Thursday, 30 August 2007

Am I My Brother's Keeper? Part One

It is often the case that we think favourably of the past and are therefore more willing to forgive wrongs when balmed in the healing power of time. It is with this in mind that I ask you to indulge me, and allow me to turn the blog into a diary to record exactly how badly I was feeling when working with my old partner.

Everything will be kept brief, more as a reminder to Monkey Pipe than as a pronouncement of any kind, and, naturally, no names will be mentioned – for notes on how using blogs as personal vents for business grievances can turn out, see recent articles about Michael Bay and his DVD format row.

I was approached, some three maybe four years ago, by my old partner with a proposal. I was then working on and off in my field, and looking to invest in some equipment, basically looking for help in investing in equipment, he was working unhappily and looking to move up a grade. The proposal was that we share-buy the equipment, he moves up a grade and I use him in that grade – seemed fair enough. We bought the equipment, we hit a run of work, things were going okay. There were moments, back even in the halcyon days of old, when questions entered my mind – mainly of the running before you can walk nature, but also (I am suspicious by nature) with regards to motives.

Roll on a couple of years, work isn’t coming in as thickly or as fast as it once did – but, and here is an important thing, there is no pressure – the equipment is there, the payments are manageable, just the work is slower in coming. Questions arise about my commitment to the project, comments are made about him doing all of the work. I point out that I am not responsible for exclusively finding him work. I also note pieces of equipment getting damaged when in his “care” – an added expense.

A couple of arguments break out. When, during my wedding, I was notified that a job was coming in, I did some emailing and checked some things and then put it to the back of my mind, focussing instead on the wedding. This wasn’t enough for my old partner – who wanted to have a meeting the morning of the wedding and talk about equipment. This is the old partner that I’d known for, at most, 4 years, who was at my wedding despite only two members of my family and one close friend being present.

We get back, we do the job, lots of comments about how he’s had to deal with everything are made. Towards the end of the job one of the strangest moments in my short career – I was phoned by a producer and asked to do a job, then phoned by a head of a department asking me to do the same job at a different grade. I attempted to be honourable – trying to work out why I was being asked to do the same job twice, and ended up losing the job as a head of department but getting it at the lower grade. I was accused of losing my old partner money and avoiding finding out stuff about the job, using my wife as an excuse to not do work, and several other things.

To be continued…

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