Monday, September 26, 2016
The goats like it.
I'm often asked, by other creatives just setting foot in the freelance pool, "How can you work at home? Don't you get lonely?"
"Lonely?" I say, "are you kidding?"
I have me.
I have my dog.
And when I need a distraction or the opportunity to interact, I have 1.5 billion people to troll on Facebook or Linkedin, where the gamut of stimulating conversation can run from Ted Cruz's latest re-entry into the political arena to the newest stuffed crust offerings from Pizza Hut; they put grilled cheese in the crust.
If that doesn't have Americans eating their pizza backwards, I don't know what will.
I also happen to be at my best when I'm left alone in a quiet environment where I can think and focus and eat with my mouth open.
Lest you think I have no live human contact with the outside world, there are always the robocalls. For reasons unknown, we still have a landline in the house. And perhaps due to some bad early potty training, I have been programmed to answer a ringing phone.
But this is where it gets good. Because the only people calling me on the landline are the solicitors and the scammers. And I'm guessing you already know how I feel about them.
"This is the Internal Revenue Service calling about case # 285739. This is a serious matter. Ignoring this case may result in a summons and an appearance before a magistrate, judge of federal grand jury..."
"Hello...this is Rich Siegel...is something wrong?"
"This is the Internal Revenue Service (in an Indian or Pakistani accent no less) regarding an outstanding bill that must be paid immediately..."
"I know exactly what this is about."
"Sir let me give you an address to send the money."
"It's about my Goat Insemination Business that I run on the side isn't it?"
"You know extracting sperm from goats for artificial insemination."
"Sir, you can wire the money immediately to avoid any penalties."
"I knew we shouldn't have taken those deductions but my accountant insisted. Look, sometimes the goats aren't in the mood. So we bought goat aphrodisiacs. We spent money on some Marvin Gaye music, you know to get the goats hot and bothered. We even purchased this special goat lube to apply to the goat penis..."
"Sir I do not want to hear your filthy degenerate stories. (this is often accompanied by colorful cursing in Urdu)"
"That's what I told my accountant. But he said these were legitimate expenses and that we could even take a credit for the electronic goat prostate massager."
The way I see it, the choice is simple.
I could be in an office, sitting in a conference room with some account folks and planners, carefully dissecting the behavior of tortilla chip consumers and the intricacies of the tortilla chip purchase funnel.
Or, I could be yanking the chain of a bearded flim flam man sitting in a boiler room in Islamabad hoping to skim some skin out of some poor American retiree's 401K plan.
If I ever needed a 'thought-starter', I choose the latter.