex.

We can't even play the game you finished yet.

Kentucky Packrat said...

There is an important video on the subject:

The author's theme, and the title of the video, "F--- You, Pay Me". You can skip the cussing, but the point is there: You need to be saying "Pay Me" and mean it.

It's bad enough if a company tries to stretch net 30 to net 60 or net 90, but at least they are paying. If they're not paying, they will get into "you are doing this favor for me, you now owe me". (We've had to cut at least two people out of our personal lives because the more you did for them, the more you owed them.)

Set payment schedules, and if those schedules aren't met, then stop working and walk away. If they won't pay you, then they are robbing you, and that is not only not fair to you and yours, it is not fair to the rest of us trying to make money in this industry when you're doing it for free.

You can choose to cuss or not, but tell them "Pay me".

Texas Arcane said...


Going to be awesome. Don't want somebody else to get the idea. Most people have never even heard of it. Best post-apocalyptic setting of all time. Lovecraft plus Fallout plus Steampunk.

Texas Arcane said...


Some new artwork at the Nightlands site is pretty evocative, you might want to have a look.

Texas Arcane said...


Hodgson's first act as an officer when arriving at the front was not tea, but to descend into a trench and lift a cannon out of the mud that the entire squad had been unable to free with 12 men. They had been waiting on a team of horses to arrive but Hodgson simply walked down into the mud and lifted the cannon out then rolled it up a steep slope by himself. Sergeant described this in his diary as "Herculean and impossible." No jokes about his gentlemanly manner after this, of course.

Notice his barrel chimney shaped physique. The first time I ever saw a photo of you Koanic I thought "could be William Hope Hodgson's twin." Hodgson was often regarded on first impression as a delicate dandy but many people swore he was without question the strongest man in the whole of England.

LDiracDelta said...

As a fellow s/w engineer, but not a mental luminary nor a private contractor, may I be so bold as to ask - why do you deliver the product before they pay? Why don't you specify in your contracts that the application will stop operating if you have not been paid in 2 weeks from the time of installation? Have you watched "F*ck you. Pay me." If so and you've tried the techniques, what was your result?


LDiracDelta said...

As a fellow s/w engineer, but not a mental luminary nor a private contractor, may I be so bold as to ask - why do you deliver the product before they pay? Why don't you specify in your contracts that the application will stop operating if you have not been paid in 2 weeks from the time of installation? Have you watched "F*ck you. Pay me." If so and you've tried the techniques, what was your result?


Tom Lemke said...

Takudzwa: As one of those German people (by heritage) who wholly shares in this "issue", I'm curious to know more about the "why" and "what" you mention.

General P. Malaise said...

have you ever thought of embedding a software non payment bug. that you could stop functionality on non payment.

Ron said...

You have to start charging by stages. All that you said is very well and good, but your neglect lf your own interests is not OK. If you were in charge of an INTJ and he got treated like this, you would probably raise hell over the matter, well, just because the INTJ is you doesnt make it OK.

Break your projects down into stages with observable milestones, and have your clients pay you that way. If they wont agree to that either

A) find new clients
B) move
C) find another profession

Anyway, for all my huffing, Im in the same depressing boat. I just cant bring myself to speak up.

Sam said...

You need to do several of the things said here and maybe even put backdoors in it that stop with no pay. I wonder if you can't get a legal stop on them using your software as it's still yours. They are effectively renting it from you as they don't own it they haven't paid.

Send them a rent bill for the time they haven't paid over 30 days on top of the payment for the software. Even if you can't make it stick if you keep sending them rent bills for use of your software then they will see these piling up and maybe be more inclined to pay you because if it ever goes to court you have all these rent bills for none paid usage.

Texas Arcane said...


I always worry if I break any of the terms of my verbal agreement with them they will use it as fuel to explain why they should not have to pay me. If you leave them a millimeter they expand it into a mile. They will say, well you shouldn't expect to be paid for software you delivered late or incomplete or unreviewed. Despite no mention of a lot of these new special conditions ever mentioned at the outset like "submitted for formal review." (No end date for review just open ended)

So I also think ahead if this goes to court, my own performance must be flawless and with no mitigating circumstances so the judge knows it is open and shut. Otherwise they will try to baffle him with a ton of stuff they make up on the spot.

Sam said...

I didn't see where you were paid until I reloaded. It's great you got paid.

I can think of another instance of this right off the bat. There was a guy who invented a cheap simple way to make variable valve timing. All the small cars have it now but they REFUSED to pay this guy. They waited until his patent expired and they, all of them, stole it. I think I know why. If they would have given him a small amount for every car say a dollar, he would have been making more than the guys looking at his work and they can't stand that. Even though the innovation could have made their cars way faster with better gas mileage and more acceleration it was too much for them to pay this, to them, nobody and have him make more money than them.

Texas Arcane said...

@General P. Malaise

Do you know if you ever put malware into any software you deliver somebody you just introduced a mark on your history that is very serious - you engaged in trickery or deception. Now a person in the future could suggest you might be less than honest. I am not exaggerating when I say it is a compulsion to make sure your side of it is unassailable. It still doesn't seem to work out the right way.

Daniel said...

Tex, I have the exact same compulsion for "unassailability." Even after 40+ years of thinking this way, it is hard not to be black and white: "oh they are 95% wrong/evil/sapiens? But I can't guarantee that about 5% of my work wasn't perfect to my standard? Oh, well that 5% of mine is big enough to contain a possible contaminant, even though I don't think it does."

Blamelessness is important. But it isn't the most important. Righteousness is most important, and sometimes being righteous doesn't feel as good as feeling blameless does.

You did the righteous thing by going to corporate.

Kona Commuter said...

My last employer burned me for a decent sum of money. They have all the cards and all they had to do was keep saying no and there wasn't much I could do about it that's above board.

I haven't forgiven the debt yet so we will see

Kona Commuter said...

Here's a quick story

A small businessman in Brisbane was owed money by a company down in Melbourne. The guy down in Melbourne said "Tough luck, you're in Brisbane and it's only $X so what are you going to do about it?"

What is he going to do about it? He booked the next flight to Melbourne flew down there, caught a cab to this guys office, walked in, punched him in the nose and had him transfer the money whilst he stood over him, got back in the cab that was waiting, drove back out to the airport and flew back to Brisbane where Qld Police were waiting for him.

Great story

Ave said...

Great news Tex, you were well inspired to do that.

I too work with a manager who does everything verbally, especially the shady stuff, and she resorts to yelling when wronged. I can't quit my job since I'm a public servant in France (that's close to be in the army , on a status point of view).

These traits often go together, the shady people are into bullying.

You were lucky this time, but indeed if the next time you run into this situation evaluate the big picture, especially as the global economic situation deteriorates.

Two weeks ago one of my brothers died at age 50, he was an excellent researcher and led a research team, but the stress was way out of hand, and combined with other factors it gave his cancer.

Preserve your health and your life energy above all. As I said, you only have a decade left to work, at best, before you retire, do retire in great shape and not as a cripple.

Also, chek your expenses, do you really need to live the way you live ? These are important questions.

Ron said...

@Kona Commuter

That would have worked better if he had a close friend willing to walk into that office and do that,

Ah, so THATS why breaking apart families and close froendships is so important to these scumbags!

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Dave Narby said...

You are bred from a high-trust strain.

As a result, you are naturally naive(I have read 'blue-eyed' has a secondary meaning of naive in several northern European languages).

You simply need to seek out and ally with like-minded types that you can trust implicitly (deal on a handshake). The rule is they only get one opportunity to cheat you, after that, they are dead to you.

Everybody else? You get it in writing. Period. Full stop.

I will write a lot more about this in the future, but time restrains. Thanks for all you do.

Koanic said...

William Hope Hodgson - he's got the face! The one of my father, and his father...

The Night Land art was transporting. Seeing it, I felt as though I was awakening in the Night Land again... but we've never left, have we?

You build your disqos and I'll build mine:
one to shield and one to grind.

bob kek mando ( Death To The Boor-geois, Keks To The Lol-etariat ) said...

you need to watch this video

LDiracDelta said...


As a landlord, I've had to evict someone and had to deal with lawyers. You should start talking to a lawyer. Legal stuff is less scary when you also have a lawyer. As Mike Monteiro said regarding lawyers, as soon as they show theirs [lawyer], you stop the meeting until you can reconvene and show them yours [lawyer]. As far as going to court, unless they're horrifically pissed off, the other side's lawyers will do the math and realize that your case is so solid that the company should just pay you. Anyways, consulting with a lawyer for a one hour consult on your issue would be well worth the $200 or so to reduce your mental turmoil. Personally, once I understood the eviction process, it makes dealing with even very solid tenants less scary because you know that you have a gun and you know how to use it.

Kona Commuter said...

@ Ave

I don't know how things are in France but one strategy to deal with your manager that won't put anything in writing is to keep a diary / journal which you record as much information as you can remember. The sooner you record it the better for you. At most you want to do it the evening of the same day. You want a book with numbered pages (so everyone knows you haven't torn out pages) which can be used as evidence.

The corruption in my State Police force was taken down this way when an honest cop kept a diary.

Keep in mind pulling that diary out is a nuclear move. It *may* save your job, it *may* take down your evil manager.

I hope that helps / gives you an idea or two that you can use

Koanic said...

"his Dad told him that the secret to success is to lie. And continue to lie. Never admit to anything and keep on telling the same lie. He said no one could prove you were lying so keep it up."

I am building an arsenal to end this, to drain the social swamp in which psychopaths swim.